I’ve been wearing a lot more sweaters lately. The chilly weather we’ve been experiencing lately tells me fall is on it’s way, and as much as I desperately want to hold onto the warm days of summer, part of me is looking forward to the crisp air, crunchy leaves, and bright colors of fall.
Hi! I’m Kristle, and I’m the family photographer at Manifesto Photography. I like to claim summer is my favorite season (hello, beach days), but truthfully, I love fall. As a family photographer, it’s our busiest time of year, but it’s also the time of year we get to catch up with so many of our clients for their yearly family session. It amazes me every year how much children grow up in the span of 365 short days, but regardless, they still greet us with smiles and catch us up on their lives as if no time has passed. And every year, we get to meet new families and create images for them to help them remember what this year felt like for their family. And, of course, capture a few images for their Christmas card or gifts for grandparents in the meantime.
Every year, I hear parent’s hesitation to book family photos. I get it. I mean, WHO in their right mind wants to dress their kids up, force them to sit still so they can get JUST ONE good family picture for their Christmas card, only to end up with forced ‘cheese’ faces and prooobably a meltdown somewhere in there.
We hear you, so we’ve figured out a way to make family portraits fun, stress free and get the results we’re all hoping for – genuine smiles, a few photos for Christmas cards, a portrait for the wall, and memories of this year that passed way too quickly. Yes, even for those of you who think your children are the exception ;)
On our end, there are a few things we do to make your experience the best one possible. It starts with a questionnaire so we can get to know your family and help you plan your session. During the session, you can expect me to make fast friends with your children, racing them (letting them win of course) and singing silly songs to get the best laughs. After your session, you’re invited into our studio to enjoy a coffee, view your images and choose your products.
On your end, for those of you thinking of scheduling a family session this fall, I’ve put together a few tips to help it go as smoothly as possible.
1. Schedule for the best light.
Fall is perfect for family photos. Not only have the hot summer days been replaced with perfect cool evenings, but the sun sets much earlier, making a sunset session a bit more realistic for young children. Sunset sessions are ideal for so many reasons – even light, no harsh shadows and that delicious, sunset glow.
2. Plan your outfits.
When planning the outfits for your session, there are some key guidelines to take into consideration.
Co-ordinate Colors. Gone are the days of jeans and white tops. You can create a cohesive look for your family session by taking one or two colours and pulling them through to each family member. Your husband’s wearing a navy shirt? Wear a blue necklace and put your daughter in a chambray dress. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns for a bold, colourful look or textures if you want to keep it more muted but still add variety.
Take into consideration the room you’ll be displaying the pictures in. If you plan on displaying your images in your living room with a blue and grey colour scheme, you may want to stick with colors that compliment that. Or, if you want your images to pop, you could choose a bright color scheme. Regardless, take into consideration the room you’ll be displaying your images and how much of a statement you want them to make.
Be you. We all want to look our best for our photos. However, if you are most confident in jeans and a nice top, rock that. Dresses are totally your thing? Go for it. Being comfortable and staying true to yourselves is the most important thing. We want to capture who you really are!
Dress for the season. Fall embodies all things warm and colourful. If it’s your style, now’s the time to play with patterns, boots and scarfs and bring in those deep greens, yellows, reds and blues. If you’d like a few more ideas on colors we’re really loving for fall, check out our pinterest board.
For a few more outfit tips, check out a session we did with fashion blogger www.withmable.com.
3. Leave plenty of time to prepare and travel to your session.
Rushing leads to stress, and stress doesn’t lead to fun sessions. Simple as that.
4. Go with the flow and let the kids run the show. Just for your session.
The number one concern parents have when booking a session is if their children will behave, cooperate, sit still, etc. They often resort to bribery, threatening and ‘coaching’ their child on proper behavior. Which leads to cranky kids, cranky parents … and bad photos. Just for the session, let your kids run the show. I have my tricks to get them to look for photos and to behave and none of them involve telling them to (or asking them to say cheese ;) ).
5. Don’t look at my camera. Look at the one you love.
Speaking of looking at the camera – you don’t have to! Of course we get the pictures of everyone looking and smiling (real smiles!), but unless I ask you to look at me – look at the one you love.
6. Have fun!
My goal during a session is to capture authentic expressions and your families connection. While I’m always watching for those moments, putting you into poses to make it happen, and keeping the session moving to keep kids happy, the best moments happen when parents enjoy the moment, get a little silly and love on their children.
A few more things..
Our family sessions are about an hour long, but there’s no solid time limit. We take the time we need to get the photos you’ve been dreaming of, and take breaks as needed. I always recommend families bring a snack to curb a hunger-induced meltdown, a stuffed animal or favourite toy if the kids need a break, and a favourite blanket to snuggle on.
Family sessions are booking up fast this fall season! Visit our contact section above or email firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s start dreaming up your personalized family session.