Prepping for your family session: 5 tips

Last week a sweet friend of mine, Rebecca, came over to my house in the morning to snap some photos of my family now that our baby Joy is here. Joy turns 1 month tomorrow. Rebecca has her own photography business (check her out at Rebecca Roddy Photography) and offered to take our photos and let me edit my own set. My edited versions are shown in this post. It was a great experience, BUT, let me tell you, the prepping beforehand was stressful. Between rushing around to feed and dress four kiddos, both John and I needed to get ourselves ready, Joy needed extra feedings and diaper changes (as newborns do), Tess (2) needed to be constantly wrangled out of trouble (as two year olds do), all while trying to keep the house somewhat tidy. Here are a few tips for your family session that I gleaned from our own experience last week, be it in-home or outdoor, to make your session go as smoothly as possible.

1. Make sure your kids are well rested and fed beforehand. Including the baby. Bring non-messy snacks as well!

2. Let the kids be kids! Prepare yourself mentally before the session and know that your kiddos are probably going to do what they want (at least somewhat) and that is okay. It is far better to let kids do what they want and have them look pleasant, than to yell at them or try to force them to sit and smile, which will more than likely end in tears and tantrums. I so prefer candid shots over the "everyone look at the camera and smile" photos any day anyway!

3. Have something for the kids to look forward to after the session is done. I'm not saying you should bribe your kids exactly... but hey if it works it works.

4. Outfit prep: start early! Once you book your session begin to at least think about outfits. Coordinating and mixing/matching can take time and you don't want to be stressing right before the session starts once you realize that something is "off". I like to help out every family with outfit planning for sessions and have a growing client closet available for anyone to use.

5. Prep your man. Not to pick on the guys, but it is usually mom booking and planning the session, and many times the husband is not totally on board. I don't have a lot of tips on how to do this exactly, but at the very least don't spring it on him the day of. He may need some time to mentally prepare himself.

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