What To Expect | Family Sessions
If you are a returning family, you can skip this information. You are well versed in how sessions with me go, and what to expect.
For families new to sessions with me, here are some quick tips on what to expect at the session, and ways to make run smoothly.
You will also receive a family session questionnaire that will help us plan your session, and gets us both thinking about the goals of the session and to customize your session to your family.
Typical Family Session Pose Flow
Traditional posed family shots
Relaxed family shots
Children alone / together
Candid images while playing games
All of the locations I use for family sessions are ones without a playground within view. I have found over the years that when kids see a playground, cooperation levels drop to a record low.
Locations are all within the Northfield MN area, or just out of city limits. You will receive a separate email with information related to your session locations. Depending on weather, activities in the community, and more factors, locations might not be decided on until a few days before your session. I am always checking the locations I use to assure they are perfect for your session.
All of the locations used are ones that include short walks to different areas where we will take pictures. This give the session variety, and also lets little ones burn of some energy as we hop, skip, or jump between locations to keep the giggles going.
Parents Set The Tone
Parent’s attitudes towards the session always rubs off on the rest of the family. My number one piece of advice if that is it important for parents to stay calm and enjoy the session. Don’t get frustrated with the kids (trust me, as a mom I know this can easily happen).
Families that come to the session relaxed, always have a great session. Parents really do set the tone. So, if you are stressed, don’t want to be there, or have something else bothering you – fake it for the hour and everyone will have a great time, and we will probably get done even sooner than planned.
Dads – I’ve also found that many dads are not fans of pictures, or looking at the camera smiling. I promise to only make you look at me and smile for a few. After that, you pretty mush get to look anywhere but at me. I have you look your partner and kids from that point on. Dad’s always enjoy this, and I have found dads always prefer the family poses where they are interacting with their family over ones where he is looking at the camera smiling.
It seems like the top thing parents worry about at sessions is if their kids have “real smiles”. I have lots of prompts, tricks, and silly games that will get genuine happy faces.
Plan on some more traditional posed pictures, and a lot of more relaxed pictures. We will plan, laugh, have fun, and make great memories during the session.
We will play games like telephone, laugh like movie villains, walk in lines, funny ways, and much more. And these prompts aren’t just for kids. Adults can get in on the fun, and sometimes have more fun than the kids do.
Offer Rewards, Not Punishments
Over the years I have found kids respond better when they are offered something as a reward after the session, versus a punishment or having a toy taken away.
Popular rewards are ice cream, McDonalds, ect.
I recommend a stroller, so they can relax a little while moving the short distances between photography spots at the location. Water to drink, and non-candy, and colorless snacks are best. Think puffs or Pirate’s Booty, over suckers and Cheetos.
MN bug season is in full swing. Plan ahead and wear some bug spray.
Arriving For Your Session
You will receive an email with a the address and a Google Map link to where we will meet for the session. I have found this to be the best way to make sure we can find each other. Some locations are busier than others, and some have multiple parking locations.
Try to be on time – but I know how kids can be and understand if you are a couple minutes late.
What To Expect From Me
I will have a wagon with for the session, and you are welcome to put personal items into the wagon during the session. That way everything is with us, no one has to carry things, and hands are free to wrangle little ones or just hold their hands.
I will also bring some props with depending on kids ages and family size. These can include blankets, chairs, step ladders, stools, baskets, and more. If you have anything special that you want included in the session, you are always welcome to bring personal items with too.
Enjoy the session
My goal is to make the session as stress -free as possible. Relax, have fun with your kids, laugh, and get a fun treat like ice cream afterwards. Then in a couple weeks, enjoy seeing your adorable family gallery and pick your favorites.