Raise your hand if having family portraits done is the modern day form of torture for you. My hand is up! Yes, it is hard and stressful and over whelming. When clients show up, half the time they are angry with each other and need a nap. Next time will be better with the following steps.
- BOOK EARLY Schedule your sessions months in advance so you get the best selection of dates for your family. You have plenty of time to take off work if necessary, and you will want to do some shopping. Booking early also allows you time to set a savings plan into place to be able to focus on what you want from the portraits and not only what you can afford.
- PROFESSIONAL HAIR AND MAKEUP Mom you deserve this! Schedule yourself professional hair and makeup. Getting everyone ready means you get the time that’s left. You will love the way you look. Allow plenty time to get home and get your family ready.
- OUTFITS Find one person, usually a daughter or mom, a “wild card” outfit that has multiple colors. You then match the rest of the family around that outfit. We have a complete guide on clothing to help with this step. When I say outfit, that is head to toe including bows, shoes, jewelry, everything. Many times most of this can be found at home, don’t feel as though you have to buy all new. And do not order clothing within a week of the session. Make sure it will be in days before for ironing.
- REMIND DAD Not all dad’s are like this but many are. They need to be reminded weekly of this session, maybe daily the week of.
- DISCIPLINE This varies greatly by child age. Babies and toddlers are just that. You can’t predict so you have to go with it. Make every effort to get good food and naps for them. For pre-school to school age, talk to your children about how important this is to you. Make plans for how to celebrate after the session whether you are a reward parent or just a family activity at home after. Something to look forward to if they do well for you.
- PACK Two nights before, not one but two, pack. Every accessory, baby items, hair items, anything you might need. Pack it all. All clothing is laid out, ironed and ready. Don’t wait until the night before incase something pops up.
- EARLY Everyone begins the getting ready process early. If you take 1 hour to get ready, then get ready 3 hours early. Everyone should be ready to walk out the door an hour early. Last minute rushing creates the most stress. Then plan to arrive 15 minutes early. This should accommodate any traffic issues.
- ARIVAL Once here, take a few moments to think. Did you put on all accessories you planned, are the kids dressed correctly. Look everyone over and yourself.
- BEHAVIOR Remember I work with children, I’ve seen it all so don’t worry too much about what the kids do or say, relax. Unless they are destroying my studio haha!
- SMILE Now just follow direction, relax again and smile. I will talk to the children and get the emotion, you stay focused on the camera or whatever our focal point.
YOU DID IT! You will have accomplished something big and all thats left is to enjoy it for the rest of your life!