#1. Communicate Your Goal for the Session
Before your session, be sure to let your photographer know your expectations and what you would like to get out of the photo shoot. Are you looking for photos for your Christmas card? Do you want a beautiful family portrait for your living room? Perhaps your goal is to document your children at this age with individual portraits and some fun candid shots for an album. Maybe you found a fun idea on Pinterest that you’d like to try. Your answer may be one or more of these or something completely different. Whatever your goal, communicating it to your photographer will help ensure you get the photos you’ve been dreaming of!
#2. Time of Day - Schedule for the best light and happy kids
You may have heard of the “golden hour” which is the time just after sunrise and just before sunset. These times are ideal for photos because of the even light, no harsh shadows and the beautiful sunset glow. Portraits taken in harsh mid-day sun require the photographer to find open shade, which works fine but is more limiting. If possible, schedule your session for morning or late afternoon/ evening times. That said, also consider when your kids are at their happiest. Mornings are often best for young kids because they are rested and upbeat. Also try to make sure everyone has a snack before you leave for your session. Rested and well fed kids make for happy photos!
#3. Plan Your Outfits
The question I get most often before a session is, “What should we wear?” I recommend taking some time at least a couple weeks before your session to plan your outfits. Try to find outfits with a coordinating color palette instead of completely matching. You can create a coordinated look by taking one or two colors and pulling them through to each family member. Layers, textures and accessories can also add a lot of interest and depth to your photos, so don’t be afraid to add scarves, sweaters, jackets, headbands, etc.