I love family photography. I love spending a happy hour or two with fun families, excited kids, jumps and hugs (and sometimes bribes). But I know that sometimes the thought of undertaking a family session can really stress you out. I'm talking to you moms out there. (If there is a dad that is putting a family session together, more power to you and I'd love to meet you! Please call! But usually, let's be realistic, it is the mom.)
I'll talk about what to wear another time (let me just say, Pinterest is your friend here). But another source of stress I see for moms is worrying about their kids' behavior. Will they smile, will they fight? (Let's be honest here - my kids fight when we do pictures. They smile too.) When parents stress about their kids smiling nicely, it stresses the kids out too. And, this may not be a news flash to you all, but I've found that shouting "YOU BETTER SMILE AND LOOK HAPPY OR ELSE" at kids doesn't always work out the best.
I'm not saying this ever happened.
Especially not a few weeks ago (my son, normally so sweet, does NOT enjoy having his photo taken).
Okay, so if you like the family portraits below (I do!) then I have some suggestions for you! Mrs. Supermom here put this session together like a pro, including four kids 6 and under. Usually kids are happy to pose together for a few minutes in any case, like theirs were.
But after that, what happens next? That is where sometimes the stress begins. I always try to have something fun for the kids to do. In this case I about died laughing at how funny they were with my little shopping bag + sunglasses setup. I had forgotten how hard it is to get 4 kids to all do one thing at one time. It turned out fabulous but let's just say it took longer than I expected. :)
When you book a family session with me, I always suggest that you bring something fun to do together. I can't take credit for this at all because I didn't suggest it, but their mom had the great idea of bringing sidewalk chalk to play with. I love chalk because it's simple and easy, but it could be any number of things. What do you love to do together? Read, play soccer, fish, play board games, eat ice cream? Use your imagination - anything that brings you together is a great way to not only make your kids happy but make sure your family portraits are unique.
It's so much easier to help kids be happy and stay happy when you have a really fun activity to do together. Also, to me, that's the stuff I want to remember anyway. I want to remember my kids' loves and hobbies, and this is the perfect way to do it.
See? Happy all the way back to the car. :)
One more question - are you wondering if I got my son to smile? Why yes I did, but I don't suggest the "threat method" in general. Here's what we got. :)
If you're interested in talking about a family portrait session, I'd love to hear from you! You can give me a call or email and we can chat.
Or, see this page for other ideas about how to make your portrait session the best that it can be. For lots of other session location ideas, see this blog page here.