Photo Tips from Lizzie – Family Photos!!

Our monthly photo tip feature from Lizzie of Dancing Toad Photography – enjoy!


It’s that time year… 
Time for family pictures!
Over the years I have noticed that people favor this season for their family sessions, not only because of the beautiful fall leaves, but because they need to get them done in time for holiday cards!
Is it really almost holiday season?
I can’t believe it.
Well, because of this, I am going to talk a little bit about family pictures and what you should do to improve your family picture experience.

1. Pick locations and props appropriate for YOUR family.
Your photographer will come to your session with a tentative plan and lot of ideas for backgrounds and poses but your photographer doesn’t know your family like you do.  Before heading off to get your pictures taken, do some research with your family in mind. Think about props and poses that you love AND that would work well for your family (especially with little ones, etc).  If you need to, do some research online, scout locations, find what works best for your family.  Some of the best family pictures I’ve taken were at locations that were chosen by the family because that specific spot best reflected who they were and it was where they were most comfortable.  Finding your perfect location will help you get that great family picture that you want to put on your holiday cards or on your wall at home. Also, don’t forget to make sure you discuss the location and props with your photographer ahead of time so they can plan for it and can make sure the lighting will work for the session.
2.  Plan, Plan, Plan.
Make sure your children are fed prior to your session.  If they need naps before, plan accordingly.  Don’t put your children in clothing that makes them uncomfortable, this can lead to ornery faces and grumpy children.  Also, lay out clothing and have as much as you can ready the day before, this makes the day of the session a little less stressful.
3.  Bring Backup
If you have a baby that spits up often, don’t forget the back-up outfit.  If you have little ones who could get fussy, bring items that can easily cheer them up in a hurry (binky, toys, smarties, bottle, etc).  It is also a good idea to bring a friend or extended family member who can lend a hand when needed and stand behind the camera to help make the children (and you) smile, it helps to have a familiar face, especially with kids.
4.  Have Fun!
Don’t forget that while you’re getting your pictures taken you are also making a memory.  Try to relax and have fun with your family in the process.  Not only will doing this help you have more candid photos and natural smiles, but you and your kids won’t have to think about an awful, miserable experience every time they see their family picture on the wall.  Make this experience a fun family memory that you would like to think of every time you see your family picture for years to come.
Do you have any tips for family photos?  I’d love to hear them!  
Be sure to visit me at The Dancing Toad Blog!
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  1. says

    I love these tips! I can’t agree enough about having your kids fed and rested prior to family pictures! I also hate when parents yell at their kids to behave and then tell them to smile. It is so importnat to have fun while taking family pictures! Great tips!

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