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|Oakland, CA Family Photography Session| tips and tricks for a family photo session

Let’s be honest family photo sessions can be really stressful. It’s hard to get everyone organized in the same color palette, keep your kids clean for longer than 5 minutes, organize a day that works on your calendar, and either clean your house or get out on time.

A few weeks ago I took my own kids out for an impromptu family session and made a HUGE discovery from the other side of the lens. Family photos don’t have to be stressful! They can be fun, loving, and hilariously cute. BUT I had to let a few of my Type-A, control freak issues go (not the easiest!) and I’m here to help you by sharing my 4 tips for making your photo session prep as calm as can be!

1. Schedule at a time that works for your family.

I took my kids out when they were happy, had just eaten, and had woken up from a nap. We weren’t doing anything else for the day and I wasn’t worried about getting to or from anything. I was relaxed and present which made everyone relaxed and present as well.

Schedule your session after nap time and enough time to get food into everyone. There’s nothing worse than cramming food into your toddler as you’re driving down the freeway. Pick a chill day and pick a time where everyone is usually in a good mood (including yourself!) Don’t be the crazy parent who is gritting their teeth through the session.

2. Choose the clothes that represent your individual selves

When I announced that we were going to do a photoshoot my kids literally rolled their eyes at me and asked me what they wanted me to put on. They’ve been here before and knew the crazy show that was about to show up. Instead of going through their closet in a panic and shopping at the very last second, I just gave some suggestions and I let them choose. They wound up wearing clothes that went well together and that they felt comfortable in.

In every photo session I offer my clients wardrobe support through color palette and clothing suggestions based on the wardrobe they already have. This is an easy way to ease the burden of coordinating on a busy schedule and makes a huge difference!

3. Don’t be that parent

I remember being the parent who was so stressed that it got in the way of enjoying my time. I paid good money for a shoot and it was more stress than fun. So don’t be like the old me. Go with the flow and trust your photographer’s vision. Show up happy and ready to have fun (even if that means you have to meditate in the car for a few minutes before getting out)!

4. Let go and let love

Watching my sons chase their baby brother around, hold him, and laugh with each other was fantastic. Take a step back and be in the moment with your family. Laugh, tell jokes, play your favorite game. When you let go then you’re doing everyone a favor and you will be surprised what you get!

Your photos are priceless for who and what they capture and the only control you have is to enjoy the time. Family Sessions, Newborn Sessions, and all the other sessions in-between are priceless memories. Make sure you’re in them and make sure they’re authentic!

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