Updated: Apr 1, 2022
Okay, so you (hopefully) read the last post about how to help your kiddo be successful at family photos even when they're not in the best mood. But did you know there are things YOU as the parent can do to also make sure your photos go as smoothly as possible? I'm sure you did know that, but I'm going to lay it all out in the bluntest of terms so that you can always have a good family photo day.
DO. NOT. STRESS. I know this sounds obvious and/or easy if everyone is in a good mood. But the thing is that your family feeds off of you as a parent. And if you go into a photo session with the idea that everyone is going to look perfect, be perfect, act perfect for the entirety of the session, that's probably going to be stressful for them, and they'll put pressure on themselves to act a certain way instead of just being themselves. If instead you let your family know that they're allowed to be themselves and allowed to interact naturally, everyone will be happier and more comfortable.
LET THE PHOTOGRAPHER DO THEIR JOB. We know you're trying to help with directing their attention towards the camera. But it's part of the photographer's job to get the attention of everyone in the photo. So when you're dealing with a participant who isn't super thrilled to look at the camera and smile, stay focused on YOU, the ADULTS, being the ones who are looking at the camera and smiling while the photographer works to get the attention of the little ones.
LET SOME THINGS GO. I know that you put so much thought into all of the outfits that everyone wears at family photos. And you do a great job making sure everyone looks their best and coordinates! But when your little one needs their favorite stuffed animal in the photos? Or your 3 year old insists on wearing a headband that doesn't match? Or your 5 year old throws a fit about not wearing his Paw Patrol watch? Let. That. Go. Not only will your photos still look amazing and cohesive, but you will also be able to look back years later and have the memory of how much your kiddo loved that item, and that is worth way more than having the perfectly curated photo.
BE PRESENT. Some of the best photos happen in the 'in-between' moments, when you aren't posing or looking at the camera or all smiling or even all cooperating. Enjoy your family during your session. If you do, everyone will be more relaxed and happy. If your kiddo needs a break to run off some energy, let them! You'll have photos you'll treasure forever. If your little one loves cuddles or tickles, do that! And then you'll have photos of something your kiddo loves. Allow your family to be themselves, and ENJOY them being themselves, and you will love the photos you end up with.