So many times, I meet families who have never had a professional family portrait session. I feel very honored to have been chosen by Andra for her family’s first photo session, and I really loved photographing her beautiful family. Owen and William were so easy to work with and we had so much fun together. These are the type of clients that I so enjoy meeting and hope to be able to see again year after year.
For those of you who have not ever booked a family portrait session, I’m curious as to what holds you back. I know that family portraits are a real investment, and it could be that it’s just not in your budget, which is a valid reason (though often it may be more about priorities than actually budget constraints). But I suspect that rather than the budget, it’s likely fear that the session will be difficult and stressful, or maybe even impossible, that holds many families back.
So maybe if I tell you a little more about how booking a session works, and what to expect at a session, it wont sound so overwhelming.
You can book a session either through my online calendar, or just email or message me to work out a date (Fall fills up fast though, and I will be releasing those dates soon, so don’t wait for those spots.) I know lots of clients stress about what will happen if it rains on their session date…no worries. I won’t make you shoot indoors or in the rain if you don’t want to (though both of those is an option!) Rescheduling if it rains is usually no big deal.
After you’ve booked, you will receive emails from me to help you through the process, such as tips on what to wear, but please don’t ever hesitate to ask if you have questions.
But I think the biggest part parents stress about, is what to expect at the session itself…and in particular, whether or not young kids will “cooperate” for a family portrait session.
So here is what I want to help you to understand:
The only thing I expect / want kids to do at a family portrait session is to be themselves.
Really. That’s it.
At a session, I generally start with trying to get a quick family portrait of everyone. This usually works pretty well to get a photo of everyone looking at the camera, as they have not yet become distracted. But what I’m not going to do is stand there for 30 minutes trying to get everyone perfectly posed. That’s just going to result in everyone becoming bored and/or frustrated. That’s not what beautiful memories are made of…and I want you and your kids to ENJOY the session. Not just to have lovely pictures when it’s over.
So we will only spend a couple minutes on any particular “pose”, and then will will take some time to play. Yes, that’s right…there is a lot of playing at a session. I don’t do a lot of posing, but I do a lot of guiding. Mostly what I’m trying to capture are interactions between your family because that’s what inspires me.
So with this lovely family below, you will see one of my first shots of the session is the more posed family shot of everyone looking at the camera.
After that, we went for a little walk down the path as I spoke to the boys and got to know them a little. I took a few individual shots of Owen to work on my lighting while baby brother just chilled. Then, since he seemed agreeable, I went for another family shot. My favorite below is one where I let mom and dad and Owen know that they didn’t need to look at me, but just asked if they could help get William to laugh. I love these kinds of shots because it shows the family interacting together, and not just with the camera…though I do occasionally ask everyone took look at me, as you can see in the third shot below.
Then we just had some play time where I worked on getting shots of Owen and William both together and individually as they played. I guided them to race, play ring around the roses, jump (playing Simon Says), and generally just explore. If there something the little one doesn’t want to do, that’s totally fine. I don’t HAVE to have a photo of them jumping, or playing ring around the roses, or whatever. I’m just working to get them having fun and acting natural. This is like the exact opposite of when you go to Sears Portraits or wherever ever and have to stand on the x. There really is no x, and very little standing still…I promise.
After we played, we walked to another spot and I wanted to try to get some seated family portraits. At this point, it’s typical for a toddler especially to become bored and tired. No problem. In this case, I offered William a sucker (with mom’s permission) and he happily sat down with his family. We have several shots of him holding the sucker, which I personally think is fine, and then at some point, I asked him if dad could hold his sucker for a minute. So now you know the secret that dad is hiding a sucker out of view in the last picture below. So we were able to get the shot and keep William happy, but even if we hadn’t, that would have been fine too because I had lots of shots earlier in the session.
After that, we headed to the playground. Lots of my favorite locations have playgrounds and I love including them at the end of a session because then the kids think they are “done” with the photos, but really sometimes I get my favorite shots there, while they are just being kids and enjoying themselves.
So really that is all there is to it…a little bit of posing, but mostly talking and laughing and playing. And suckers at the end.
So what is holding you back? Is there anything else you need to know in order to be ready to book a family photo session?