How do we prepare for a family session is something I am often asked by clients. Usually it’s along the lines of planning a golden hour session and simply the basics of family session. What parents really need to know: YOU are the magic glue that hold your session together! Yes… you. Here are the basics to successfully prepare for a family session; read up and then reach out so we can get your family session scheduled!
To prepare for a family session, parents you need to show up ready for cheerful cooperation and with a willingness to participate!
I get how, to some, this may seem super obvious yet to others it feels like a huge ask because, well… kids. I get it. Trust me! If I’ve learned anything in 17 years of parenting, it’s that OUR mood, tone, and attitude truly set the tome for our family. Family Sessions are the perfect time to take your “expectations bar” and put it on the ground and walk away. Even if you are a return family… I am not new to them, they may be a bit more showy with personality this go around and that is perfect.
Be willing to participate in ALL the seemingly crazy, and sometimes questionable, activates I ask you to do. Know that when I have you, or your family do something (anything) there is a reason. You are coming to me for a reason, please trust the process. My promise is to work with your family in ways that produce a gallery, rich in emotive images telling your story and seeing your people as you do. Lead the way in trusting me, participating, and show up wanting to have a joyful experience.
You are entering a discipline free zone!
This one can be hard and it’s with gritted teeth and a very fake smile I am telling YOU “don’t. you. dare. do. this.” Your children, and sometime adults, need a moment or two to acclimate to me, the session, and what’s being put in their space. This is especially true of toddlers during an in-home newborn session.
If I need help redirecting I do ask or find ways to move on and change the scene. What can you do to help? Be proactive by filling out your pre-session questionnaire. This is a place for you to let me know what sparks joy for your kiddos and what is something that can cause anxiety or stress.
*Clearly an instance of immediate danger is 100% the exception and incredibly rare because I am not a fan of putting anyone in danger. Ever.
Allow your children the freedom to just simply be. This is the KEY to prepare for a family session!
To be themselves. To share their joys. To share their moments of calm, their moments of high energy, their moments of needing to explore and settle into the space.
The entire purpose of our session is about capturing YOUR world, your people, your season. The worst thing you can do is to stifle their personalities, their stories, their love of some obscure-to-you cartoon character, to quiet their willingness to share. Let them answer questions, and don’t worry about what they may say… again, I have four boys… nothing your kids share will surprise me. I promise.
This is a time and place for your family to be seen for who you are at this very moment. Embrace all of it and realize the authenticity of your family is the beauty of your family.
Want to see more of my Family work, be sure to visit my Family Gallery!
5 thoughts on “How do we prepare for a Family Session? Parent Edition”
Wow! Such great advice!
Awesome post! Such a good reminder to let my kids just “be”! Thanks for the tips!
Beautiful photos and I love your suggestions!
I love this!