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Family Portrait Time? Don’t Stress With These 5 Tips!

Today’s guest post comes from Erin McDonald Associate Photographer at Images by Kay & Co. She shares her expert tips for having a great experience at your next portrait session.

I get it! I’m a mom and so its my job to prepare the family for our holiday portrait…I know how difficult it is to get the kids dressed, the dog groomed, the husband away from the TV on a Saturday and get in the car! I get clammy palms just thinking about it. Even though it can be a pain, in the end, it really is worth it to capture your family and the portraits make great gifts!

Here are some ways to make the entire family photo experience a positive one:

  1. Schedule NOW! Nothing will stress you out more than waiting till the last minute to set your plan in motion.
  2. Set the photo shoot when kids are at their happiest. Usually, at least for little ones, this means 5 to 6 p.m. is not the best time. You can’t always get the time you want, but if you have any control over this aspect at all, I highly recommend working your appointment around your kiddos’ routines.
  3. That said – lighting is important, so you may have to be flexible. Bright, high noon sunshine is not ideal, so oftentimes, we prefer to shoot outdoor photos either in the morning or just before dusk. You might have to go with the flow and let your kids’ schedule be a bit different that day, or schedule a in-studio portrait session!
  4. Coordinate, but don’t match. This is just my opinion, as I know many families like to wear the same outfit for their portraits. But in my experience as a holiday photo card designer, photos look better when everyone blends well, but not too much.

    Avoid patterns. It’s okay if one family member has a simple stripe or a basic design, but too many intricate patterns detracts from faces. If in doubt of what to wear, go with a simple, solid-colored shirt.

  5. Pets. Our four legged friends are part of the family too! Give your pup some great exercise a couple of hours before your session to burn off some extra energy. Let the studio know you are bringing Fido, and arrive early so your pet can sniff around and settle down.

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Amanda works in Photodex's marketing department and heads up the company's pr and events efforts. She loves photography, living in Austin and making slideshows.