Professional Photo Preparation

Posted by Megan Mason on

family photos, professional photos, women's clothing boutique

family photos, professional photos, women's clothing boutique

family photos, professional photos, women's clothing boutique

family photos, professional photos, women's clothing boutique

family photos, professional photos, women's clothing boutique

Courtnee's cream sweater / Vayda's (baby) shirt / Vayda's vest / Vayda's moccasin boots (similar) / Brandon's maroon quarter-zip (similar) / Sofia's (toddler) shirt 

First of all, let’s just take a minute to admire Courtnee’s gorgeous family!  Seriously, these pictures are stunning portraits of a family that is as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside.  All photo credit for this shoot goes to the talented 23rd Avenue Photography.  You can see more of her work in some of our Meg & Marie photo shoots in this Bright Colors for Fall blog post, this Women's Athleisure blog post, and this Game Day Ready blog post.

We thought it would be a good idea to do a post on how to prepare for a professional photoshoot, specifically ones with children.  So, Court shared with me some of her tips on how to plan ahead to help result in great pictures.  Here’s what she had to say!

Tips for Family Photos

Tip #1:  Scheduling around nap time is a MUST, especially with a young child who is used to taking daily naps.  I always try to make our appointments at least an hour to an hour and a half after normal nap time, so there is time to get the girls awake and ready.

Tip #2:  A little bribing never hurt anyone ;)  Squeaky toys do wonders for helping kids to look at the camera, even for a split second.  A great photographer will be able to catch that moment.  Other helpful bribes might include suckers, new small toys, or iPad time.

Tip #3:  For the outfits I always start with the girls and pick out things that coordinate between the two of them.  Then, I go back to my outfit and try to pick a common color that works well with the girls.  Poor Brandon is always the last outfit chosen haha!  I usually try to keep him in a solid color that ties together everyone’s look.

Tip #4:  If you’re like me and have your pet in a lot of the pictures, remember to bring a hotdog as a treat!  I always give Brutty (our Saint Bernard) a little bit of a hot dog to start.  Then during the picture I tell him to stay so that he can get a little more hot dog after he has stood still for the photos.

I (Meg) think those are some pretty solid tips for taking family photos!  I obviously don’t have any experience taking family pictures, but I have done a lot of professional photos in the last year between engagement pictures, wedding pictures, and blog pictures.  Here are a few of my general tips…

General Tips for Professional Photos

Tip #1:  Always come prepared.  I’ve always been an over-packer, which is probably why my purse is constantly overflowing with extra crap.  It’s no surprise my car is always packed full for photo shoots.  Some things I always bring along include extra makeup, a comb, a curling iron/straightener (if I’ll have access to a plug in), any props I might use (blankets, chairs, etc.) and a full length mirror to see my change of outfits.  I bought a mirror at Target for $15 and I just whip it out right there in the park (or wherever the location is), it’s so handy!

Tip #2:  Try on your entire outfit(s) the night before.  This includes shoes, jewelry, and even the bra you plan on wearing for photographs so that you’re not forgetting anything the day of the shoot.

Tip #3:  Wear clothes that you feel comfortable and confident in and it will show through on camera!  If you don’t typically wear high heels, don’t wear them for a photoshoot.  If you have a dress that is 5 years old, but you love it, then wear it!

Tip #4:  Relax and have fun!  I think all photoshoots are a little awkward at first, especially if you’re not familiar with the photographer.  Try to hire someone whom you know you will feel comfortable with.  If you’re taking pictures with another person, your husband for example, then play around and have fun with him/her.  Some of the silliest moments can create the best pictures!

I hope this helps for anyone planning a photoshoot in the near future.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to Courtnee or I if you have any questions.  We’re no experts, but we’d be glad to try and help!

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