No doubt about it. The second you start to think about booking your next family photo session you are overwhelmed with questions and even anxiety. The To-Do List just grew by a mile–shopping, hair appointments, making sure you get off work on time, and that nap schedule… The list goes on.
Any full service professional photographer will have some things set up to ease your stress level and help you answer most of those questions. Lean on them! But keep in mind, there are things we just won’t be able appease no matter how much support we give you.
Here are the top five things my friends and family have told me stress them out the most.
1. Your Personal Appearance
It never fails. My husband gets a zit and I have not lost the 5 pounds I swore I’d lose even before I hung up the phone to book the appointment. Here’s my two cents–the kids don’t care! We are making memories–heirlooms! How many times have you looked at your own childhood pictures of your parents holding you and thought, “Mom really should have spent more time in the gym before taking this.” It’s not about you. It’s about those kids. You will look your best because you are throwing those babies around and having tickle fights. And your kids will love you for it. And for that zit, seriously, that’s what Photoshop is for. It’s not part of who you are and it’s gone. Your photographer has already photoshopped it in her head. Now get back to smiling.
2. Coordinating The Outfits
Ahh! This one is my personal nightmare. No, you don’t want to show up matching, but we aim for coordinated. Picking a color palette is enough to make me break out in a cold sweat. But here’s the thing. You probably already have everything you need in your closet right now. But if you are looking for a starting point, Pinterest is a girl’s best friend. There are all kinds of great advice out there. Pick a color palette that complements your taste and keep it simple.
3. Kids’ Behavior (or even your Spouse’s!)
Keep your expectations of them low and let your photographer win them over. You just get them in the car and let her do the convincing. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to talk to your photographer in person or over the phone enough to know that she’s a person you want to hang out with. It has been my experience that bribes don’t work so leave those out of the equation. Seriously! Games, laughing with each other, and group hugs, and even some quiet space will melt any reluctancy any of you may have. As soon as you let go of making this your responsibility, you let in that creative space your photographer needs to make the magic happen.
4. Getting There On Time
This is critical for everyone involved, especially if you are not in a studio and the direction of the sun is part of your photographer’s equation. Leave early. Plan on getting lost. Know the kid is probably going to fall asleep and need a few minutes to cuddle before they are ready to play tag. Have the photographer’s number on hand just in case. It’s been a lifesaver on a few occasions. I personally have fibbed (ok, flat out lied!) to my family and said it was 15 minutes earlier than actually scheduled all in the name of sunlight. Frazzled families take even longer to warm up then those who are along for the ride.
5. Not Liking Your Pictures
This is the number one stressor when you don’t trust your photographer. The first thing you can do to alleviate this is to understand who you are hiring. Look at their portfolio. Are they consistent in style? Do you like what they are putting out there? Don’t hire them simply because you know them or they took your friends pictures. You must like their work. Photographers put out there what they are good at, where they feel they hit their mark. Look for someone who specializes in what you want done. After all, you don’t go to a Chinese restaurant when all you want is a hamburger. You must match. Not everyone can be a match and that is perfectly okay because there are lots of us to chose from. And when you find one, hang on to them and they will hang on to you.
You’ve got this! Ask questions if you have them and know that your afternoon will be a great one. I’m looking forward to helping you have a great session with out as much stress as I can. Book with me soon!