How to make your next Santa Barbara family photo session a stress-free one.

Family photos are truly timeless and such a great keepsake for future generations. Getting the family together to take those portraits can turn into chaos if not approached correctly. There's usually a lot more to consider when it comes to a family photoshoot since there are members of all ages, which means that there's some extra coordination involved.

Below are some ideas and tips to keep you and your loved ones calm and smiling the whole way through your Santa Barbara family photoshoot!

Disconnect to reconnect

If you have younger children involved in the shoot, try to nap or have quiet time before the photoshoot. A well-rested child makes for happy photos. On that note, make sure that all family members have gotten enough sleep the night before as this helps with the fun and relaxation aspects of the session.

Dos and don’ts of bribery

Get your family excited about the photoshoot instead of offering a reward in return for their cooperation. This tends to lead to forced smiles and an irritated bunch of people. If you do have small children coming along it’s not a bad idea to give the photographer some bribery options in the form of toys or small food items to make those difficult moments a little easier

Relinquish control

As much as you’ll want to direct your children on where to stand and how to pose, it’s best to leave that to the photographer as they know what works best. Not having this pressure will also make you feel more relaxed.

It’s not just about the posing

The best photos happen when you’re having fun so joke and play with your children, hold your partner’s hand and just let the moments happen.

Keep those bellies full

If everyone is well fed before the photoshoot, it will run a lot smoother. It’s also not a bad idea to take a few (non-messy) snacks and some water along for those who might need it.

Enjoy capturing your memories!