The 4 E's of an Excellent Family Photo Session

Updated: Jan 17

I get it. It's stressful to get in front of the camera with your family. You want everything to go right. You want your kids to behave. You want to look amazing, but maybe (if you are like me) being in front of the camera makes you feel awkward. Well, I've been photographing families for years, and I am here to tell you all my secrets. I'm here to help!


One of the major ingredients in a powerful image is connection. And here's the thing - connecting with the camera is not easy for some of us. But here's the awesome thing about family photography - your job isn't to connect with the camera. Your job is to connect with each other! Following these tips will help bring out the best in you and your family so that your images will be full of joy, tenderness, and love.


1. EMBRACE


Embrace your loved ones. The more touching, the better! Wrap your arms around your kids. Hold them close. Also, embrace the moment. If your kids are being silly, laugh with them! If they get upset or hurt, scoop them up in your arms and comfort them. Sometimes (OK, most times) family sessions can feel sort of chaotic. However, if you embrace whatever unfolds, you can trust that your photographer will capture the beauty in your relationships.


2. ENTERTAIN


Entertain your children! Play with them. Tell them you love them. Make up a story. Instead of telling them to smile, whisper a silly word in their ear to make them laugh. The authentic smiles will be well worth your efforts!



3. ENJOY


Enjoy one another! Melt into your husband's kisses. Let yourself laugh at your kid's ridiculous jokes. Delight in the feel of your baby's soft cheek when you nuzzle it. Photographs are memories, so don't forget to enjoy this time with your family.



4. EXPLORE


Notice the beauty around you, and explore the environment with your kids. If your little one finds an interesting bug or flower, kneel down and take a closer look. If there is a rock to climb, hold your little one's hand as she sees how high she can go. Connecting with the environment is a great way to tell a story in your images.


I hope this has given you some ideas about how to make the most of your family session! Ditch the threats of punishment and expectations of perfection. Embrace your loved ones, entertain your children, enjoy every minute, and explore the environment with your family. Connection and authentic emotion will make for a beautiful gallery that you will treasure forever!


Julie is an Arcata photographer capturing authentic emotion, meaningful connections, and beautiful moments for families and couples in Humboldt County, California.

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Arcata, California

707.502.4089