You have the photographer and the outfits, now what can you do beforehand to prep the family for your shoot?
When choosing a time for your session, if you have small children, make sure you work around their nap and feeding schedules. Let the kids know about the shoot in advance. Make it a special outing, maybe with a special treat of ice cream or a trip to pick out a toy afterward.
Bribery is OK. Bring a treat for your kids in the car for right after the shoot! Some photographers will bring treats for the kids to choose from afterward, but not all of them will.
When it comes to directing, leave that up to me! Mom and Dad, your job is to look at the lens and be ready to smile. We as parents want our kiddos to listen, but when mom isn’t looking at the camera because she is busy adjusting her kids clothing or giving them directions, it makes it harder to capture that perfect image! Leave the directing to me, and let me connect with your kids. They often listen better to another adult more than a parent when directions are given.
Try not to focus on the final product, try to enjoy the experience, it will show in your photos.
I know photo shoots are stressful, and sometimes weird, or awkward. But, try to embrace that life isn’t perfect and don’t try to get the perfect photo! Let go of expectations. The perfect family photo may not necessarily be the one you envision! Relax and have fun!