Prepare the kids
It's important to tell kids what to expect from their photoshoot. I like to have parents build excitement around it. Also use my name when describing the photoshoot so that I am not a stranger. Let them know that "My friend Angie, is going to take our pictures and it's going to be so much fun!" or "Angie loves Minecraft or Unicorns or ____________ too!" (Just let me know what they love and I can love it too). Strangers can be scary for kids and I want them to think of me as your friend not a stranger.
Ask them what they think a fun family pose would be. Maybe they want to spin in circles or jump in the air. How about a silly smile and then a nice smile.
Make sure everyone is feeling their best by being well rested and fed. Plan your photoshoot around nap time and try to make sure they get a good nap as best as you can. I understand that not everything is in your control especially when it comes to kids.
Bring the Snacks
Think of non staining snacks that are quick to eat
- cheese cubes
- fruit snacks
- goldfish crackers (baby sized, light colored)
- smarties candies
- water (can be used for drinking and cleaning up messes)
Avoid juicy or sticky snacks that get on clothes or take too long to eat
- colored, sticky fruit (strawberries, oranges)
- fruit punch, chocolate milk or colored gatorade or juices
Bring/play an Activity
An activity is a fun way to break the ice with shy kids and get playful pictures. We may or may not use the activity, but it's nice to have when young children are struggling to warm up.
- beach ball or soccer ball
- peek a boo around a tree
- pat a cake on a parents lap or with a sibling
- pick flowers
Week before - Have a solid plan for outfits and hairstyles a week before you shoot. Make sure the outfits and shoes fit and are comfortable. Trying to figure out what everyone is wearing 2 days before the shoot is a bit of a struggle. Especially when things don't fit like you were expecting. Give yourself room to make adjustments.
Day of - Leave yourself plenty of time to get ready. I like to add 30 minutes to the time that I think it will take me to get everyone ready. This 30 minute margin can help with hair and wardrobe malfunctions or children meltdowns. You (and your family) will feel a lot more relaxed if no one is rushed or feeling that sense of urgency.
What to Wear
Coordinate, Don't Match - Instead of matching outfits, choose a palette of about 3- 4 coordinating colors (examples are neutrals, earth tones, jewel tones, bright OR pastel). A mix of solids and patterns can be good as long as they stay within the color pallet and not competing with each other. There should be more solids than patterns.
- the session location - you don't want to blend into the background
- the season - deeper hues for fall/winter, lighter colors for spring/summer
- your decor - your wall art should fit the room where it is displayed
Start by selecting your favorite outfit (like a dress for mom) and then build the other outfits for the family around that. Everyone should feel great in their clothing so start with something that highlights their best assets. This is a huge confidence booster. If anyone is self conscious about how they look and feel in what they are wearing, they will likely not enjoy the experience or their pictures. Pinterest has great style guides that can help you dress for your body type. If you need specific suggestions or direction in styling or coordinating, please feel free to reach out and let me help.
Above all, choose outfits that are comfortable and will allow you the freedom to move and play.
Don't forget that shoes are part of your outfit! Choose boots, sandals and sneakers that are both practical and match the setting.
Textures like knits, lace, scarves and denim add interest. And layers, for cooler weather, like jackets, cardigans, and vests provide depth.
Complete your look by adding hats, headbands, jewelry, scarves, belts, etc. It's a great way to show off your personality without taking the focus away from the person.
Get haircuts a few days to a week before the photoshoot. Have your hair done in a way that makes you feel your best. Try not to do anything bold or brand new before your photoshoot. Keep to what matches your style. If anyone has hair that is on the longer side, consider using a gel or setting spray to keep it from falling in your eyes.
Natural makeup tends to look the best. Avoid the glitters and sparkles as much as possible. These can tend to come out uneven and splotchy in photos because of how the sunlight hits our skin. Bring a back up face powder to reapply throughout the session, in case it gets too warm/hot during the shoot. We can avoid a shiny face by reapplying a little face powder as needed.
Your hands will be holding, hugging and showing in many of your photos, so make sure
everyone has clean and trimmed nails with no chipped nail polish. If you wear gel or acrylic nails, be sure to have them filled and looking fresh for the day of your shoot. Also consider the polish color and the outfit you have chosen. We want your nails to be a complimenting accessory rather than clash with your outfit.
Neon colors, Logos, words or characters on shirts
Athletic runners and ball caps
Too tight or too baggy fits