Raleigh Family Photographer | When your family photo shoot goes all wrong!!!

So this is it…the big day…family photo session day! The outfits are picked out…the location is perfect…balance to the photographer has been paid….weather cooperated, everyone seems to be in good spirits…things are good!

These days family photo sessions are a must…and with images in our face now more than ever….we all get a little Instagram envy as we see these perfect, sweet family pictures scroll across our Facebook & Pinterest feeds. “I want that for my life!!!!!!” you find yourself thinking…. so you talk your husband into splurging on a photo session & set the whole thing into motion, and bam!!!!!! It all goes wrong!!!!!

You know what I mean….the kids are cranky because they didn’t nap (“but normally they are so happy I swear”), dad is less than thrilled to be having his photo taken, someone spilled their milk on their shirt, so-and-so refuses to wear the totally adorable headband you had custom made from Etsy just for this occasion…… and you leave your photo session with tears welling in your eyes because the beautiful photos that wanted to frame on your wall….definitely didn’t happen.

but I’m here to say… “It’s ok momma….I got you!”

Being a family photographer….I have seen it all and I see it often. With little ones, its really really hard for a photo session to go perfectly…and that is 100% ok. Many parents don’t realize that I am used to tantrums, grumpy dads, and having to bribe little ones with whatever I can to get them to just cooperate for a split second. But…..I push through….I problem solve…I make stupid noises {to get the kids attention…not just randomly 🙂 }…….basically I am there in the trenches with you.

There are definitely things I always recommend to help a family photo session reach its full potential:
1. BRIBERY!!!! Some people feel weird bribing their kids…but when the stakes are high…like for your dream family pictures… I say DO IT momma! Usually food treats are the best 🙂 But definitely have fun small, non-messy, bites of snacks your kids love to help them cooperate. Snacks also help to keep the hunger away, we don’t need low blood sugar on photo day!
2. Wardrobe-Plan with layers, that way you are prepared if it hotter or colder than expected…then you minimize the grumpy factor by eliminating the body temperature regulation issue.
3. Choose an outfit you feel great about yourself in! Camoflauge your least favorite body parts and highlight your assests!
4. Schedule in the mornings or other times when you KNOW (not hope) you’re kids will cooperate.
5.Splurge on hair & makeup. I don’t stress this enough….I know it’s a stretch….but, if you can make this happen…you will be in love with your photos!!!
6. And this is one I particularly use for my hubs on our photo days….alcohol!!!!! Yes, that’s right…I said it! (For the grown ups only of course- and definitely not if you’re the one driving to the shoot) Sometimes a shot or beer before the session, whatever dad prefers, might be just enough to help dad relax and not feel so nervous in front of the camera.

7. Lastly…and this is the biggest one of all…… choose a photographer that you love & trust! Follow their work, if it’s consistently good, then you will have a great chance of your photos being good too!!! A good photographer will know how to work around most tricky situations…no matter what they are. And although someone you love may be a little more expensive…the gorgeous family photos you get will be worth every penny! Better to spend an extra $100 and get amazing photos than to save $100 and get really mediocre-blah pictures.

So where is all this going?????

Because I am constantly photographing so many gorgeous family sessions week after week….my photo envy can be pretty high sometimes. I always want the photos I take for my clients for my family!!!! We’ve done multiple family sessions….and I will tell you…even knowing what I know….things still go wrong 🙁 But….our latest family session was absolutely saved by tip #7…Loving & Trusting your photographer!!!!

I am not one to share a lot about myself because I don’t like to make it too much about me….but for this post, I decided I needed to walk the talk…and share some of our experiences behind the camera to show you I am right there with you!

I cannot tell you how much I am in love with these photos!!!! They take my breath away! They capture our relationship and our little life so well!!! I am truly in love! But I will tell you, behind the scenes…..OMG!

Noah, my youngest….wants to be held non-stop…but on photo day……..he strangely wanted nothing to do with me! There was all kinds of crying & back arching when I tried to hold him for pics….a momma’s worst nightmare. Mia, my happy go lucky spirited peanut….was having a ball jumping over a tiny puddle in between shots…and wouldn’t you know fell right in and soaked one side of her shoes & leggings!!! Disastrous! It was also randomly like 80 degrees in the middle of December when we had these done….so my husband wouldn’t wear the long sleeved shirt I had been planning for weeks and weeks. Mason…my ADHD one…was actually quite cooperative…I don’t know what happened there…but, I’ll take it. Overall………..I was kind of crushed! I put so much hope & effort into these photos and were they all going to be wasted??? The answer…..NO! Not at all!!! and I credit every ounce of that to the photographer!!!! I trusted & love his work….and voila! Family photos that will forever melt my heart!

Here are just a few of many of my favorites 🙂 oh….and ps….the hubs was given just a few shots before hand to take the edge off…thats I trick I will always use 🙂

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