Getting family photos taken always stresses me out. What should we wear? Will the baby be in a good mood? What if we pay all of this money and don’t get any good pictures? And this time, we planned to do E’s first birthday shoot outside, so of course, the forecast included rain and thunderstorm that day! Of course. I am always just so relieved once it’s over!
Even with the rain we were able to go on with the shoot. Thankfully, we had a wonderful photographer Amber, from AMB Photography and Design (whom I totally recommend if you are an MI local!), who came to our house so we were able to run inside and dodge the occasional rain shower. And guess what! The pictures turned out spectacular! We ended up having to do the cake smash inside, so it wasn’t completely what I had envisioned, but I think it worked out perfectly, if not better!
Here are a few tips I always use to help get the best shots and to help avoid some of the stress I feel when getting ready for a family photo session.
1. Figure out what everyone is wearing at least a week in advance…and make sure it fits! The morning of the shoot, the shirt my husband was planning to wear was too big! Oy.
2. Choose coordinating colors and try to avoid busy prints.
3. Take into consideration the time of day. Avoid normal nap times or times of the day where you know the kids are usually either cranky or crazy!
4. Bring special props that will make your pictures more meaningful and capture something extra special, like your child’s favorite stuffed animal or a homemade sign. It can give your photos more character.
5. If shooting outside on a sunny day, plan for a shady place not directly in the sun to avoid shadows. Or use the nice evening light.
6. If you want a particular pose or set up, tell the photographer before they get started so you won’t forget and they can work it in.
7. We get the best pictures when E is comfortable and familiar with where she is. This is why we chose to do the photos at home. If you are going somewhere else, go a little early if you can to let the kids explore first.
8. If you have a little one, you could bring something you know they love to hold up behind the camera to get some extra smiles!
9. Don’t be afraid to make silly faces and noises to get those smiles.
10. Be natural! If you try too hard, the photos will look staged. Some of the best photos are unplanned! Let them play, lift up their dress, twirl around, or play with the leaves!
Hope your next family photo session is smooth sailing!