Many clients come to me expecting their family photo session to be a stressful event. They really really want the photos, but with young kids, they assume the process of getting the photos will be a challenge. We all want stress-free family photos, right? I admit that there is a lot of work involved—getting everybody dressed and ready to go can be a chore all in itself—but I want to change your mind about what a family photo session can be.
Because the primary aim of my photography is to capture moments of authentic connection, real emotion, and genuine love, I do things a bit differently. Sure we do a few posed shots here and there, but the majority of our session time is just you interacting in fun and loving ways with your family. These are the kinds of memories that you hired me to capture, so these are the kinds of memories we’ll make!
Rather than thinking about your family photo session as a stress-inducing chore to get through, I want you to try conceptualizing your session as intentional quality time with your family.
How do you like to have fun with your family?
Do a quick though exercise with me.
What are some of your family’s favorite activities to do together? Maybe it’s going for bike rides, playing board games, jumping on the trampoline, or getting ice cream. What is your family doing when you’re having the most fun together? What does it feel like?
One of our family’s favorite things to do together is to visit the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. We actually went last week, and we were recently featured in a Redfin article, 9 Fun Things to Do in Indianapolis, IN To Help You Get to Know Circle City, in which we share a little about our experience. We love going there mainly because there is something for all of us. Our 3 kids adore this place, and there are so many opportunities for us to interact with them and learn together. When we’re together doing things like this, there are moments—usually when our kids are laughing and having the time of their lives—that we feel as if nothing else in the world matters but being together.
Reframe your family photo session as a fun family activity
Whatever it is that YOU like to do with YOUR family, I want you to reframe (photography pun intended!) your family photo session as one of these fun, family activities. Sure, there is work involved— like there is in trying to keep up with 3 kids across 5 floors of museum exhibits all day—but it’s also really fun!
In addition to changing YOUR mindset, also be intentional about how you talk about your upcoming family session with your kids. Tell how much fun you’re going to have together (as opposed to warning them to be on their best behavior), because if you play your cards right, you’re actually going to have a really good time. Before and on the way to your session, tell them you’re getting all dressed up to go play together in a grassy field where they can pick flowers, look for animals, and watch the sunset! Doesn’t that sound really fun to you?
Your (stress-free) attitude makes all the difference
Can I be brutally honest for a second? Your attitude (as the parent) makes ALL the difference. The surest way to derail a family photo session is for a stressy parent to constantly scold their kids. Of course, we need everyone to participate and follow directions at times, but remember, we’re having fun!
During the session, I do most of hard work. I will be constantly directing you in ways that create authentic interactions (with big smiles!) between you and your kids. Watch out! This may involve ridiculous jokes, surprise tickles, silly noises, and the occasional potty humor! If you want stress-free family photos, then come ready to have fun!
A fun session makes great photos
My goal is that every single client walks away from their session saying, “Wow, that was actually really fun!” It blesses my heart so much for a parent to text me after their session to tell me that in the car on the way home their kid wanted to know when they could take photos with me again. I make so many new toddler friends during family sessions!
And here’s a not-so-secret secret. The more fun you have at your family session, the better your family photos will be and the more you will enjoy them! If you come to your session expecting it to be stressful, guess what! It’s probably going to be stressful. But if you come expecting to have fun, you’re going to have loads of fun AND get those stress-free family photos!
Check out the photos below from the Witt family’s photo session. Can you tell how much fun this family had together during this session?!?!