• Victoria McDonald

Preparing the Family for Photos

You have booked your yearly family photoshoot, what is next? Here are some tips to help you put you and your family together in a stress free way.

It all starts with the Pep-Talk. This is for EVERYONE including Mom. Your pep-talk should get everyone comfortable with the idea of being in front of the camera. Be excited and upbeat with your announcement if you AND DAD are happy with it most of your job is already done. Kids pick up on what Mom and Dad feel about things, both verbally and in body language, so don't complain in front of them. Happier kids make for a smooth shoot. Bribery works well, too, and is often used.

On to picking out what to wear, I'll post more on this later but a few quick things to keep in mind.

- Consider where your photos will be taken, don't pick colors that will make you blend into the background (ie. if your in a forest around don't wear green)

- Consider where the photos will end up. If your planned for a large canvas on your wall pick colors that work well with your decor.

- Don't pick Neon colors, shirts with wild patterns, or character shirts - these can be distracting in photos and cause problems in editing.

- You don't have to look like clones. You want to coordinate, not match. Pick a few colors that work well together (ie. White - Navy - Mustard yellow) and pick around them for each person. If your all wearing the same color your run the chance of blending into one another.

- Dress comfortably and not super trendy. Stuffy outfits on kids don't make for smiles and super trendy can be easily regretted.

- Make sure everyone tries their outfit - especially if it is new - a few days before so there are no surprises.

Plan Ahead. A well laid out plan is always better, no need to stress out the day of.

- Haircuts (if this is intended) should be at least a week before for the most natural look.

- Watch the weather and make sure attire and hair all work with it.

- Tanning - if you don't normally tan - Please don't start now. It will not look right.

- Consider Naps, bathroom breaks, Snacks, Drinks (nothing thats messy or will dye skin) - Chances are we will plan what is needed for your shoot, but if your kid has a stuffed animal or action figure that he/she runs around with ALL the time - BRING IT!! It is an extension of them and should be there but also will curb tantrums. - Leave the 'Cheese" at home - the word "cheese" does not make great smiles. if they need a word to trigger the smile lets find something else that works and looks more natural. For example - for my nice I use 'Cody' - she has a crush on a Cody so she blushes a little bit and gives me the cutest smile that looks real.

- Is there an activity that we all like to do? BRING IT!

- Have a toddler? Bring extra clothes, and make sure that the diaper is covered or tucked in.

Keeping Happy the Day Of. This should be easy of you stay calm, remember - you planned ahead. - RELAX! As Moms we have this perfect photo in mind and tend to dwell on it. DON'T!!! It will only drive you crazy when things don't go as planned. (let me go crazy for you) Sometimes when you let things play out, those imperfect moments make perfect photos. It's real and it's life.

- Make sure everyone is well fed and rested, this should make things go smoothly. - Bring those Snacks!!! (especially if toddlers are involved)

- Make sure bra straps, diapers, undershirts etc, are all in their respective places.

- Grab a brush/comb, extra hair ties, and what not

- Don't over do the hair or makeup, you want people to recognize you and you wont have to maintain it as much.

If you have questions. At any point. Ask them. I want you to be prepared as much as you do.

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