As a family photographer based in the vibrant city of Boston, I’ve had the pleasure of capturing countless precious moments for families. Over the years, I’ve learned that a successful photoshoot is not only about the right angles and lighting but also involves some thoughtful preparation on the part of the clients.
If you follow my photography, you know I love movement. From my newborn sessions with toddlers, to my senior sessions, movement is at the heart of what I do. That is why fabric choice which allows for my clients feel comfortable & add natural movement is so essential to any session. When selecting outfits, it’s best to avoid skin-tight fabrics. Loose-fitting garments photograph well and add a natural flow to my images.
While it’s tempting to instruct your kids to say “cheese,” let’s break free from the traditional and staged smiles. Saying cheese often creates forced grimaces which don’t show their personalities. Encourage genuine expressions and laughter by engaging in fun activities together. Candid moments capture the true essence of your family, creating timeless photographs.
Spray tans and self-tanners can enhance your glow, but timing is crucial. Schedule any tanning treatments at least 4-5 days before the session to ensure a natural and settled look. A last-minute tan may result in an orange tint, creating a stark contrast with the rest of the family.
Certain clothing items can distract from the main focus – your beautiful family. Avoid puffy vests, and make sure collars on children being held are not overly exaggerated. This is especially true with younger children who are being held. This forces the collar to stand straight up and cuts off their adorable faces!
My best advice is to feed your kids before you leave your house. Bring the shirt you are hoping to have your child wear in the session in the car, putting it on when you arrive at the location.
Some kids will need a snack at the session and that is OK too! Pack snacks wisely to keep energy levels up during the session. Avoid snacks that can get stuck in teeth or melt in the mouth. Definitely avoid M&Ms — it may seem like the simplest thing, but trust me those little buggers melt everywhere! Think marshmallows, cut grapes or smarties. Something small and clean that won’t take long to eat. Something you can pop in during a quick walk from one location to the other.
Trying on clothes a week before the session ensures a stress-free experience. This gives you time to make any necessary adjustments and ensures that everyone is comfortable and confident in their chosen attire. I know I have said this before, but so many people forget the shoes! Especially or the boys.
Ladies, the right undergarments can make all the difference. If you’re thinking, “Sara can just edit that out later;” it’s probably not the right choice. Choose undergarments that complement your outfit and provide a seamless look.
Don’t forget the little essentials. Wipes can be a lifesaver for removing last-minute smudges on clothing, messy faces, dried crust, or boogers. A quick wipe-down can keep everyone looking fresh and camera-ready.
If someone in the family wears transition lenses, consider alternatives for the photoshoot. The lenses may not adapt quickly enough to changing lighting conditions, leading to inconsistencies in the images. I often ask people to remove them from pictures as it truly can’t be edited out without looking fake.
If your child has a favorite toy or lovey and your bring it with you, please expect it to be part of the session. Honestly, I love when they are a part of our session. Rather than causing distress by taking it away, embrace these cherished items in the photos. For instance, Owen’s love for Mickey Mouse during his first birthday session, became my favorite part of the images we captured. Now taht he is 14, I have those moments to look back on and remember what it was like to see him sucking on that poor Mickey’s ears.
If anyone in your family is feeling under the weather, please let me know in advance. This helps me manage my schedule and ensures a healthy and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. I don’t charge a reschedule fee for sick children so please don’t hesitate.
In an in-home session, I love to see those toes. Socks stick out in photos and make for an awkward picture. I always recommend no shoes and no socks. If you feel completely uncomfortable with your feet, of course, wear shoes. If that is the case, I suggest a simple shoe (think a white sneaker or slide on shoe) or even a slippper.
I get it, our lives are full of birthday parties, sporting events and commitments. Photography sessions are ofetn at the end of very busy days and kids can be EXHAUSTED! Especially in the summer! If I have learned nothing else, it is that exhausted kids make for tough photographs. Try giving them the day off, or at least the afternoon. Here are a few tips for keeping kids happy before a photography session!
If you have seen any of my work, you know we will be moving, running and spinning. So be sure to put something under your little ladies dresses. I suggest boy shorts or something longer, preferably in a similar color to the dress, under the dress so we can have some fun twirling!
I hope that by reading these, you feel a little more prepared for your next Boston family photograph session. Maybe you just had one ah ha moment. Maybe more! By following these tips (and these), you’ll be well-prepared for a memorable family photoshoot in Boston. Remember, the goal is to capture genuine moments and create lasting memories, so relax, have fun, and let the magic happen.
Are you ready to book? Spring 2024 is getting busy already so get on my calendar today!