So you’re taking that big step and booking your family portrait session…awesome! You are making an amazing decision that you will never regret. We are family portrait experts and are well versed in the dynamics of families, kids, pets, crazy Uncle Joe, weather, outfits, tantrums, bedtimes, you name it! We are also the parents of two young children and part of crazy awesome families ourselves. There is nothing you can throw at us that we can’t turn into love and memories! With that said, here are a few tips and some info to help you prepare you for you session. We can’t wait to meet you!
1. What to wear?!
Somewhere along the way, family portraits got linked with white shirts and khakis, but we’re here to change that! We want you to wear what makes you feel good! If you’re white shirt and khaki people, then by all means, rock it! If not, wear what represents you and your family. Coordinating colors are best, and patterns are great too as long as you stay away from overly distracting patterns and colors. Check out some examples:
2. Babies, toddlers, teenagers, oh my? No really, help!
We’re in the midst of the terrible two tantrums with our youngest…and s#@t gets real. all.the.time. Our 4 year old is old enough just to flat out say no to pictures. We haven’t hit the teenage years yet, but we once were teenagers ourselves and will receive our karma soon enough. 😉 Needless to say, we get it. We don’t expect your kids at any age to behave perfectly. We actually expect them not to and are prepared to handle whatever comes at us. We’ll work hard for that “everyone looking at the camera smiling” shot, but if it’s not happening in that moment, we’ll move to something more fun and relaxed and work our way back. We can also almost guarantee that the staged smiling shot will not end up being your favorite. It’s the hilarious candids, the sweet tired cuddles, the running wild by the shore, and the wacky family poses that will steal your heart. So our advice to you is to let go of any expectations you have for your kids to behave like angels, and HAVE FUN with them! Toss them up in the air, tickle them, nurse the baby, bribe the young ones with treats, let the older ones choose their outfits, let them get wet! Just be real and we will find the love and turn it into some amazing documented memories for you to keep forever.
pictured below: ice cream solves everything, cake smash fun, threenager not feeling the posed shots but can’t resist that mama love, new walker heading straight into the ocean, dress up fun, clothing optional, and some wildly fun families <3
3. Speaking of toddlers, what about bedtime?
We schedule sessions about 1 hour before sunset (or right at sunrise) to take advantage of the best possible lighting. In the middle of the summer, sessions run roughly in the 6:45-8:15pm range. Our kids are asleep by 8, so we totally understand the concern. BUT, the lighting is so worth it! We rely on this time of day for the soft, flattering light void of harsh shadows, hot temperatures, and crowded beaches. To counteract the schedule change, we usually recommend that you try and push their afternoon nap back later if you can in hopes of helping them stay up and happy later than usual. We are happy to move sessions up some if you think it would help, just know that the earlier we start, the harsher the sun is. Children are more resilient than we sometimes give them credit for and almost always surprise us with how well they do with some “special late night beach fun!” …see how we just spun that? Yep, we’re parents! Again, we can always change modes and come back to any specific shot that isn’t working any given moment. We’ve seen it all–impromptu naps in the middle of the session only to wake up happy and giggling, nursing/bottles between shots, and then there are those sweet sweet bribes. 😉 Sunrise session are also an option if you feel like they’d do better in the early morning.
4. He/she hates pictures, how can we make this as painless as possible?!
We don’t want to single out just the dads because there are tons of enthusiastic papas, but it’s totally understandable how the idea of “formal portraits” might not have everyone jumping for joy. The thing is…we aren’t formal, but we are masters of making this painless! Bribes aren’t just for the child toddlers, they work for the adult variety as well. So bring a cooler of your favorite beverages down to the beach, promise him or her something fun later in exchange for participating in something that means a lot to you, whatever it takes. Once they get on the beach with us, we promise to change their minds in the moment and help them gain a new appreciate for photo sessions when they see the images!
5. The dreaded weather!
While we have not figured out how to fully control the weather, we have put ourselves through a very intensive, self taught radar reading master’s degree. Joking, but only slightly. We will be in touch the morning of your shoot if the forecast looks at all concerning. We can move the shoot time up (clouds make for amazing images!) if rain looks to be on the way, switch days if we have availability, or even move to a morning session if needed. Worst case scenario, we can shoot on the porches or inside your rental house. This has only happened twice ever, so please know that we will do everything in our power to work it out. Your patience and flexibility is great appreciated and helpful!