1. Remember your most special moments with your family
Do you remember the first day you met your new baby? That sweet smell, the euphoria after holding them close on your chest for the first time? Do you remember the excitement you felt over every little accomplishment as they took their first steps or had their first real laugh? When thinking about your family photo session, we want you to hold onto the memories and the emotions you felt surrounding those moments. We want you to think of how proud you are of your kids, how much you love them, and how much they mean to you going into your shoot.
2. Visually cram all your love for them into 1 hour
In order for us to get these genuine images, you have to let your genuine adoration show. Let your kids know how much they are adored, cram all your love for them into 1 hour! This is important! You have 1 hour to SHOW your family how much you love them! You need to visually put your love for them on display! Don’t be afraid to over love your kids, you can’t embarrass yourself for loving your kids too much. They want to know how much you love them because you are where they get their assurance and confidence. The more love and affection you give them, the more opportunity for us to photograph it and capture your family’s love on camera. Hug them, squeeze them, play with them, throw them up and chase after them, make fart noises in your boys ears, kiss them all over until they’re laughing uncontrollably (or violently swatting you away!). And guess what! If your kids aren’t pressured or stressed to perform, they might be in a good mood. And if you’re standing by their side cheering them on and showing them some PDA, they probably won’t be misbehaving either.
3. Don’t be too hard on them
One of the biggest barriers that prevents us from capturing genuine moments and emotions is the parents themselves. Isn’t that ironic? The ones who want so badly to capture these moments of joy and spontaneity often are the ones who smother it out by trying too hard to control their families. Many times, too much control, too many rules, and too many times saying “no” can actually become overbearing and deflate children’s sense of joy, adventure, spontaneity, and excitement. As parents, it is your job to channel the emotions you want your kids to feel during the photo shoot. If you’re nervous, your kids will feel nervous. If you’re restricting them too much, your kids will feel defeated and want the photos to be over. We want photo sessions to be a joyful positive experience and a fun time each year, not a chore that is a relief when it’s over. So how does this work then? You might be saying, “Dan and Tyler, you don’t understand, my kids are CRAZY and if I just let them off the leash we won’t get any cute photos!”. We totally understand that! We still want them to be self controlled, but we want to caution you as parents not to be too overbearing and discouraging to them. Like everything in life, there is a delicate balance between gentle, positive correction and correction stemming from frustration. Overall, the best, most genuine images that you will love come from a positive, fun, light hearted, sunny disposition during photo shoots.