I have been in business for three years now. That's not a lot of experience, but enough to learn a few things on how to prep my clients for the best session they can give. I'm going to give some pointers below that I've noticed from families where I get my favorite shots from.
1. Most important thing: BE LAID BACK! Worry less about the small details and more about how to be yourselves and have fun in front of the camera. Women, please don't be overly harsh with yourselves. I know this may take several therapy sessions, but I BELIEVE IN YOU! You will shine more if you're less internal about how bad *you think* you look. Just be present. I have noticed that families who are more on the nonchalant side of things simply get better photos. I know it's hard to do, folks! I have 3 kids and a husband who HATES getting our family photos taken. Whatever your family needs to make getting photos taken easier, just do it. Your kid hates dressing up?? My advice? Don't force them to. Together, pick out an appropriate outfit that is "good enough". If they still won't have it, I suggest:
2. Bribery. Just bribe them. If they love ice cream, promise to get them ice cream after the session (if they don't cooperate, they need to know you will praise their efforts even if they don't fully comply). Have an extra $5 for a cheap Target toy? Bribe them. It's all going to be ok. And they in the end, when you see the photos, you will be so happy you did! (This goes for husbands as well.... )
3. Listen to the photographer's specific needs. Some photographers are great with flash in poorly lit settings. I, personally, am not one of them (yet, I hope). I try to emphasize times of day where I know I will get them magazine quality images. Sunrise (no takers yet! Ha!) and sunset are any natural light photographer's dream times. The sky is it's most vibrant. The lighting is easier to work with. It will also ensure a quick session, and everyone loves that. When I have to shoot at noon in the broad daylight with limited sources of shade, I don't give my clients the quality of photo I know I can give them. I have to settle on less than stellar images because I had to work with my surroundings. Try to be flexible if you really want the best the photographer has to give.
I will be posting more of my observations on how to get the best photos you can later on. If you enjoyed my post and like my photos, please follow me on Instagram and Facebook! I would love to hear your feedback and interact!
The Schoen Family session is a perfect example of my 3 observations above. They came in warm, friendly, and laid back. The kids had (not on my suggestion but due to mama's amazing forethought) came in already prepped on what to expect and also bribery. It works, people. I also let the kids pick their own poses. It gives the kids power to be creative and know that their opinion matters. That they are an important factor in how the images will turn out. And mama listened to my suggestion of Union Station. Every single session I've done there turns out amazingly. The lighting is on point whether it's a sunny hot day outside or an overcast dismal winter day.
Listen to your gut and learn to recognize your anxiety and how to tame it. You will have an amazing and FUN session that gives you classic, timeless photos you will cherish forever.