1. Style + Photographer
Think about the style you're going for to help you select your photographer.
This mom thought the front porch photos she was seeing online were adorable, so she really wanted to do a porch session. She also knew she wanted something with white/light color palette which went with the style of her home. The adorable chairs out front matched the style of their outfits and the overall look of mom's vision aligned with my style, so that was great! Mom also sent over some sample lifestyle shots to give me an idea of the style she was going for and said that she was open to doing whatever poses her kids would let us do! Finding a photographer that aligns with your style is what you want to find!
2. Go with the flow
This family's oldest daughter was very open to doing whatever I wanted her to do and little sis just needed a little warming up before she was giggling. When you're working with kids - especially babies and toddlers- you just go with the flow. They pretty much call the shots! Some kids are slow to warm up and thats OK. Sweet moments of you cuddling with your child and putting your forehead on their head is priceless. Most kids will eventually warm up. What about melt downs? Well, that can happen too! Its perfectly normal and OK especially with little ones. If your child needs a break, 1 parent can check in with that child while we do photos with the rest of the family to keep the session moving.
PRO TIP: Bring a snack that won't turn your child's mouth another color and you'll likely have a smiling child seconds later. I don't usually recommend a snack break if you think your kids can do without it, but sometimes it is necessary! Whatever you do, go with the flow and try to stay calm with your child. The goal is for you to try to figure out what you could do to get your child back into the game. Whether its a piggy back ride or swinging them in the air. I will always offer suggestions to get them to engage (unless they're running off) as well!
3. Have Fun!
This leads me to you- the parents. Having both parents on board with this specific photo session was amazing and of course ideal, but that is not always the case and thats OK too! I have found that the 2nd parent who isn't interested in the session usually starts having fun once they're having fun with their kids- whatever makes your kids smile will VERY LIKELY get your partner to engage and smile.
4. Listen to your photographer
Whether its regarding lighting, locations, etc. Your photographer knows what he or she needs to achieve the photos displayed in his/her portfolio, so if you chose your photographer for their style definitely let them take lead.
For posing, I won't leave your family hanging. Once I set you up I'll tell you what to do to get your family to engage. I also love when families take the lead. Once I have you in the right spot (for lighting purposes - if applicable) I am 100% ok with you thinking of ways to have fun with your family. I will simply go from there and offer more ideas to keep the session moving.
Want to schedule your very own lifestyle family session in the San Francisco Bay area or in Hawaii (Oahu or Maui)? Lets chat!
Marissa is a lifestyle family and brand photographer in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Hawaii (Oahu and Maui).