Family Mini Session: How to Prepare
Hello! I hope this post finds you well. This is about how to prepare for a family mini session. I capture families all the time and these are some tips I have for you.
Think about what you want to wear to your family mini session. I always recommend staying with a neutral color palate. Whites, beige, gray, navy, black. And if there is color, select it from the same color family. If it is a holiday shoot, sometimes families go with holiday colors. Check with your photographer (hopefully me!) what color blankets and/or props will be at the shoot so you can select clothing accordingly.
• Make sure all your outfits are picked out, ironed if needed & clean. Depending on your tactics to make sure the kids like the outfits, maybe show them to get excited. Or give them options to select that match the theme.
• Get a good night sleep. Yes! This is very important. Now I understand you can not control everything about a good night sleep, but I do recommend trying your best. Maybe having a super active day the day before with your family and finishing with a bath/shower and get them all clean the night before and finish with a great movie night. Whatever technics you have on how to get your littles to sleep early I highly recommend.
• Mom’s & Dad’s: drink LOTS of water, this helps your skin and eyes look so much better. Also, I know our lives are so busy take a second to put on moisturizer on at night & day leading up to your shoot, especially eye cream. I do recommend to refrain from adult beverages & salty foods (maybe plan a date night after the shoot and enjoy them, because hey! You will be looking beautiful!).
• Check the weather! If it looks like it is going to rain, your photographer should have a rain plan. But change your clothing accordingly if it is warmer or colder than expected.
Mom’s: I know you are always great about putting your family first, but on a photo shoot day it is a day I do not recommend putting your hair and makeup as last priority. It’s not that you don’t look beautiful, I just know that when moms do that they don’t feel right in the photos and it shows. If you don’t feel fresh and great at the shoot, your expressions are what show in the shoot. You know that feeling after you get a great haircut and you are beaming? You want to feel natural and beautiful. Maybe wake up before your littles and start the process early. Just get it done.
Feed your children to the brim! Feed them as much as possible. As you know, Children often get hungry. And even if they are a little hungry they can get grouchy. And if you have a newborn, it is definitely best to feed them way more than you would normally. This helps them sleep at the shoot. Now I know sometimes you can’t help if they are awake, but I do recommend a sleeping baby in photos.
Bring snacks and water to the shoot for after, and sometimes as an emergency during the shoot. Possibly a treat. Now I know as a photographer I always wish I could bring tons of treats but with allergies and families all being different on the types of food they allow, I do not feel comfortable bringing them. Therefore, when picking snacks, pick non-messy, no food coloring snacks.
I do NOT recommend:
• lolly pops, or any candy except smarties (yes the old school candy!) that is the only candy that doesn’t change a child’s tongue color
• juice because if it spills, game over
• cheerios, they are the worst! Crumbs end up on their lips & clothing
I DO recommend:
• smarties candy
• non-chocolate granola bar’s
• Fruit/Veggie pouches
At the shoot:
• Show up 10-15 minutes before the shoot to make sure you get there on time. Most likely you will have to walk some distance from the car to the location. And if you are late you loose that time in a mini session depending on your photographer and rules.
• Check in with your photographer, or wait till your turn
• Get arranged on the blanket, and just start smiling and laughing. I know that sounds Cheesy, but seriously the best photos are when people are all smiling in different directions. I rarely get a photo of everyone looking at the camera, but parents, you can control if you smile. The kids will be all over the place on smiling, but you keep smiling.
• Listen to the photographer. Myself, I like to casually talk and shoot only a little. I like to be mostly quiet and listen to the children and you all.
• Have fun! The most important thing. It is a really short time, and it goes by so fast. Photos are made to capture memories of sizes, smiles, personalities. Be yourself and I promise your photos will turn out beautifully.
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