I’ve never forgotten the advice I received during a photography class when first starting out as a family photographer: the course instructor recommended photographers schedule a session for themselves to find out what it feels like to be on the other side of the camera.
Shortly after receiving that advice, I booked a portrait session for just me, myself, and I. It was an enlightening experience to see how it worked being in front of the lens. The two things that stood out the most were: how nervous I was about the session leading up to it and how indecisive I’d become about choosing the right outfit for the photo shoot.
From that experience of seeing a photo shoot from both sides, I make sure to help my clients every step of the way. Ensuring that every family’s photo session is fun and worry-free is why I created my Getting Ready Guide and why I’m also sharing these five best tips for amazing family photos:
1. Get Your Kids Excited for Their Family Photos
Leading up to the session, talk to your kids about the session. If they’re young, tell them that you’re meeting up with mom and dad’s friend who they’re going to have lots of fun with exploring a park while taking photos. They’ll be excited for the experience and see that taking photos really is fun. If your children are older, tell them why having photos taken is important to you.
2. Plan Your Outfits
My favourite tip for family’s planning their outfits is to lay out all of your outfits on the floor 1-2 weeks before your scheduled session to make sure the colours and patterns work together. This will also give you plenty of time to pick out another item in case your kids have had a growth spurt or if anything needs ironing.
3. Bring A Post-Session Reward
Okay, yes… I know you’re on to me. What I really mean to say is bring a bribe. A small box of Smarties, cherished stuffy or the promise of an ice cream after the session almost always helps the session run smoother. Just be sure to keep the reward tucked away until after the session to avoid tears because once it’s in their hands, it’s really hard to take away.
4. Plan for the Weather
Sometimes a perfectly warm, sunny day can feel instantly colder when the clouds roll in or the wind picks up. By dressing in layers, you can add or remove clothing as needed.
5. Focus on Your Connection as a Family
The weather, location and chosen outfits will play a secondary role to your family’s story because having these moments to look back at for generations to come is what its’s really all about.
We’re documenting the love you share as a family, so don’t be afraid to get silly and have fun! Tickling, chasing, playing are what it’s all about and will capture the most genuine expressions of you and your children.
Erin Clayton Photography is a maternity, newborn, baby, child, and family portrait photographer based in Victoria, BC who believes that your family photography session should be an enjoyable and relaxed experience while creating meaningful art so you can experience your beautiful memories every day.