Planning a family photo session? You've found a Tampa photographer you love, and now it's time to prepare for your photo shoot. You're probably excited about getting some great family shots as well as photos of the kids. Guess what, the kids could care less! Standing and smiling for the camera is the last thing kids want to do with their time. Especially when they are at gorgeous Sand Key Beach or beautiful Lettuce Lake Park. Who could blame them?
We've come up with some photo session tips to ensure you and the kids make it through the session, and maybe even have a good time. Not to mention coming away with some amazing Moments that Last a Lifetime!
Photo session tip #1 - Plan ahead. Have your outfits planned in advanced. Click here for ideas for what to wear for your photo session and you can click here for our What to Wear Guide. Waiting until the day of the session just causes panic and stress that is difficult to overcome by session time. Unless you are very familiar with the photo shoot location, review the directions and most importantly, check the traffic because, as we all know, traffic can change on a dime in the Tampa area. Having your clothes laid out and directions in place will prevent the last minute stress that will have everyone in a bad mood for the session.
Photo session tip #2 - Be calm. If you've taken care of #1, you're proabably halfway to #2. During a photo session, our goal is to capture the true essence of your family; and if everyone is stressed, unfortunately, that is the "you" we're going to capture. We always do our best to put everyone at ease and lighten the mood, but arriving calm and in a good mood is quite beneficial. If it is a long drive to the session location, ensure the kids will be occupied during the drive. Dads are not always thrilled about getting their photo taken, but something to keep in mind - it is probably best to capitalize on this investment of time and money. And you certainly don't want to have to do a reshoot.
Photo session tip #3 - Be comfortable. Everyone wants to look great in their family photos, but it is just as important for everyone (especially the kids) to be comfortable. Scrachy, uncomfortable clothes are a big no-no. If you're uncomforable it will show on your face, and heels are not great for the park or beach.
Photo session tip #4 - Stay calm. Trust your photographer is going to do their job. When working with kids, we get the shots when we're able; and there is always in between time that the kids are not paying attention, start crying or become stubborn. It happens every session. When parents stay calm and trust we are going to get the shots, this helps kids to calm down quickly and to be more cooperative in the first place. A family photo shoot ebbs and flows. We bring everyone together for a pose, and then give the kids a little break. Sometimes during these breaks we are able to capture amazing candid moments.
Photo session tip #5 - Rewards couldn't hurt. Promising a trip to the ice cream shop after your photo session, or some other reward for good behavior, is a great idea. We've had parents do this often, and it works pretty well.
Photo session tip #6 - Schedule your photo shoot at the right time of day. Parents know their children best, and we often ask what time of day is best for the little ones. It is always best to schedule your session when you know your kids won't be tired and/or hungry.
Photo session tip #7 - Let the photographer call the shots. You've invested in our time and talent, and we're more than happy to do our job. We know the importance of developing rapport with the little ones so they are more inclined to listen during the session. We have a few tricks up our sleeve to keep them looking our way. If there is someone you can bring to help the photographer get your kids' attention during the session, that is great! But let the person know to always stay behind the photographer. This keeps kids looking in the right direction. Also, we find repeatedly calling out a child's name or repeating phrases like "Look over here" doesn't work so well. In this situation, less is more.
Photo session tip #8 - Bring some supplies. It's a good idea to have some water handy, especially if it is a hot day; and having a towel handy can be beneficial. Between the wind and walking around, hair can get out of place, so pack a comb or brush and a mirror as well. Snacks are not a great idea because they leave crumbs on clothes and mouths. Wet wipes and tissues couldn't hurt either.
Photo session tip #9 - Bring a shot list. We have many ideas, but we love to hear our clients' thoughts as well. Reviewing our Family Portfolio is a good place to look for ideas, and you can also check out Pinterest. If there are particular poses you'd like to get, bring them to your session or make sure you email them to us before the session. Keep in mind we will do our best to capture the poses you prefer, but we can't guarantee we'll capture all of them. For a 1hr session, it varies greatly depending on the session, but we can usally get through between 7-20 poses.
Photo session tip #10 - No fear! We don't bite. We know that not everyone loves having their photo taken, and that's OK. We'll do our best to put you at ease, get you laughing so you can enjoy your photo session experience. Our goal is not just to capture great photos, but to also ensure everyone is having a good time in the process. By the way, those 2 things go hand and hand - you cannot get great photos of a family if they are not enjoying themselves.