Most parents would not use ‘fun’ and ‘family portraits’ in the same sentence. Or even the same breath. But honestly, it doesn’t have to be stressful. Especially if you use this simple list of guidelines:
1. Prepare the kids in advance and refer to the whole experience in postive terms. Like we GET to go take pictures, not we HAVE to go.
2. Don’t start by offering bribes. If you start bartering way in advance, your kids will know they have the power. Act like it’s a treat and they are going to have fun. We can always pull out the candy as a last resort during the session…
3. Plan a session (with our help) that will be interesting for the kids. Bring a toy or prop that means FUN to them, or we can find a spot that is interesting for the kids or go somewhere that tells a story…like feeding the ducks, or watching the trains!
4. For younger families, be sure and dress comfortably. Nothing inhibits a relaxed family portrait more than uncomfortable clothes! If you feel like you’re dressed for a funeral or a wedding are you going to be relaxed? Or will you be thinking about messing up your clothes?
5. Make sure everyone is well rested, well fed and healthy. Never schedule a session for a time when your child is usually napping. They will be cranky and uncooperative because they’re tired. Same rule applies if they’re hungry. And if anyone in the family is sick or fighting allergies think twice before putting them in front of a camera. We would much prefer that you re-schedule your appointment!
6. And lastly, don’t stress about making everyone match. Your portrait is more interesting if you wear similar tones and vary the ‘lights and darks’ a bit. Avoid wearing white and make sure most of the group is wearing solid colors in varying tones and textures. You will love the results!