Tips to having the perfect session. From the beginning...

(Started writing this after our session last year, but still super important!! Worth the read).

I decided to be intentional about doing family pictures with our family. I knew I wanted to schedule them, but hadn't got around to doing it yet. When you are in this industry it makes it hard to pick a photographer. There are SO many photographers that I love. But, who I chose goes into how this was the best family session to date. How I got to finally deciding to do a session. During a recent session, I was talking to a kiddo. She was DONE and I was telling her that she was lucky her parents took the time and made the investment in to pictures. Because, there are some families that either can't or won't make that investment. Now before anyone gets upset that I was having this conversation with a client's child. The clients are friends of mine, and are the "keep it real" type of parents. I would totally let her say the exact same thing to one of my children. I don't go about parenting other people's kids. Funny how you have to do a disclaimer, but there it is.

Back to how I helped make this the BEST family session. We have 4 children. I also have a husband who doesn't like pictures. Like, dreads them. He is probably dreading next years, right now. Because he knows they are eventually coming. Here is the timeline of events that lead to the session being the best one yet. It's a long one. Buckle up. You might just learn some tips to use for your next family session.

A few weeks before:

Being a photographer, you know that colors are everything. But, I didn't realize it until I started doing family pictures regularly. I am an observer and analyzer. I like to know WHY and HOW I like something. I started to realize, I liked certain pictures because of the flow and colors and the coordination among the whole image. Not just the outfits, but how they fit in a scene.

When I decided that we were doing pictures. I told my husband one thing. He wouldn't have to wear any crazy shirt that I bought him. That was another thing I did wrong last year. I made him wear a new shirt. Apparently, it was too tight and too thin, and not his favorite. I also knew that I wanted our family pictures to be fall-y in nature and warm. I was looking for photographers and found one that had AMAZING sunsets. I will talk about her in a few minutes.

When I decided to do pictures. I looked up different color coordinations so that I could start matching us. But not matching us in the white t-shirts and jeans kind of way. But coordinating colors and matching different parts of our outfits togethers so we all appeared cohesive. Here are some of the different color combinations that I looked at, and I will post a picture from our session to show you what we ended up with.

Before the session, I treated our family to a yummy dinner. They all chose Applebee's and were super excited for this yummy "treat". They had nice full bellies, so keeping them out later than normal wasn't going to be an issue.

We traveled about 40 minutes for our session, but with full bellies it wasn't as big of an issue as if we would have done dinner afterwards. Feed those babies!!!

After the session, we stopped for Ice Cream at a local Ice cream shop. While, if you ask our kiddos if they LOVE pictures, they most likely won't say yes, they will indeed say that they enjoyed it a ton more than previous years. Make sure that you are making this an experience and not just a chore for them.

If you look at the picture below some of the things I was thinking about before our session.

My son is on the spectrum, so I wanted it to be as easy as I could for him. He is wearing a blue long sleeve shirt with some jeans he was comfortable and not irritated with his outfit.

My husband strongly doesn't like pictures, but does them for me. So picking a shirt out of his closet worked well. Paired with some nice jeans pulled the look together.

My oldest daughter I wanted her to wear a fall-y color, so the mustard Kimono worked well.

Our middle daughter wore a Burgundy dress with a Burgundy hair clip.

Our youngest daughter wore a Nellie Ruffle Maxi dress in champagne from Bailey's Blossoms. I love how it fits little one with the flow-y texture and comfortable.

I wore Burgundy pants from Maurice's. While the tag is for black, if you look closer to fall they bring out all of the earthy tones. Accessorize!! Grab a hat, a kimono, necklace, etc. It helps to add dimension to the pictures.

I often when first starting photography and planning for our own family sessions, I didn't understand how to coordinate outfits. My photography style has gone more towards earthy tones. Navy, Burgundy, mustard, tan/champagne, olive, etc.

And guess what? I am here to help you design the perfect session for your family!