The good news is that there are things you can do to ensure everything goes smoothly! Here are the five things that you can do to help:
- Choose at time for the portrait session that doesn’t conflict with naps or meal times. Your photographer will appreciate this and will totally be willing to work around those times. Make sure all children (and adults!) are rested and fed. And don’t be afraid to bring snacks to the session – just make sure they aren’t too messy (leave the chocolate at home).
- Let your photographer do the work. Stay out of the way. Yes, you’re the parent and you’re the one responsible for raising your child. But this is not the time to battle it out with the kids. Let your photographer have time to connect and build rapport with your children. You would be surprised what a photographer can capture when given the freedom to take charge! And don’t worry, your photographer will let you know if they need your assistance. In the meantime, step aside and watch… you may notice things about your own children that you had not noticed before.
- Try not to bribe the kids. Yes, sometimes it works, but more often it makes them focus on the treat, instead of the moment. The worst is when little Johnny is now whining for the treat for the rest of the session.
- Plan your outfits and your day. Take time to get your hair just right and take time to relax and feel good before the session. Have the outfits for your whole family ready and planned out in advance. Coordinate the colors and patterns. You don’t want too many patterns and you DO want everyone to be on the same color pallet. There are numerous posts on this topic and I suggest perusing Pinterest for ideas. The day of the session is NOT the time to try to figure out what everyone is going to wear. You’re looking to put a beautiful image of your family on your wall… it will last for generations. It is worthwhile to put some effort into the planning.
- Have fun! Seriously – don’t worry or stress about it. Children will feel your stress and anxiety. Talk up the portrait session – get the kids excited and ready for this “family outing.” Relax. Go to your session in good spirits. Laugh, play, have FUN! I can’t say it enough. The best images are the ones that are the most genuine. You want to capture the love, so be sure to show all of the love your family shares and let your photographer do the rest.