As a mum of three myself, I totally get it! Booking a family session can be pretty daunting. I've heard every excuse under the sun as most of them have circulated around in my head for quite some time too. So, before you say you don't like being in photos, my kids are wild, they won't keep their clothes on or just plain and simple - it's just too hard... I'm going to stop you right there. I am going to give you some real world tips and tricks that I KNOW work to help you relax, level your expectations and actually enjoy your session. It is SO worth documenting this time so please, read on!
Let me begin by telling you a little bit about my sessions and what you can expect. First and foremost my sessions are very relaxed. Now, I know that is easy to say and claim BUT by the time our session rolls around we would have exchanged a handful (or more) emails, chatted on the phone and maybe even a few texts. So when we meet at your location it is just like catching up with a friend. I know for sure that this helps to put my families at ease.
Sometimes I truly feel as though I am just tagging along on your family adventure. If you have little kids then I come to the session armed with the knowledge of their names, ages and favourite things (thanks to our previous conversations together). This helps me to get your kids on side sooner rather than later so you can breathe a parental sigh of relief. I am all about following the lead of the kids and keeping them happy and if that means letting them take some photos of you guys with my camera then it is a big hell yeah from me. I've got plenty of other tricks up my sleeves too. It's no surprise then, that once the kids are happy and parents relaxed, candid, fun and heartfelt moments naturally unfold. I have my camera at the ready, and provide gentle prompts when necessary.
Here are some more tips:
Let go of expectations and let the moments flow
Easier said than done, I know! I have an energetic 3 year old who simply cannot sit still, however it only takes 1/200th of a second to capture a really great shot. My best piece of advice is to treat the photography experience as a fun adventure with your family, as I mentioned before. Discuss the session with your family as much as possible and for yourself, in the lead up to the session, try and shift your mindset so that rather than focusing on bedtime, routine, behaviour or anything else, enjoy the quality time together and be present with one another. I can also guarantee you that the photos where your partner is carry your littles one upside down towards the water pretending to wet his hair will be your favourite photo.
Allllll the things and snacks
Don't be afraid to bring props and snacks to your session. I am all about incorporating what you love to do as a family into the session. If that means kicking the footy together, riding scooters or anything else - I am up for it... just let me know before hand! A snack break half way through can also do a world of good. I don't know about you but bribery features often in my parenting repertoire so sometimes the promise of something special after the session like a bike ride, park play, lollipop or whatever your kids kryptonite is, can make the process run smoothly.
Comfort is key
For your kiddo's please make sure they are comfy and it isn't their first time wearing the outfit. Comfy kids are happy kids. Just as warm kids are happy kids. For sunset sessions it can often get a little cool in the last 15 minutes when the sun has already dipped quite low so ensuring you have some warm jumpers on hand can help. You are welcome to bring more than one outfit to change things up during the session and I have a what to wear guide if you need more info on this. If you are worried about how you are going to carry all of these things - don't be! Chuck it all in a backpack and I will lug that from spot to spot. It's part of the job description.
That's it! I hope this has helped to put your mind at ease and that you will walk into your family session feeling prepared and relaxed. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. I am ALWAYS up for a chat so feel free to hit me up on the link below!