I know you’re dreading having to drag cranky kids and dad to your family photo session. But you know the importance of having gorgeous pictures of your family on your walls and really want to have an enjoyable experience. Follow these tips to help make the best of your session. If you’ve been following this Miami girl a while on Instagram or Facebook, you know my style is very carefree and relaxed. I will photograph your family as they are and will do my best to get great interactions between you all. Don’t worry too much if dad isn’t smiling like you like or if the kids are wiggling and running around. It’s what they do. I love it when you get images that show your family as they actually are. There’s no need to worry that you won’t have anything to choose from. I stop when I’m sure I have what I need to show you a gorgeous gallery your family can choose from. Following these steps, however, will ensure you’ve done your part in coming into your session with as little stress as possible.
1. Feed EVERYBODY! Don’t walk into your session hungry. Dad will NOT be happy. And kids will not listen to you if their bellies are grumbling. Bring snacks and much on them in the car if you were rushing and couldn’t make something beforehand. If you have to stop at McDonalds for some chicken nuggets and fries, do it. Trust me, hungry people are cranky people. Just make sure that whatever you eat doesn’t cause grease stains or spills onto your perfectly picked outfits. There is always photoshop but prevention is always best. Bonus if you bring a bribing snack for the kids. Gummy bears do well because kids won’t get sticky or dirty. No lollipops until after the session. Kids drool a lot with lollipops and their shirts will be filthy and wet.
2. Plan your day well. If your session is at 4pm, make sure your makeup is finished by 2:30pm. If you schedule it too close you will be rushing and may be late causing a tremendous amount of stress. For some reason when you’re stressed, the kids seem to be extra annoying. If you start the day yelling at them and getting an attitude with dad, your session will take a downhill turn. Stay calm and everyone will follow. We work around the sun’s gorgeous light and if we miss the perfect light, it’s a big deal. So avoid being late. Plan to prepare lunch, makeup, hair appointments early on in the day so that you can relax the hour before heading to your destination. Traffic in Miami is brutal in the afternoons and a 20 minute drive can easily turn into an hour. Put in the address ahead of time and calculate how much time you need to get to your photography session. Then give yourself at least 10-15 extra minutes for emergencies. Here are a few things to think about when getting ready for your family photo session. Day before: Iron clothes. Pack sandwiches or wraps with water bottles and keep them in a lunch bag in the fridge. Confirm makeup and hair if applicable. Morning of: Arrive to your hair and makeup appointments on time. Bathe kids early and do their hair. Give them activities to do while you’re getting ready. Don’t put their clothes on until you’re ready to go (this avoids them ruining their outfits) Bring extra clothes just in case. One to Two hours before your session: Map out your route in the GPS and see what time you’ll have to leave. Get in your car and relax. Once you arrive, nothing else will matter.
3. Don’t force anyone to do anything! If your older kids don’t feel like smiling, don’t force them to. I will do my job to get great shots of them being themselves. You focus on looking your best and I will work with them. Plus haven’t you realized yet, that they listen to everyone but you. Don’t criticize the way they stand or move. Let them be. If they’re able to be themselves, I get the best images and you get the least amount of stress. They will cooperate. They do ultimately love you and want to make this happen for you. But making it as painless as possible on your end will ensure you get the results you’re looking for.
My focus is always to capture your relationship and we love it when there are genuine happy emotions. Keeping the day light and relaxed will help facilitate this. I’ve been a family photographer in Miami for over 14 years. Nothing ever goes exactly as planned but it always works out. I promise you will have gorgeous, fun, family pictures to enjoy forever.