We work really hard to make our family photos stress-free and straightforward! Although our family photo experience is one-of-a-kind and our clients routinely express how glad they are that it was much easier than they anticipated (yay!), preparation is always the key. Today, we are sharing a simple checklist that our clients can use to consider all those last-minute details before their session day. Of course, we know every family and their children are different and the needs are different for each one, but this is a generalized checklist:
-Double check the time, date, and location: The day before your session, double check all the communication from your photographer and make sure you know how long it will take you to get there, check the weather, and make sure you have the time right. It can also be helpful to think through nap schedules for little ones to make sure they are well-rested for their session.
-Bring a little emergency kit: Stain remover, touch ups for makeup, a water bottle, a mini sewing kit, band-aids, any medications you may need (allergy meds, tylenol, etc.) can be helpful in a pinch. Bring any special stuffed animals for very small children, in case they may need it.
-Make sure hair and nail appointments are scheduled at least one week beforehand. If you are making haircut appointments for any members of the family, make them with plenty of advance notice in case of cancellations at the salon. You want enough time to reschedule. For men with very short haircuts, about 5 days beforehand is ideal because of hair growth.
-Prepare your children: Communicate clearly with your children to let them know what to expect, and give them a rough timeline of how the day may go. Use age-appropriate language and you can even show them a photo of your photographer (me!) and tell them who I am (I go by “Miss Paula”) to help familiarize them with me before the session. This can be really helpful for anxious kids who need to know what to expect!
-Steam and iron all outfits and clean all shoes: Put together all family photo outfits a few days before your session and have everyone try them on when they are ironed/steamed. Have them add the shoes they plan to wear so that you can see the outfit as a whole, and use shoe cleaner for scuffs or dirt. Make sure everyone feels comfortable and can easily walk in the footwear they have chosen. Don’t forget to find all the little things like jewelry, tights, socks, and accessories and put everything together in a closet where they can be easily found.
-Pack snacks that are not messy or sticky: Little ones tend to get hungry easily, and packing some mess-free snacks can be helpful. Avoid anything with heavy food dyes, that is sticky, or that is too rich or heavy for right before a session. Crackers are a good choice for little ones who are past the stage when they are just gumming on them (and making them mushy and sticky). It can also help to pack a special treat or snack for after your session is complete!
Planning, communication, and attention to detail are crucial to make your session a success. By following these suggestions, it can ensure that your family photoshoot will be a memorable and enjoyable experience, resulting in beautiful, lasting memories that you will cherish for years to come. We can’t wait to capture these special moments together – it’s going to be a fantastic day!