Family Photography Session Tips

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family photography session tips, tips and tricks, mini session, family photography, northern Virginia, sisters, matching outfits

Last week we turned a page on the calendar and wound up in a new season: fall! Here at REHP fall means it’s family mini session time! The time of year where I get to work with local families who are looking to create images they can add to their holiday cards and capture memories of their families just as they are at this very moment in time. With the fall mini sessions quickly approaching, today I’m excited to share my favorite family photography session tips & tricks!

After working with dozens of families (who I now love!) at dozens of shoots, I’ve been able to narrow down exactly what works to keep the kids focused, happy, and what will get us the best family heirlooms and holiday card-worthy photos! And I’m excited to share those family photography session tips with you today.

1. Bring a family member or friend to your shoot so they can help with entertaining the kids while they’re having their pictures taken. I’ve noticed we get the best results (kids looking at the camera and smiling) for portraits when families bring such a person to stand behind me and make funny faces, dance, sing, hold up a smart phone with a fun video playing. This tip works especially well for younger children and babies.

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2. Talk to your kids about the upcoming shoot & even practicing posing together. That way when it comes time to pose with you or their sibling(s) at our shoot, they’ll know exactly what to do!

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3. Make sure the kids are fed and rested prior to the shoot (as much as possible). And bring along snacks in case anyone gets hungry. We won’t jump to giving the kids snacks as the first solution to crankiness (no one wants pics with chewed up food in their mouths! haha), but it will be good to have just in case.

4. Bring any favorite toys for me, your family/friend, or you to use during the shoot to draw the kids’ attention when needed.

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5. Bribe the kids! I’ve witnessed first hand parents bribing their kids with favorite treats or activities they can have/do after the shoot if they cooperate, and it works like a charm almost every time! haha

If you want to bribe them with something during the shoot, Smartees are the best! They’re small, there are lots of them in one pack, and they disappear quickly (no one wants to see candy hanging out in a kid’s mouth in their photos!). For best results, hand them over to me to dole out.

6. Bring any props you want to include – balls, games, toys, a blanket, holiday memorabilia, etc. It makes your photos that much more special when your own sentimental belongings are included.

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7. Use the resources at your disposal. Using the photo shoot style guide and associated Pinterest link with outfit visuals I have provided will make sure your photos turn out esthetically beautiful. Filling out the questionnaire I sent will make sure I’m prepared to work with your individual family and will help the shoot go smoothly.

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8. Let me be the boss (haha). You’re the boss with your kids the rest of the time, but it helps at photo sessions when you let me be in charge. I have poses I want to do and need to position you where the best light is, plus it helps if the kids listen to me and cooperate when they see their parents deferring to me. If you bring any bribes like candy, hand it to me so I can dole it out when the kids cooperate. They know how to work you to get their treats; but they don’t know how to work me! haha

BONUS Tip: Have fun! That is perhaps the most important of all the family photography session tips! These are precious moments you get to spend with your family. No cell phones, no TV, no work, no distractions. Enjoy yourself! Laugh, play, run around with your kids. I’ll be capturing those moments too <3

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