For part 2 of our family picture blog series I want to share some thoughts about preparing yourself and your kids for your session.
Let’s start with WHY you’re doing family pictures. The goal of family pictures should never be to just check it off of the yearly to do list. The goal should be to soak up every single bit of life that you can with your family as it grows. Time passes so quickly. Your sweet babes will be grown and gone before you blink. Family photos are an incredible way to make time slow down, even for just a day, and soak in the beauty of where your life is at currently.
Now, we can dive into the HOW of family pictures. So many people reach out to me, completely overwhelmed and worried that their kiddos won’t cooperate. And the reality is, that might happen!! Kids can have off days, just like adults do. If it happens to fall on family picture day, it’s not the end of the world!
“But Jeannie, our kids aren’t like the kids who sit still and smile perfectly and never have a meltdown and always listen like the ones in your other family pictures!” HA!! Trust me when I say, that’s not the case! Kids running wild, babies teething, sleepy toddlers, we see it all and we work around it! No biggie! Here are some of our tried and true tricks for making your family photos go smoothly.
1. Make it an “adventure” session!
You could do themed family pictures to make it fun and get the kiddos involved in the planning to get them excited for the experience!
Here are a few ideas for some activities you could do during your session:
– Have a family picnic.
– Go on a hike to see a new location.
– Make cookies as a family.
– Have a pizza party in the living room.
– Check out a sunflower field.
– Go apple or berry picking.
Make it special and unique to your family! You can make it as big and extravagant or as simple and intimate as you want it to be. Don’t overthink it! Just make it a fun, memory creating experience!
2. Give yourself PLENTY of getting ready time so that you’re not frazzled.
Make sure you’ve got clothes and shoes laid out ahead of time! Don’t wait until the day of your family pictures to drag the kids to the store to shop for outfits. If you’re getting hair and makeup done (which I highly recommend so that you feel your absolute BEST), make sure you give yourself plenty of time to go and come back so that you’re not rushed!
3. Give the kids a treat after your session.
Maybe ice cream or one of their favorite treats. Let them know what the treat will be ahead of time, and use it as a motivator throughout the session to keep up the good behavior!
4. Adjust nap times and meal times as much as possible.
This ensure that kiddos are fresh and ready to have a good time at their session. This doesn’t always happen, and that’s okay! But whenever possible, do what you can!
5. Bring an extra person to help with the kids.
Bring a friend or grandparent to help out with the kiddos! I always take time during your session to get pictures of just mom and dad, so bring someone the kids are comfortable with to keep them occupied while you’re busy!!
6. Don’t get stressed out.
I know this probably seems like a no brainer, but your kids pick up on your energy and mood, so if you’re stressed and tense, they’re stressed and tense. If you’re running super behind, and fighting with them on the way to your session, chances are high that you’ll all show up tense and frustrated and that will 100% always show up in your images. Deep breath, make it fun, soak it all up!
Considering bringing a pet to your session? Click here for tips for bringing a family pet!