First off, THANK YOU for trusting me with your family photos. I absolutely love what I do, and I love making memories that you will love to look back on. I'm so grateful for your trust, and hope we can create beautiful images together of your sweet family. This whole process can be stressful and overwhelming at times, but I know as we both prepare, everything will fall into place. Just relax and let me do all the work. Remember that kids will be kids and trust in my experience as a family photographer. Everything will work out brilliantly in the end.
This may be the most obvious thing you read today, but a good night's sleep the night before our session is really important. And a lot easier said than done. Just try to make the night before as normal as possible. The less that changes in their day, the better. For some reason I'm convinced that kids (whether you mention it or not) always know when it's family photo day. It's crazy! And they typically don't want any part of it. So I want everything to be as typical as possible for them leading up to the session. Then super fun once it starts.
Another Captain Obvious note from me. Make sure they eat a really big meal right before the session. This is also easier said than done sometimes. Believe me, I know from experience! But full tummies are a lot more cooperative than empty ones. I promise it will go smoother!
Getting everyone ready can be really stressful and overwhelming. I can definitely empathize with that whole process. Be as calm and lighthearted as you can.The more normal you make it seem, the better. And when you do talk about it, talk about it being fun!
Feel free to bring mess free treats to the shoot. I will try and bring some too! I like to use treats as a last resort at the end of our time together. But mostly for brownie points on my end. The kids will do great! Don't even worry.
Parents of babies on a vaccination schedule. Please don't schedule any vaccines 2-3 days prior to our session. They can be kind of grumpy those few days following, and I would love them to be their happy, sweet self when we meet.
Just go with the flow if anything happens. If children cry, whine, don't want to do what's asked, shy away from me, get crazy, or run and hide, just know it's OK. I've seen all of these things when my family has taken family pictures, and when I've taken them of other families. Just know all these things are NORMAL. All kids have different reactions to strangers coming and photographing them, but don't stress or get embarrassed. It happens to everyone! I promise. A stress free "no worries" response is the best reaction. While we are together all I want you to do is relax and let me talk to and direct the kids. You just sit back and smile. I'll do everything I can to make them happy and look at me if I need them to. But you don't worry about them one bit. I know it's hard to just sit back sometimes, but trust me... it will be all good in the end.
This is just for the dads! I know photos might be the last thing you want to do on family photo day, but you are an important part in the success of the shoot. I just want you to have fun and play with the kids, and interact in a loving way with your wife. If you ever have any doubts on what you should be doing, smile at your wife, or tickle one of the kids. You can never go wrong with either of those!
Honestly, whatever is comfortable. If you have a style that is you, totally rock it. Most of the families I work with have a really hard time deciding what to wear, so I've put a couple ideas together to help you out.