How To: Planning a Family Portrait Session

© Nicole Bradshaw Photography 2018; How to Plan a Family Portrait Session; Albuquerque, New Mexico Wedding and Portrait Photographer, Santa Fe Photographer, Ruidoso Photographer, Los Lunas Photographer, Belen Photographer

Annual family portraits can be a daunting task for many people, especially with young children, but it can be done! Here are my tips for planning your session so that it is an awesome experience for everyone involved.

1.) Work with a professional (i.e. experienced) photographer (shameless bit of self promotion: Pick me! Pick me!). This alone will improve your experience a thousand-fold. Pros (like me!) know how to handle all sorts of challenges. 

2.) Set the start time for about an hour after your child(ren)’s nap time is over. This gives them time to wake up and ensures they won’t be tired and cranky.  

3.) Read the following blog post for tips on wardrobe choices: What Not to Wear

4.) Make sure everyone has had at least a large snack right before the session starts. Hungry people (adults included) become grumpy and no one wants a photo of grumpy people.  

5.) Be prepared to bribe your kids to cooperate. Even the most well rested and fed children still need rewards for doing things they’re not used to doing.  

6.) During portrait sessions I like to encourage a bit of silliness and play because it helps children relax and get to know me. Please relax and know that they’re doing exactly what I want them to.  

7.) Enjoy this process! If you’re relaxed and excited, it’ll rub off on the rest of your family.  

I love working with families and developing friendships with each member, and as the years go by, things will become easier and easier to create your annual portraits.