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  • Writer's picturehazelandpinephotography

How to rock your family session.

What is holding you back from booking your dream family session? One of the top answers I get is.... my kids. If this is you, then you'll want to keep reading.

I love love love shooting family sessions. Every single family is different, no two families interact and play the exact same. That is one of the things about it I love. What is my goal as your photographer during your session? It's simple. To capture and freeze memories just exactly how they are right now in this season of you life. Is your toddler daughter going through a mommy only phase right now where she has to be held the whole session? Did your baby boy take his first steps but still insist on holding daddy's hand to feel safe? Do you kids love to run, jump, twirl and play ALL DAY LONG? Great! I want to document these things! Because one day you will wake up and your son won't need daddy's finger to walk anymore, one day your kids will only want to play with their friends not their sibling, one day you'll wake up and think remember how she used to only want me? How she used to cuddle right up in my arms and feel completely safe, warm and loved? These days pass so quickly! And if that is the season of life you are in, that's the season I want to capture, and that is the story I want to tell.

So. Now I've talked you into booking your session. YAY! Now let me help you ROCK it!

Here are my top 5 tips to help you feel confident, let go, and just have fun at your session!

1. Go with the flow

I will give lots of prompts, cues, and posing. BUT this is one of the most important things...... if instead of coming up and giving mom a big beautiful Hallmark hug and kiss while looking lovingly into her eyes and smiling, Johnny wants to jump awkwardly and kinda painfully into your lap, don't stop him!! Just flow with it mama! Instead let him plop down then pick him up twirl him around, tickle his sides, plant a kiss on his cheek and then tip him upside-down. Ok, maybe not all those things at once or in that order but that's not the point. The point is GO WITH THE FLOW! My cues, prompts, poses are just a beginning and are always meant to start some sort of interaction and lead to something more. And those in-between moments are often my favorite and some of the most real moments.

2. Let loose

Don't be afraid to be silly with your children, hubby, mom, uncle whoever is there with you in your session. No the photo of you blowing raspberries to get your daughter to laugh might not make the family wall collage, but the photo of your daughter laughing at you and you smiling back at her as you plant a sweet kiss on her forehead just might! Just remember these silly, vulnerable moments almost ALWAYS lead to an in-between moment that if captured at just the right second is gold.

3. "Johnny look at the camera" - Stop right there mama!

This is one is mega important and HARD! I get it, I too am guilty of this one during my own family photos! And reminding you kiddos to look at the camera once or twice is fine. But please don't constantly ask them to look at the camera and smile throughout your session. Getting your picture taken is hard work for a little one, and their attention span for a non preferred task like that is limited. That is why often times while we are getting in position, I'm actually waiting for the perfect moment to get their attention, because I know it might be fleeting. Wait for my cue! I will never tell you child to "look at the camera" instead I will do or say something silly but very intentional to get the exact smile, giggle laugh at the exact moment that is right. Trust me mama, I got this!

4. Nap time

I almost always shoot around sunset. Usually an hour to an hour and a half before. That is when the light is the most beautiful, soft and golden. This time of year if you have little children, that also happens to be bedtime. I have little kids of my own, so I know that this is definitely a big factor. But you guys, I can promise you one thing, IT IS WORTH IT. Good lighting is one of the most important things you can have at a session. So in order to get ready for you shoot, have a plan for that day. Know that you are going to put them down an hour later than normal for their nap. Maybe not more than an hour because you don't want the dreaded overtired toddler. But if you can plan your day around an hour later nap than normal than they should do just fine. Remember it is a fun thing. They will be having fun, and it always seems to work out. And I know I already said it, but IT'S WORTH IT to have good light.

5. Have a plan

Make sure that you have some sort of plan going into your session. Whether it is outfit selection (which I love to help with BTW) or nap time or even just telling your kiddos what to expect so there isn't any surprises. All of these things can help make your session go smoothly and worry free.

Hope this helped you feel confident in your upcoming session!! Your kiddos will do great, you will do great and you will come out with images that you will cherish for a lifetime.

If you are ready to inquire about your own family session click here

If you wondering what to wear for your upcoming family session click here



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