How to get Amazing Family Portraits

“My family would never look like that.”

You see all the beautiful family photos on your facebook and insta feed, and think “Oh gosh, my family could never behave long enough to get photos like this.”   Well I am here to tell you that it’s totally possible! And I have 4 tips to help you get amazing portraits at your next session and help things be a little less stressful! 

Tip 1. Wardrobe

Now, of course, you don’t need to buy crazy fancy items for your family, but as a photographer, I can 100% say that what you wear makes a difference!!!!  I personally help all of my couples with wardrobe inspiration and finding outfits that work perfectly together.  The last thing you want is for your photos to be distracting by a bright neon shirt, that turns your skin wonky colors.  I always love when families wear earthy muted colors, or stick with lighter neutrals, like whites, creams, blues, tans, browns, deeper oranges.   Some shades depend on the season but this is a really great place to start!

Tip 2. Prepare your kiddos!

Be excited about photos! Show them where you plan to display your photos! Maybe a big canvas in the living room, or above the fireplace. Help them get excited to see themselves displayed in their home! 

Sometimes when you are stressing about the session your kids can feel it, and it only will make them reluctant.  Plan something special after the session to continue your family fun time, or if your session is going to be later in the evening plan a special treat or dinner that they love.  Only you know your kids and what maybe works, I am just here to say that bribery is not cheating haha. 

Tip 3. Session day game plan.

Similar to tip #2, you will want to make sure your family is ready for photos on the day of the session.  With littles, make sure they have had a nap, and are not hungry.  Even bringing a secret stash of snacks or an extra bottle for a potential car ride meltdown is a good idea!

Tip 4. Don’t expect your idea of perfection.

I know photos you see look like everyone’s family is a dream, and no one cares, and everyone does everything exactly as planned. I’m here to say thats not the case, and not to worry! Everyone has a kid who does not cooperate, or there is a fight or squabble. You are totally normal, please dont feel embarrassed,and no your session is not ruined, I promise. 

As an Iowa family photographer I try to keep your family moving! Interaction is what gets us those fun family moment photos while also giving your kiddos something to think about and stay engaged in.   We might play a game of telephone, or have you all bump hips! We will keep things moving and I promise you will get a lot of great smiles and moments from your session, and we will sneak a few smile at me shots as well because I believe its important to get those traditional shots too! 

I hope these tips help you as you plan your session, and help you realize that its totally normal to feel stressed, but by planning ahead you can help minimize that and enjoy your family portrait session!

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I'm Kirstie! Living in Des Moines Iowa with my hubby Todd, our son James and two dachshunds! I'm a Coffee addict and Reality TV junkie.  Working with women owned business owners is my passion and I can't wait to make some magic with you! 

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