Okay! You’ve gotten everyone to the session in one piece: clean, fed and relatively happy. Now what?! This post is full of tips for creating authentic connection during your family session.
1. Cheese… it goes well with wine.
Let’s talk a bit about an all-time favourite photo prompt: “cheese”. Parents, please leave the cheese at home and enjoy it later with some wine. When parents stand next to the photographer and say, “Look at the camera! Say CHEESE!!” the result will generally be fake smiles, and strained, inauthentic images. Step back. Allow your photographer to talk to your children and interact with them naturally. This will result in genuine smiles and allow your photographer to capture your child’s personality.
2. Just have fun with your family!
My favourite images from a session are always when families are playing and having fun! Don’t be afraid to pick up your children, snuggle them close, toss them in the air, or give them an airplane ride. Give your partner a gentle kiss on the cheek. Tell your husband how much you love and appreciate him for being there for your family. Have fun. Tickle. Laugh. Snuggle. Whisper. Giggle. Hug. Play. Piggy Back. These things will result in natural expressions and a great experience. Allow your photographer to capture who you really are; let the love that you have for your family be what shines through your session images.
3. Bring a family activity.
I love it when my clients bring a family activity that they enjoy doing together. Do you love to read together? Bring your favourite books. Does one of you play the guitar? Bring it and let the family gather around. Do you go on picnics? Bring your picnic blanket and basket. The possibilities are endless. Engage your family in doing something that they love. The images captured will be authentic and a true reflection of your unique family.
4. Interaction WINS!
When everyone is engaged or interacting with each other, the images will be amazing! Not everyone needs to be looking at the camera and smiling at the same time. Promise. When you are loving on your kids and your partner, your eyes will be on them and your smile with be natural. These photographs are always favourites because they are a YOU. Your family as it exists NOW. And that’s priceless.