Family Photography How to: 9 Ways to Guarantee an Epic Family Photo Shoot

Ever wondered why some families always have epic family photography?  Chances are it’s because they embraced a few easy concepts.  After being asked numerous times, I thought I would share a few of those words of wisdom that has helped my families make their children blossom in their family photography.

Adjust your expectation

Realistically, your child only has so much focus at any given time, don’t we all!  So prior to the session be sure to have a little checkin with yourself about what it is you truly desire for this family photography shoot.  You know your child best and you love him so keep it realistic and praise him afterwards.

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It is so tempting to wish for it all, my famous last word to my own child: “Just one more”.  I know it’s the hardest thing.  You want to take advantage of this moment and having a professional but do your homework prior.  Discuss what YOUR “must have” is and perhaps one or two bonus groupings if all goes well.  It will give a chance to your child to be fresh and at his best for the most important shots.

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Less is more

I strongly believe in this statement in every sense of the word.  If the connection is there and I am in the zone with your child, it’s go go go but when that moment has passed for him, it’s better to just praise and move on then to force for more.  The same can be true for lengthy sessions.  You do need an introduction time at the beginning of the session but afterwards get your child involved right away and let’s keep it short, fun and to the point, end on a high note, praise and just wait until next time when they cheer for the family photo session.

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Keep it playful and light

No child likes to be restricted, the photography venue should offer some room for them to explore and have fun.  It they can move and feel free, it will allow for that carefree feeling to translate into the images, plus they will now associate family photography with a fun time.

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Step away from your child

It’s the hardest thing to do.  We all want our children to give us their best and on cue.  The reality is that they usually show their best when they are having fun and feeling carefree so give them a bit of space.  Allow them to bond with the photographer and forget about you.  Take your cues from the photographer and PLEASE stop asking them to smile, they will when they are ready and they bond with the photographer, don’t worry it will happen if you step away and let it be, promise.

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This is not Sears, keep it real

If you are deciding on lifestyle family photography then Sears is not what you want, so stop looking for it.  Let the kids be themselves, let them move, let them be silly.  Offer authority so that they listen to the photographer but other then that let them be children, give a chance for the photographer to be able to capture that carefree spirit.

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When in doubt laugh and be silly, we’ll call it candid

Nothing makes me smile more than editing and cracking up seeing all the laughter captured during a family session.  In the end this reveals a much more authentic side to your family then trying to pose and be “perfect”.

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Who says you can’t go to disney world twice

Although a family photo session doesn’t happen everyday, it also cannot be this once in a lifetime moment in your mind, the hype and the pressure on the entire family will be too much especially on your children.  The beauty about your family photography is that it evolves, it changes as you do so by making it part of your life it just gets better and better.   I have families that I have been part of their journey for over 5 years.  When the children arrive for their family photo shoot, the children hug and high five me, now you know that’s going to  be a fun  session.

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Chill, be Zen, look at your gorgeous child and be present.  Your child will feed off that happy energy and your mood will set the tone for a fabulous photo session.

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Pascale oxo