Whenever we take the time to dress nice and get together for a family photo, expectations are usually high. You want that perfect shot. I can't tell you how often I hear "oh we just need one good one". As your photographer I will tell you this, if I only produce one good one for you - I haven't done my job. We focus so much on the poses but in reality it's the candid shots that everyone loves. So let loose and don't stress. Taking photos is meant to be fun!
2. Embrace the chaos
Kids of pretty much any age have a penchant for not listening. I know this is nothing revolutionary. You want them cheesing right into the lens and more often than not they want nothing to do with taking photos. I assure you your children are not the first to shun my camera and won't be the last. The thing about children is that it is very easy to incorporate them naturally and candidly into photos. When the parent's start talking or giving directions it gets captured in the photograph, mouth open, eyes closed etc. So let your kids be kids and let's capture them exactly as they are. Unfiltered and real.
3. Don't come hangry
I can't think of many things I enjoy doing when I am hungry and having my photo taken is no exception. Because I schedule sessions close to sunset they usually take place around dinnertime. Do me a favor and make sure you and your clan eat beforehand. Hangry men (and children!) turn into grumpy subjects and often time I as the photographer, bear the brunt of a rumbling tummy.
(This is my husband so I am allowed to put him on blast :)
4. Love yourself
I love photographing children because they never complain about the way they look. Oh we adults are our absolute worst critics. We think our arms are too big, our wrinkles too deep. Anytime someone points out these to me (which I never notice!) I want to say love yourself! I get it, I too pick apart my photos but no one ever noticed my perceived flaws but me! Be kind to you.
I know this varies from photographer to photographer but for me I say ditch those props. In a Pinterest era it's hard to deny them but the photos that are candid and simple are my favorites. I'm not talking balloons and floral crowns (because I love all that if not encourage it!) but leave the signs and banners at home!
If you're a local to the San Francisco Bay Area and looking for a photographer, look no further!
Laura Parker Photography
A special thank you to Stephanie who gave me the idea for this post!