I completely understand!!! I am a Mum and a Grandma. I know how it can be.
You want family photos because you understand that these are going to be precious in the future and you want to have that legacy to give to your children. BUT the whole process can be very stressful. You have to choose clothes, get everyone else ready before even thinking about yourself and then get all the children to smile for the camera and one of your children has woken up on the wrong side of the bed and has been grumpy all day.
Well here are a few little things you can do to make it a fun experience for your family and not the stressful event it can be.
Be prepared and plan in advance:
You are paying good money for these photos. You want them to be good. I can make you all look good but if one of your children refuses to be a part of it there is only so much I can do.
So long before the day include everybody in the planning process including Dad.
Get them excited about the event. Your attitude is contagious.
Let them bring their favourite toy or wear their favourite outfit. Far better to have happy genuine smiles than completely coordinated outfits.
Plan a special treat for afterwards:
Give them a reward after the Photoshoot as well. Something else to look forward too.
This is family time. Let them all see it as a special time to spend together. If you are planning a meal or something to eat afterwards make sure they've had a healthy snack before they arrive. Hungry children are not happy children.
Rewards and bribes work really well for Photoshoots. Discipline does not. If your child is playing up or being a bit silly that's ok. Just for today, they don't have to be on their best behaviour. If they know they've upset you or are in trouble they won't be enjoying the experience and it will show on their faces.
Prepare your Spouse:
Sometimes it's not just the kids who are not keen on a Photoshoot. Make sure he knows when and where it is is happening.
Make sure he understands why it is important to you. Make sure he gets that it's about preserving memories and not just for a cute facebook profile or pretty Christmas card. He is more likely to value it then too.
Get him involved in the planning and ask for his opinion and value it. Compromise! Find out what is important to both of you and communicate that to each other and to me.
Budget for it, so there are no money stresses.
Rewards/ Bribes!!! (just like the kids) If he's really not keen, let him know you really appreciate him doing this for you.
Start getting ready early
Far better to be ready nice and early than stressed and everyone running late.
If the Photoshoot is at my place you are more than welcome to get changed into your outfits when you arrive if that's easier for you.
Let children bring favourite toys and activities. Sometimes we can even include them. It's fun to show off their personalities in this way and much more meaningful to them. A game or favourite book can show the uniqueness of your families personalities and add to the experience.
A relaxed happy excited family who are looking forward to their Photoshoot is much more likely to walk away with some very special images that will become precious memories in the future.
A little forward planning can prevent the whole experience becoming a stress fest and instead become a happy family occasion. And all I have to do is to capture beautiful images for you!!
Don't forget to include the older members of your family