How to Survive a Family Photo Shoot Stress Free

It’s important to get family photos taken. You want to have your family documented and celebrated and to leave your children with beautiful images that include mom in them. Getting out from behind the camera and in front of it can be a stressful experience, but we have some great tips to help you survive those important family photo shoots stress free.

rest up

Be sure that everyone in the family gets a proper amount of sleep the night before a photo session. You will feel great if you are well rested and be better able to handle the little stressors that are sure to occur. Rest will also help you look your best, and we all smile more when we don’t have those sleepy bags under our eyes.

Consider timing

Being thoughtful about nap times is a given, but we want to talk about timing during the photo session. Discuss a timeline of photos with your photographer before your scheduled session. Make sure to get the more difficult shots right away, like the big family shot that will go over your mantle or a group shot of just the kids. If you plan on having individual portraits of your kids save those for later since you only have to have one happy child for that. The last images should be some portraits of you with your significant other. Be sure and get some lovey-dovey sweet images of just the two of you. You’ll be glad you did.

clothing choices

Be thoughtful about your clothing choices, and plan these out as much ahead of time as possible. Shopping or putting together outfits for a family of five that coordinate, photograph well, and suit each family member’s personal style is no easy task. Utilize online resources to help you achieve the look you want. Check pinterest, or ask your photographer if they have any tips. Consider hiring a personal stylist to shop for outfits with you for just one day. You won’t regret it!

Check out Family Photo Outfits for Under $200 for some great ideas to dress for amazing family pictures.

avoid bribery

During the photo session it is important to avoid bribery. Bribery almost never works and when it does it often ends with fake looking smiles that are tainted with cookie crumbs or stained clothes. Check out our article, Tips and Tricks Beyond “Say Cheese” for some great tips on getting natural smiles without using bribery.

relax

When Mom runs the household so does her attitude. Try to relax and have fun. You aren’t just creating beautiful images of your family, you are having a special day together and making memories. Photography has changed so much in years. Posed, stiff formal portraits are no longer the standard. Don’t be afraid to let loose and let your photographer just snap pictures of your family interacting. Sure, you might not have a photo with all your kids looking at the camera with a picture perfect smile, but you’re likely to have some great shots where everyone looks like themselves.

Try not to worry about getting each piece of hair in place or about that little grass stain that ended up on your daughter’s dress. Any reputable photographer will have editing software and should be able to simply edit out any blemishes before you receive your prints. Ask about this ahead of time to be sure.

find the right photographer

Booking with the right photographer can make a big difference in how stressed you will be during a photo shoot. If possible, find a photographer you can meet ahead of time and make sure that you’re personalities are compatible. If this person is going to be photographing your family you need to be comfortable around them.

Check out your photographers work. Do they have pictures of families with the same amount of kids you have? What about their ages? If your photographer is experienced with your type of family they will be more comfortable and help add to a relaxing environment.

Communicate any Concerns

Does your family have any special circumstances that the photographer should be aware of? Make sure they know ahead of time. If they know your son is autistic and won’t look at the camera at all then they won’t waste your time trying to get him to do something that is not likely to happen. Or they can plan ahead of time and use a special zoom lens so they can be further away giving your family more personal space.

If you’re taking family photos with a larger group and Aunt Sue and Uncle Bob are divorced and don’t want to stand by each other, be sure your photographer knows.

Consider any special birthmarks or scars as well. Some photographers may or may not edit these out so if you or your children have any special marks be sure your photographer knows what you want. Any professional will be able to handle whatever crazy family situation you have, but being informed ahead of time can help them out tremendously.

Check out Protecting Your Family Memories for some great tips on preserving your digital photos.

Photo Credit: Little Miss Eclectic Photography

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Sara Taylor

Sara is a work-from-home mom with a photography business and a passion for capturing real life. She spends her time chauffeuring, teaching, encouraging and cherishing her three elementary aged children. Aside from her family and photography, Sara loves knitting, baking, and Instagram. You can find her on Facebook .

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