Are you ready for a fun photo day in Santa Barbara that captures the spirit of your family?
So am I! But in order for that to happen, we have to work together. There are a few things you need to know ahead of time to ensure a fun and carefree session so be sure to get comfy and read this with all the adults who will be at your session.
I will give you direction
I will start off by explaining that I will definitely give your family things to do, help with posing when needed, and direct you during part of the session. But I also like to step back and give families the space to be themselves! Yes, I can tell you to spin with your toddler and to turn in a specific direction because it will look better on camera... and I will do that. But you know the things that make your kids laugh.
You know about the special way that you hold your child every night when you say goodnight. There are certain things every family does that are special to them, so please bring that to your session. Rub your baby's nose the way you always do while nursing. Lay your head on your partner's shoulder as you would while waiting in a long line together or whatever it is that feels right to you. These things will help me to capture your story authentically and help you to see your true selves when you look back at the images.
Try to always be touching someone. Be affectionate, give hugs and kisses, caress faces, look into someone's eyes... Any kind of connection will translate beautifully in your photos.
Let the KIDS BE KIDS
This might be the most important part of having beautiful family photos. Let your kids be themselves! While it may seem obvious, it's not always easy. Here are some tips on how to help your kids have a great time at the session.
This is a no discipline zone. Yep, I said it. During the session (and probably a couple of hours leading up to the session), try your very hardest not to get mad at, be stern with, or say no to your child or children. Unless it's a safety issue, of course. This is so important, especially during the photo session.
You get to be the cool parents today... go with it!
You may feel like you need to make sure your kids are "being good" because I'm there, but I guarantee you that I don't care if they are being a little naughty. I actually prefer it because that is usually when the real smiles will come out. If they want to talk about poop and farts or forget to use their manners, please just let it go for this one day. We want happy and natural smiles, and that isn't going to happen if they are getting in trouble.
No threatening to take away their electronic time, no sternly telling them to sit and listen. Please. I will help guide them into the things we are doing but if they aren't into it, we will just try something else. The goal is that the kids have fun. Basically, they are in charge!
Let's Discuss PARENT BEHAVIOR
Here's a fun little fact for you... 9 times out of 10 it's not the kids who mess up a great photo... it's the parents!
The kids are over there cracking up because little Timmy thought it would be funny to make fart sounds with his armpit. They look happy, they are having a great time. But then you look at the parents and what are they doing? Looking annoyed. Lol. Is that going to be a cute photo now? Probably not. So what can you do?
Look at your kids like they are doing the cutest thing EVER. I don't care if they are throwing your hair in your face or trying to hit dad on the head... it's all adorable, okay?
If you just pretend like everything they do is either hilarious or sweet, all of your photos will be great. It's a proven fact!