As a photographer in love with families, I wanted to share some helpful tips on preparing for your family portraits. When asked recently why I do photography, I began to talk about my photography skills coupled with my creative eye. But then, as tears well in my eyes, I responded. The truth is, my dad died when I was a little girl and while there are some snapshots, that's really all I have. Every season of life is so special, this is why I do what I do. I want to capture all those precious family moments.
Portrait sessions are more than just beautiful photographs—they're about the memories you are making. Make it fun—be affectionate with your family and let your photographer do the rest of the work.
Keep it simple. Incorporate your style and fun accessories but keep your wardrobe colors simple. It keeps the focus on your interactions and family. Unless you're using a professional stylist, too many color combinations in family portraits can get complicated.
I suggest steering clear of slogans or written words on clothing, unless you are specifically focusing on your love for the Yankees or Giants, etc. Wear something that you love!
You might even choose your outfit first and then plan the rest of the family accordingly! Here in Southern California, layers are our friend, especially with coastal sunset sessions.
You want to share your excitement about the session. Positively hyping your kids up with conversation and statements—like "How much fun we are going to have with Katee Grace today? She's going to take our picture. She might even let you take a couple pictures by yourself!"—sets them up for a fun day.
First and foremost, your children will feed off your excitement or your anxiety, so relax and stay upbeat.
You've beautifully dressed your whole family and you've communicated with your photographer about location and vision—now it's time to enjoy your family. Be affectionate and have fun with them!
Sometimes taking a step away and letting your photographer capture your children on film—without you making sure everything is "going right"—can work wonders for both you and the kids.
After Mommy and Daddy have introduced me to the little ones (or after a few shots of the whole family), it's often helpful for me to spend some time with the kids while the parents step away.
Get comfy! That way, there's not the same pressure or stress that the kids may have been feeling while they were getting dressed. (That can be a lot of work!) This might be tricky, if it's the first shoot I've done with a family. So I like to play it by ear. Loosening up may include something like your little one showing me their favorite book and us reading together at some point during the session.
Don't ask kids to smile! We want to do things to make kids smile and laugh. This gets the most genuine, beautiful and memorable photographs—ones that you will treasure forever. My assistant or I like to keep the atmosphere comfortable and playful. We love getting to know your family and helping to create natural smiles all around.
Katee Grace is our featured photographer for many of Club Momme events. If you're looking to do holiday portraits, we couldn't recommend her more. To book your custom Katee Grace Photography Session call, email or text her at 805-637-7412 or Katee@KateeGrace.com.
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