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Richmond Photographer- How to Prepare for a Family Photoshoot

Article and images were provided by Richmond Photographer Beatific Visions Photography.

I’d argue that family photos are one of the most valuable gifts that you can ever give to yourself and your loved ones. There’s just nothing like going through photos and reminiscing memories of life stages. If you’re reading this, I know I don’t need to convince you that photos are important. So let’s dive in to how you can make family portraits something to look forward to every year.

Choosing Your Photographer

Let’s start with photographer selection. There are a few factors to consider when choosing the right photographer for you and your family. Certainly, style and cost are the two factors that you as a client will want to take into consideration.

Style can be categorized in many ways. However, the biggest things to look at as far as your own preference will likely be editing style and posing style. Editing style is going to most impact how the colors look in your images. Posing styles will determine whether the majority of your images have everyone looking at the camera, or acting more natural and interactive. (This is often referred to as “lifestyle”). Trust me when I say that taking a little bit of time to research these before seeking the right photographer will absolutely pay off in the end.

I think it goes without saying that your photography budget is a personal decision. The one thing to keep in mind when determining your budget is that not all photographers, and not all pricing structures are created equal. Determine what you would like to do with your images once you receive them. Are you just looking for a quick session and a handful of digital images for your holiday card? Are you dreaming of custom artwork for your home, or heirloom albums to pass on to your children? You don’t have to know exactly what you want right from the get-go. Instead, have an idea of what you may be interested in before price shopping. This will pay off so much in the long run and help you to communicate with your photographer.

Richmond Photographer’s Tips for Planning Your Photoshoot

Now that you’ve found your photographer, it’s planning time! I’m not going to lie, I absolutely love wardrobe styling and session planning. However, I know that not everyone does. Here are some tips to keep it fun.

1. Choose a date, time and location.

Every family is different. This means nap times, mealtimes, and schedules should be factored in to these decisions. We all love golden hour, I get it, but what if those last two hours of daylight coincide with the time of day that your toddler is crankiest? Trust me when I say a happy toddler is much more important than perfect lighting. For winter sessions, you may want to consider your home or a studio session. Therefore, if you have your heart set on a blooming garden, then be sure to plan far enough in advance to book a photographer during busy season.

2. Get everyone’s buy-in.

Yep, this means the whole family. Make sure dad is on board and knows what to expect based your communication with the photographer you chose. Show him the photographer’s portfolio so he is just as prepared for posing expectations as you are. Kids are easier than you think when it comes to getting them on board. Be sure to communicate with them in a positive way when talking about your upcoming session. When you are in the car on the way to your session location, try things like complimenting them on what a good listener you know they’re going to be. Try to focus on rewarding them instead of using any threats of punishment. I know it’s sometimes hard to let go, but once the session has begun, trust that your photographer probably has some tricks up their sleeve to keep the kids happy and engaged.

3. Dress mom first.

Depending on the photography style you are most drawn to, your photographer will likely be able to recommend a color palette for you to coordinate with. I personally have a lighter, more filmy editing style, and I give specific recommendations to choose more pastels and earth-tones to ensure I am delivering images that are consistent to my portfolio. The best recommendation I will give to any family using any photographer, however, is to dress mom first. Then plan the rest of the family’s wardrobe around her. Chances are high that mom is the one organizing this venture. Comfort and confidence are extremely important. Keep this in mind when dressing mom as well- short skirts, plunging necklines, and tight clothing may all be beautiful, but they can also be a distraction while interacting with little ones.

Ultimately, my biggest tip as a Richmond photographer is to communicate with your photographer! You’ve chosen them for a reason, and this is their specialty. I’ve never met a photographer that doesn’t love session planning. We love being asked, and we love helping our clients have the best experience possible, from beginning to end.

About Richmond Photographer Beatific Visions Photography

Adrianne is a family and motherhood Richmond Photographer. She is a wife and mother of three with a sincere love of family. She specializes in both film and digital photography. Her style is romantic and whimsical with an emphasis on capturing family connection. She is also one of the founders of The Kindred Path.

Was this article by a Richmond Photographer helpful? Learn more about family photography sessions!

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