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5 Steps To A Joyful Family Photo Session

Tips for leaving the stress behind and making merry moments together

With the holiday season around the corner, many of us have plans to update our family photos. It’s easy for what should be a fun hour as a family to turn into major stress this time of year, but it doesn’t have to be that way! I have 15 years of photo experience under my belt, and I’m here to help take the stress out of the process (and maybe slow your heart rate too).

1. Choose a photographer who fits your needs

It’s important to work with someone you can trust to take some of the decision making off your plate. It will take away a lot of your stress just to know that you have someone in your corner making some of the key decisions for you, like the session location. It’s also important to make sure you love their style as an artist.

2. Book a time when everyone will feel rested

For outdoor photos you’ll be somewhat bound to the best morning or evening light, but if you have little ones make sure to choose a time that gives them the best opportunity of being well rested. Trying to get a smile out of a grumpy toddler isn’t fun for anyone!

3. Choose a “hero piece” to guide your wardrobe

Choosing clothing for everyone involved in your session can be overwhelming. You want to coordinate but not be matchy-matchy, and there are endless options. One way to simplify the process is to choose a piece of clothing that all the other outfits can revolve around. For example, if you have a dress you love for your daughter, let that piece guide the rest of your wardrobe decisions. Your photographer can help with this too!

4. Set a peaceful tone the day of the session

It’s easy for the process of getting everyone dressed and to the session location to begin building tension in your family that could show up in your photos. Try to build in enough time that you don’t feel rushed, and if you’re a couple minutes late or your son spills juice on his pants, take a deep breath. The photos will still be beautiful!

5. Go with the flow of your family

Once the session begins, try to let things happen organically and naturally. The joy can quickly get sapped out of your time together if you’re feeling the need to scold your family into cooperating. Let your photographer guide the process and trust that even if your kids are making wild faces, you’re going to have these sweet moments to treasure forever.

Let your photographer guide the process and trust that even if your kids are making wild faces, you’re going to have these sweet moments to treasure forever.

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Hannah Middleton

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Hannah Middleton

Fort Worth, TX

Brand photographer Social media content creator Serving DFW creatives and business owners

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