6.06.2017

8 family photo session tips for summer

When Violet turned two in March I really wanted to have family photos taken. But at the time we had a lot going on -- we had to pack for our move, finalize the renovation details for our new house, and plan Vi's birthday party. Needless to say the photos never happened. So when Lindsay from Photography by Lindsay (Pbl) reached out to see if I wanted to work together I got really excited. And after I saw all the gorgeous photos on her website and Instagram page, I emailed her right away to set up a summer family photo session.

We quickly found a date that worked for both of us. And then Lindsay sent over Family Session Location Guide with a detailed list of sites to choose from. The list also included photos from previous sessions so I could get a feel for what our photos would look like -- this was so helpful! She also sent over a Family Session Prep Guide with lots of tips for the day of the shoot. Below are four of my personal favorite photo session tips and four tips from Lindsay:
1. Pick out your child's outfit first. This is our fifth photo shoot as a family and I always pick out Violet's dress first. For me, our family photos are more about her than us and I want her to stand out. After I choose her outfit, I will pick out what I want to wear and then something that goes with those colors for H. I'm personally not a fan of super matchy matchy outfits...they can get awkward.
2. Keep your dress/top child friendly. I was all set to wear a black v-neck dress for this photo session and then I bent down in front of the mirror at home to pick up Vi and I was showing a lot of cleavage. I decided to go with something a little more modest for the photos so I had one less thing to worry about. You don't want to have a great photo ruined because mama is trying to pull up her top :) 
3. Keep your jewelry and accessories to a minimum. When Vi plays with my old statement necklaces she looks like Mr. T. -- HA! Trends come and go and I cringe a little bit when I think about all the enormous gold necklaces I used to wear. So I like to wear simple jewelry that has personal significance for family pics -- for example in our holiday photos last year I wore a gold locket my grandma gave me.
4. Leave the stuffed animals or other props at home. It's distracting. You want to see your child's face not Snuffy the elephant. (Although not all props are bad to have on hand! -- Lindsay had a small, simple white rocking chair and it was perfect for Vi to sit on in a nearby forest).

from Lindsay: 
5. Don't make other plans the day of the session. Having an active day could make the kiddos extra tired. I typically schedule sessions leading up to sunset if possible, so this could make for some extra, tired kids. The time the sunsets changes throughout the year ranging from late afternoon to evening. Try to do a late nap (if your child still naps).
6. Eat before your session. It's super important to have kids with a happy, full belly. We don't want Hangry Kids (or parents) for photos. 
7. Take a break every now and then! If your child is getting antsy or cranky during a photo shoot, let them play for a little bit. If they are in a better mood they will look happier in the final photos. (I LOVED that Lindsay took breaks with Vi and I think it helped to get her smile a little more during our shoot).
8. What to Bring: diaper bag, snacks, stroller, change of clothes for kids (just in case!), drinks (sippy cup or bottle of water), wipes for messes, brush/comb, hair clips or bobby pins, outfit extras (shoes! bowtie, etc.), pajamas (if need be) to change in to when the session is over and for the ride home.
If you're in the Chicagoland area and you're looking for a photographer for your family, a birthday party, engagement, wedding, high school graduation portrait, or any other special event I would highly recommend Lindsay!
-xo-
Jillian

p.s. In case you were wondering -- Lindsay took a LOT of photos, these are just the blog-approved ones :)
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21 comments

  1. They came out so great!! Love all the black and white ones! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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    1. thanks Biana! Me too! I need to print some out!

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  2. I have a love/hate with choosing outfits for photos! So fun, yet so stressful!

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    1. hahah me too! I had the "perfect" outfit picked out and then I had to find something else to wear an hour before the shoot!

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  3. Great post-- and adorable photos!

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  4. great shots.. love 'em..

    Regards,
    Mrs. Aa
    www.bymrsaa.com

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  5. These. Are. Perfect!!! Love love love!

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    1. thank you Katie!! Now I need to send them off to the printer!

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  6. These photos came out amazing! Great tips, especially love the ones about not making other plans that day and to pick the kid's outfit first. Done and done <3
    Green Fashionista

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    1. thanks Kate! We didn't make any other plans the day of the shoot and it made a big difference in Vi's mood!

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  7. These are perfection! We haven't done professional photos since she was seven months so I do believe it's time! And can we talk about how incredible you look? Spill your secrets!

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    1. schedule a session!! they can be a pain to plan (and pay for!) but I always LOVE our photos after we get them done!! ....and you're so NICE! thanks lady! i get all my cardio in by chasing around my two-year old! xo

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  8. These are all such great tips and so spot on! I need to bookmark this post for future photo sessions!

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    1. thanks Amanda!! I can't wait to see your next session with your new little girl! xo

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  9. Love these tips! We're gearing up for our summer photo session so this will definitely come in handy!

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    1. fun! I can't wait to see your photos Natasha!

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  10. Beautiful pictures!!! You have a beautiful family.

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  11. Swooning over these! They turned out SO well!!

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