So you blinked and it happened – Fall is here, and before you know it, you’re in full panic mode because Christmas has come and gone and you missed your chance at an awesome Fall Mini Photo Session where everyone (including you!) looks great, like they’re having fun and actually enjoying themselves. Instead, you sent everyone the same ol’ Christmas card, with the awkward light and way too close selfie of your entire family. You know the one. Dog is in the background, baby is crying and your toddler’s face barely fits in the frame while you and hubby are looking at the camera in a mid-frenzied fake smile. Yup, that’s the one.
If we’re being honest, and we are – I get it, life is busy! However I find Fall to be the perfect time for reflection, family and slowing down. So Fall Mini Sessions should fit right in during this time. I know that most people view photoshoots as such a stressful thing, especially Mini Sessions because they involve children, husbands and babies! The struggle to get everyone smiling and posed and all matching outfits is so real, right? I get it. But I have compiled a short list of tips to help you and ensure you get your best Fall Mini Session photos yet! Let’s begin, shall we?
- CLOTHING // When it comes to clothing and wardrobe, keep it simple. Don’t overthink it and don’t go crazy looking for the perfect outfit. You’d be surprised how easy the process really is if you just keep it neutral with minimal pops of color. Think about coordinating and complimenting outfits, instead of matching each other. Avoid loud prints, patterns and logos. If you have a vision or theme in mind, work with your photographer and listen to their suggestions; they know what looks good on camera and what doesn’t. Colors and patterns also photograph differently on digital and film, so be aware of this and communicate with your photographer beforehand so you’re both prepared and come out with an awesome session. Think about the location, if its urban and edgy, maybe add a chic element to it; and if the location is rustic or woodsy, then pair it up with a cute pair of boots! Again, communication is key; this is why I send out preparation emails a couple weeks prior to make sure the style and feel of the session is clear and we all have the same vision. If you need help or ideas, I have compiled various Pinterest boards to help you with the wardrobe planning process, so you’re in luck – choose from Family, Couples, Maternity and Newborn.
- PROPS // This is always a sensitive area. How far is too far and what props can tend to look too cheesy, right? So again, communicate with your photographer. He or she may have props that would work for your particular session. One thing I always recommend is to be context appropriate. If we’re shooting outdoors, bring a blanket that will compliment your colors and theme. Or if there’s a special heirloom in your family or the card he gave you on your first date, bring those things – they help tell a story!
- HAIR & MAKEUP // I recommend this more for my engaged couples but still it’s something I emphasize for all my photoshoot sessions, whether minis or not. You are paying to get your photographs taken, why not invest in your hair and makeup since you’ll most likely want to print your photos! I usually print my Christmas cards and go back to order prints and albums. I have added my baby on a thank you card for future birthday party thank you, because why not.
- KIDDOS // Mamas, let your kids be kids please. Some of my best photographic captures have been where the baby or kid is allowed to be themselves; running around, goofing off. If you want to help the Mini Session, then make sure all kiddos are fed and napped properly prior to the session. Bring along snacks and toys and trinkets, think bubbles, stickers and little prizes you could give them for their cooperation. Make sure the snacks are dry and non-messy, so their outfits and faces remain clean during the session. I know Mini Sessions are usually 15-20 minutes and they seem fast but, in a child’s mind, 20 minutes can feel like an eternity! Don’t stress and scold the kids, this actually worsens the situations. Prepare them beforehand by communicating the day to them, make it a fun, family experience and inform them that a friend will be taking photos of them as they play and explore.
- FUN // Last but certainly not least, come ready to be yourselves and have fun! After all, this session is about you and your loved ones. Family sessions are a time to pause and have fun and enjoy each other. I usually take the kiddos aside for a bit to have them explore and run around, and at the same time I want to be sure to capture you, mom and da, having fun, exploring and being candidly present with one another. Those make the best memories. Those are the ones you”ll look back on years from now. Those are the ones that make it in the family album! Remember the more relaxed you are, the funner and more photogenic you appear on camera.
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