The most important step, and probably most difficult, is selecting a photographer. There are so many talented artists out there, which makes it tough to narrow it down to one. Here are a few things to think about:
- Determine if you want studio portraits or on-location outdoors somewhere. Many photographers specialize in one or the other.
- Look for someone with an artistic eye who is willing to listen to your ideas and knows how to elaborate upon them.
- If children or babies are involved, focus more on the photographer’s personality – someone who relates well to children.
- Price is huge! You do not have to choose an uber expensive photographer in order to receive great photos.
Gone are the days of white shirts or black shirts paired with blue jeans. That ship has sailed! Leave it be. Instead, with a little planning, dress your family in neutrals and/or pastels. Just try to avoid uniforms.
Discuss with your photographer beforehand, the location you prefer and props necessary, if any. Sometimes, photographers and their clients fail to take the reins on either of the aforementioned aspects, and then everyone shows up clueless to the expectations of the other. Below is a list of things either the photographer or client might bring with them to a shoot:
- Quilt / blanket
- Scrabble tiles
- Chalkboard / sign
- Empty frame
- Pet dog
- Chair / chaise
Tongue and cheek, I might kindly mention that you bribe your kids. I know with my own kids, a photo session is not their idea of a good time. And it’s not entirely up to your photographer to help them pose, smile or behave (though a fun photographer will entice them to do just that). Nevertheless, a little bribery never hurt anyone. And who doesn’t like ice cream anyway?
To gain interest from your children, involve them in the planning process – show them pictures on Pinterest, have them collect and gather props, and let them help choose their attire. Offer them breaks throughout the shoot if necessary, and occasionally remind them of ice cream. J
Final suggestion…be yourselves and have fun!