How to Win at Family Photos: Part 1 Prepare Yourself and Your Toddler
Sep 22, 2017 | By: Annie Vovan
How to Win at Family Photos: Part 1...How to Keep Everyone From Crying
Ok, I know that title was dramatic, but truly, toddlers can break into a cry at any moment in time which makes you wanna cry! But if you are prepared and armed, you have a better chance for success! This goes for even when you want to photograph a special time of year (or hell, a super cute outfit, I feel you..) and need your toddler's cooperation. I became a FAR better photographer after having 2 kids, and handling toddlers is an art. The camera is their enemy, staying still is the LAST thing they want, and there you are mama....craving a nice photo of your family. All you want is a photo where they are looking with their head up (covered in Part 3)! Too much to ask? I think not. Lemme break it down.
1) PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE - so that you aren't stressed when you have photos taken, always prepare your outfits in ADVANCE! Plan your clothes from head to toe. That way, the day of your session, that's just ONE less thing to worry about. Because I've been there, everything can go wrong when you gather your kids together and the last thing you want is to go hunting for little Bily's loafer or your own blouse you were planning on wearing. And do not order off websites and get the clothes and open the package the day before. Leave time to make sure clothes fit and you have wiggle room to make changes. Leave time for YOU to run a brush through your hair!! And should you not get the photos you want during your personal shoot, choose another time when everyone is less stressed. Toddlers sense stress like it is their job! The more relaxed you a re the more genuine joy will come. DEEP BREATHS!
2) SNACKS ARE LIFE - You cannot, I repeat, CANNOT come to a photoshoot sans snack or have anyone remotely HUNGRY. Snacks are key when things get hairy. Snacks are familiar. Snacks makes things better. Keep them small and discrete. Snacks are life. Avoid the hungry!
3) KEEP THEM CLOSE -As you see below, the photos are intentionally taken when the kiddo is either hanging on their parents or carried. The one photo of this little cute boy below standing still happened because why? He is holding a small discrete snack!! See tip #2.
Big love to Sharon and Chad! They killed these 3 tips! She sent me her clothing choices in advance, she packed discrete snacks for the shoot, and her and Chad were amazing and keeping it light and playing with James. We first met by chance when her family threw her a beautiful indigo blue baby shower, and I was hired by Beijos Events to photograph it. We met that day and have been sharing our motherhood journey since then.
Much love to this incredible family!!
Part 2: How to dress your family for photos that isn't too matchy matchy
Part 3: Poses and games to play to evoke real smiles
Because the scene of hungry parents rushing out the door, and mom doing makeup in the car is a scene I know to well. And tags being cut off before you set foot at the shoot is also a failure I want you to avoid! Good luck! More info coming!!
Below is a photo of everyone's clothes that Sharon laid out in advance. Because I ask for this in advance from clients, she emailed me this so 1)she feels prepared 2)I can weigh in if there are any competing patterns or if the blend would not photograph well. This truly helps everyone prepare for that special day and decrease the stress!
And for a trip down memory lane, here they are 2 years ago!