10 Tips For A Successful Fall Family Photo Session

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It’s fall, which means it’s the perfect time to talk about how to prepare for a successful family photo session so that you have the best photos.

1. Wardrobe For Your Photo Session

Wardrobe is key to a photo session and it should be viewed as an important investment in your session. I always suggest neutral, some pops of color, textures, and to be COMFORTABLE.  I love whites, grays, pops of color, and simplicity when it comes to wardrobe selection.  Try to avoid neon colors, or solid orange, bright red, or bright teal colored clothing as it tends to leave a color cast that reflects onto your skin. You also do not want your family to be too matchy-matchy, but you will want to coordinate. Think about dressing with your location in mind and be sure that your clothing represents YOU and your family as honestly as possible. I do offer an online styling program as a helpful tool to guide you as you plan your family’s outfits. It is only available to my clients, at no additional charge.

As always, before your family photo session feel free to send me photos and ideas and I will be happy to give you wardrobe advice. Take a peek at my Pinterest board below for some ideas and be sure to follow me!

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2. Sleep

Get your beauty rest! Make it a goal the night before your family photo session to be in bed a half an hour early. This is a tip for parents just as much as it is for the kids. Telling yourself you will be in bed early will help you get to bed on time, since we all know getting to bed early is impossible when you have kids.

3. Prep the kids

Read more about getting the kids ready for your family photo session by reading  “Five Ways To Get Your Crabby Kids Ready For Your Family Photo Session”

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4. Check in to calm your nerves

I always message my clients the morning of their family photo session to let them know that I’ve check the weather and that we are good to go. We make a final plan on where to meet and I always pin my location once I arrive and send it to my clients, so that we can easily find each other.

5. Eat Before, Not After

It’s easy to skip dinner to save time, but do not do it! Empty tummies make cranky families. Consider eating an early dinner at home, then change into your outfits before heading to your family photo session. You can always promise the kids ice cream after the session and use it as a bride.

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6. Pro Hair and Makeup

This is not a requirement, but a strong suggestion for moms. Consider booking yourself an appointment for professional hair and makeup before your family photo session not only make your photos looks even more stunning, but also because you deserve it! If you pamper yourself, I promise you will feel more relaxed and confident for your session.

7. Trust Your Photographer

Relax and have fun! Easier said that done right? You’ve been waiting so long to have family photos taken and you just want them to be perfect. However, if you’re stressed out you will be able to tell in your photos. Try to let go and remember that you hired a pro and your photographer will get you those gorgeous family photos. Trust me!

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8. DON’T BE LATE

Be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to get to your family photo session on time. I cannot stress this enough! I schedule my outdoor family sessions one hour prior to sunset to be sure we have the perfect creamy light for your photos. If you are late, we will run out of light which will cut your family photo session short. Sadly, I cannot control when the sun sets! I suggest leaving plenty of time for things like, getting yourself and all the kids ready, time for ironing, travel time and finding a parking spot.

9. No “Cheese” or “Smile”

This is a big one! My job is to get the most genuine smiles out of everyone and I will do my best to get it for you! Saying “cheese” or asking the kids to smile will give the look of a fake smile. Instead, I want them to laugh and have a great time so that we can capture their true smile that you know and love so much.

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10. Don’t Stand Next to The Photographer

I strive to focus on capturing images that show connection and storytelling for my family photo sessions. This means that not all images will show everyone looking directly at the camera. However, I do always try to grab that one perfect “everyone-look-at-the-camera-and-smile” shot.

I LOVE that parents want to help get the kids to smile for those images. After all, most of the time you are the ones who make them smile everyday and know how to get a good one. However, if you stand next to the camera, those adorable kiddos will be looking next to the camera, instead of at the camera. A good way to avoid this would be to stand directly behind the photographer and play peek-a-boo. That will give us a chance to grab a photo of them looking right toward the camera.

If you’re in the photo, be sure to let me work for those smiles! Most of the time, I will get the cutest smiles out of the kids when the parents are not looking at the camera because they are looking at the kids to see if they are smiling. Just keep looking at me and we will get that perfect smiling photo for grandma.

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Kelly Laramore is a St Louis maternity,  birth, fresh 48, newborn, baby and family photographer and filmmaker serving the St Louis and surrounding areas and is available for travel worldwide

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