Steps to a Relaxed Photoshoot
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Friday, June 14, 2019
By C'est la Vie Phtography

We’ve all been there.  It’s been a big year with many changes.  Maybe we added a fluffy new fur baby to the family.  Maybe our oldest is going to high school (or graduating high school -God help us!!!).  Perhaps you are expecting a baby or maybe the little sweetheart just arrived.  Did you buy a new house?  Did you move to a new town?  Are the grandparents visiting from across the country?  As parents, we are very sensitive to how quickly time is passing for our family and we want desperately to document the love, connections, affection, changes, and growth.  Many families hire a professional photographer once a year to keep track of all that has changed.  And while this is a wonderful tradition, it can also be stressful.

 

The pressure we put on ourselves as parents is astounding.  And in the day and age of social media, we are even more inclined to stress out in order to pull of the PERFECT photoshoot, one that we can post images from on instagram and facebook and that rivals your neighbor’s Pinterest-worthy post from last week (not that we’re comparing!).

 

So we spend hours researching to find the perfect local photographer, plan and shop for coordinating (but not matchy-matchy) outfits, choose a time that will ensure good (please God!) moods, and convince our spouse that the investment is necessary. But you’re still feeling uneasy and, as the date of your session approaches, your anxiety increases.  So, what steps can you take to ensure a relaxed photoshoot?  

 

I’ve photographed hundreds of families and, over the years, have come up with a list of steps that I ask my clients to follow to ensure a relaxed photoshoot.  Because let’s face it,  If your family is relaxed, the pictures will be even more beautiful. At C’est la Vie Photography, each client receives this information as part of a welcome packet. We are all about making your life easier, taking the stress out of having your family photographed, and helping you actually enjoy the experience.  Here is an abbreviated list.

 

Steps to Ensure a Relaxed Family Photoshoot

  • Preparation is key!  As with most things in life, taking the time to prepare well in advance will keep you from feeling stressed instead of scrambling to find outfits or get haircuts. 
  • Eat a nutritious meal prior to the session.  Plan ahead to provide something full of nutrients and having very little sugar to keep kids (and adults) feeling balanced.  
  • Get plenty of sleep.  Early bedtimes the night before the session and a good nap for young kids the day of the shoot are both great ideas to ensure good moods.
  • Manage expectations.  Make sure your spouse knows exactly what is going to happen before, during, and after your family session.  At C’est la Vie Photography, I prefer to consult with both Mom and Dad before the session so that I know we are all on the same page. But, no matter who your photographer is, get Dad on board with the process.  Let him know how long he’ll be needed, what the session entails, and what the cost will be.  
  • Be prepared for touchups and messes.  Bring a small bag with everything needed for touchups as well as a brush, comb, hairspray, gel, etc.  At C’est la Vie, we always have these tools as well as wipes, tide stick, oil blotters, and other helpful goodies on hand to make your life easier.  But if your photographer doesn’t provide this service, make sure you come prepared.
  • Bring treats for good behavior.  At C’es la Vie, we love to surprise kiddos with little goodies like lollipops or bubbles.  But you can bring something to your session as well.  As long as it won’t stain, and is easy to eat quickly, its a go!
  • Have a drink before your session.  No, I’m not joking.  I highly recommend enjoying a glass of wine before your family session.  After all your hard work, you deserve one!  And besides, it will help take the edge off.  Whatever you do, once you arrive at the photoshoot, you are off duty!  I tell my families that once they are at my session, their only job is to have fun and enjoy each other.  I’m in charge of everything else!
  • Let the photographer direct the photoshoot.  It is very hard for some parents to sit back and let the photographer do her job.  But this may be the most important step you can take to ensure a relaxed session.  In order to get those coveted shots depicting the love and connection between you, your spouse, and the kids, sit back and ENJOY your family.  Let the professional guide you through poses and make suggestions about activities that will bring out the best in everyone involved.  That is the photographer’s job.  And while not all photographers are created equal, a good one will have the gift of directing as well as using a camera.  

 

Hopefully this list of steps to ensure a relaxed photoshoot has shed some light on what you can do to prepare for your session and get the most out of it.  While I completely understand the pressure you feel as your session approaches (I’m a mom of FOUR after all) and the temptation to totally panic, I promise that you will be so much happier if you remember why you’re doing the session in the first place.  Your family is amazing and completely one-of-a-kind.  You deserve to have images that document your true love and connection.  Life can be so hectic that even getting all of you in one place at the same time is something to be proud of.  Cherish the hour you have together and reap the benefits of taking a few simple steps to ensuring a relaxed family session. 

 

XO,

 

Shannon

 

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