One thing I hear people say a lot about family photos is….
It’s so awkward having our pictures taken! Sure, I can understand that. You meet your photographer for the first time about thirty seconds before they start sticking a camera right on your face and then you don’t see them again for a whole year. That’s pretty awkward!
One thing I do to make this process a lot smoother is to get to know my clients as much as I can before the session. I have questionnaires that I ask my families to fill out before the session that help me understand them a lot better and I even offer a video call so that we can get to know each other better and plan the shoot together. Some of the most important things that I try to find out from the families I work with are these five listed below:
1- Do you or anyone in your family have any specific body insecurities?
It is true that a good photographer will know how to take pictures of your family in a way that flatters each of of you. But we are humans and of course there are certain angles that don’t work for most people and some that work best for each of us.
However, if you or anyone in your family has a particular body insecurity, communicate that to your photographer. To me, all bodies are beautiful and I might not realize that you don’t like a particular part of your body for reasons that only you understand fully. So, by letting me know I can be more mindful of that and everybody will enjoy their pictures more.
I know it’s uncomfortable to speak about our own insecurities, but just know that I use that information to make you and everybody in your family more comfortable and that brings us closer which always results in better pictures.
2-Does anybody in your family have a particular fear or tendency to act in an unsafe way
The safety of my clients and their kids is my absolute priority. However, every family is different and I can’t predict everybody’s behavior. Some kids might love getting in the water, jumping rocks, climbing. That’s perfect for me, but of course you are the only one who knows how to keep your child safe.
For my sessions we tend to go to amazingly beautiful places here in the Portland, OR area. They usually include a little hiking, some heights, water and sometimes wild animals will show up. If you think that the place I am suggesting is not safe for your family for any particular reason, even if you think it sounds irrational, please let me know. I am a mom, and I have my very own fears and phobias, so I completely understand.
I would not want you to feel concerned about your family’s safety the entire time, that would not be enjoyable to you and it would show.
3- How you want your pictures to feel like, not look like
What I am looking to achieve with my photography is that you look at them after the session and in many years to come, and they will pull your heart strings. I want them to bring back all those wonderful feelings. That will not be achieved by us creating a long list of Pinterest poses to try during your session. There are far more important things to document than photos of you all looking perfectly posed, in my opinion. Your child’s little curls and the way they hold your hand, all those little details are my most favorite memories to give to parents.
What I love to know is, what feelings you want to remember from this time in your life. Do you want to remember the pure joy your child’s smile brings to you, or how the way they look at you makes you feel? Let your photographer know.
4- What style you want to achieve with the wardrobe for your session
If you look at my Instagram, you will see a lot of people wearing long dresses and some beautifully vibrant colors. That’s mainly what my client closet consists of.
That doesn’t mean that you must wear a long, colorful dress to be photographed by me. Every time I work on styling with my clients I ask them what style they are looking for. If you want to go for jeans and t-shits, there’s definitely a way we can do that and achieve the look that attracted you to my work ( yes, we will need to add some color in there).
What is more important is that you speak up about the style you feel comfortable with and what your dream result is for your family photos. I will be there every step of the way to help you. You can borrow from my client closet, I can send you links to specific pieces to purchase and we can even go shopping together! I get super excited about helping everybody in your family feel wonderful.
5- What makes your family tick
Of course I come to my sessions with a bunch of tricks up my sleeves to help everybody relax and have a wonderful time. But I don’t come to my sessions with an expectation that those tricks will definitely work on every person. The more you tell me about your family, the best I can prepare for it.
For example, you have a teenager who is into a specific kind of music or sport, that can help me start a conversation with them about something they love, their faces and shoulders will most likely relax, and there you go, I snap those beautiful genuine pictures of them that you will cherish forever.
If you can give me some information about what your toddler is into that helps me connect and stablish trust with them a lot quicker.
The more you share, the best I can understand how to reach your family’s heart.
So, what did you think of my tips? Does this help you prepare for your family session? When you are ready to book, just contact me here