Get your family excited for the photoshoot
Being in front of a camera is a strange experience, and that’s coming from a photographer! You’ve specifically picked your photographer for their style and their methods of working with families. A good photographer will have discussed with you what your family like to do together as this can help inform what happens on a shoot and help incorporate more of your personalities into the photographs.
Ask your children what they would like to do and get them involved at the planning stage. They might decide they’d like to be photographed building a dam in the local river, making a den or hanging out in their garden at home having a ride in your wheelbarrow! Ask them if they want to bring props such as kites, capes or water bombs. Props have the double purpose of adding personality and movement in to a photo.
Choose your outfits that express who you are
I always suggest you avoid logos and brand motifs I find they tend to stand out and date a photograph. Think about your outfits as a whole, look for colours and tones that sit well next to each other, but don’t feel like you have to be all matching. If your younger children like to dress up or wear fancy dress, why not bring it along. It shows their personality at the time of the shoot and it might help them relax. You don’t have to have it in all the photographs but could just use it as a way of starting the session as it could really break the ice and build trust between the children and the photographer.
Depending on the length of the shoot you might find you have time to change tops / outfits. If you’re changing locations you it could be a good idea to find an outfit that works best with the backdrop. Changing outfits will give a whole new feel to the photographs and so more choice for when you come to print them.
Time the shoot so everyone is well rested and fed
Having photographed many babies and small children over the years , I have found that one of the most important things you can do beforehand is to time the shoot for when babies have had their nap and everyone has eaten well. It’s never a bad thing to plan a treat for you and the children for when the shoot is over as a little reward for being so awesome in front of the camera, so spare some time afterwards for that!
Bring props that will get your children excited
Whether it’s your child’s skipping rope, your family pet, funny glasses or even face paints for the end of the shoot, bring along as many props you think would be fun for you all to pay with together and help your children relax and be themselves. One of the elements that I think makes a successful photograph is when there’s movement. Props can help bring this in to a photograph and can be a brilliant addition to a shoot.
Be yourselves and have fun
I’ve always thought that if you don’t enjoy the photoshoot you won’t like your photographs even if they are incredible! This feeds back to the importance of the research you do at the beginning to find the right photographer for you. How you feel about the experience feeds into how you read the images. Enjoying the process of being photographed will also make you feel and looked relaxed and encourage your personality to shine through.