10 Things That Will Make Family Photoshoots FUN!!
Being a Portland Family Photographer means many things, but one of the things that is most important to me is making sure that my families truly enjoy their photoshoot experiences. People of Portland are not stuffy. In fact, they are quite the opposite; they are real, down to earth, and humble. This is one of the main reasons we moved our little family here in 2016 and opened our Beaverton Photography Studio. We wanted more real. We wanted more down to earth. And we really really wanted more humble in our lives, especially with little FLY joining us (and if you have had the opportunity to meet this beautiful little soul, you know how sweet he is, and Portland just seems like the perfect place for him to grow up).
So knowing that the people coming to us for Family Photos in Beaverton want to capture who they really are, I've been able to hone in on my list of 10 things that will make family photoshoots fun, and here it is!
- First and foremost, focus on your family and forget about the camera. This sounds crazy, I know! I'm going to make a guesstimate here, but 99% of my clients come to me and tell me they are so nervous before their photoshoot. This is totally normal, as you can see. What I find really helps is to try not to focus on the camera, and instead focus on the reason you're here in the first place, your family! Look at them, interact with them, and enjoy this experience.
- Plan Ahead. With anything in life, if you plan ahead you will feel less stress and overwhelm. You know the old adage, "Failing to plan is planning to fail." Don't let that be you... you deserve so much more than that! Instead, plan everything ahead! Plan your outfits at least two weeks ahead of time. Plan your meals and snacks for the photoshoot day, especially if you have littles. And plan for things to go un-planned ;) Grab a second outfit, grab extra snacks in case apples are the enemy that day, and grab a little extra om for the thing that will inevitably still go unplanned.
- Don't practice! Wait what? That's right. Do not practice how will you act in front of the camera. I don't want you worrying about your smile, or your posing, or how your laugh looks. If you practice, then you're robbing your children of having genuine archives of their parents and their family life. Give them memories that are true and real, and be comfortable with who you really are both on and off camera. Your children will want you to be you.
- Bring a surprise for your spouse. Even if this photoshoot is not coinciding with a special life moment (sidenote: I believe every moment is a special life moment, but that's a blog for another day ;) use it as an opportunity to make the most of the fact that you're documenting this day and do something extra special for your best friend. Think about what would be really meaningful for them, and surprise them during the photoshoot. Just make sure to tell me beforehand so we have a special wink right before it happens ;)
- Make the day about your kids. If this is a day we are going to be displaying in your home for generations to come, we want your children to have the fondest of memories from it. Set them up for a successful day by making sure they get all the sleep they need (we work around naps, my friends!), make sure they eat at their normal times and foods that will not cause crashing (sugar, I'm talking to you!), and give them lots of encouragement and cuddles. Being a star can be tiring ;)
- Bring the Photographer to you. In-Home Lifestyle Family Photo Sessions are uhhh-mazing!! Think about it, you get to be in your own element (especially nice if your kids are teensy tiny and brand new), your kids are comfortable and have lots of things to show your Photographer (great rapport-builders!), and you get to show of your beautiful home that you worked so hard to create.
- Be silly. When I am doing Family Photo Sessions, I without a doubt instruct my families to do silly things. I might tell you to have a staring contest, or to tickle each other, and I might even tell you to point at the person who takes the longest to get ready in the morning (it's so often the dads!!), but the magic doesn't happen while you're doing the thing I'm telling you to do, it happens in the moments after, when your beautiful, real, genuine self is reacting to that silly thing I asked your family to do, and you all didn't even realize you were having a blast together. THOSE are the photos that end up above your beautiful king bed, printed as Heirlooms to be passed down to your children when they grow up and build a home of their own.
- Go somewhere special. If you're having an outdoor photoshoot, pick a location for its meaning, not just because it's beautiful. Perhaps you have a special park that you take the family to on days off, or maybe your children just love that one part of town because its has the garden AND the ice cream shop. If the location has meaning, it is the perfect backdrop for a fun photoshoot.
- Give your partner 'the eye'. Not the "did you seriously just flip the baby upside down over your head?!" eye, but the 'Hey there hot stuff' eye ;) If you're like most parents, you have little time for yourself, let alone time to be a couple. Trust me when I say this, your photoshoot is the PERFECT time to give some attention to your relationship. The kids will have a chance to run around while the two of you can remember what it felt like before kids.
- Think about the end result. When all is said and done, these photos are going to live in your home, on your walls and your most visited coffee tables for years to come... and then they will be passed onto your children, and your grandchildren. These Heirlooms are what will be held in their hands when they want to tell stories of the amazing lives you lived, and how you made them the people they are. THAT is the real reason you are having your precious family photographed and if you ask me, that just makes me smile.