How to Prepare for your Family Session

The thought of preparing for your photography session is probably more nerve wracking than it needs to be. Like, sweating bullets wanting every image to be Insta-Pin-worthy. Oh, your perfect little family!! BUT all you can think about is…..

Will the kids cooperate? Do I look okay? What if the kids get dirty? Should I try a winged eye?
OMG! I hate shopping! What if it’s just a giant cluster f*ck?!?

Where’s the chocolateand the wine…

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So, let’s make this process super easy!

If you’re able to, book an appointment to have your hair and makeup done. This will take some of the stress out of getting ready, plus it’s super relaxing right before your session! If you need referrals to amazing small businesses for session prep services, let me know! (skincare, makeup, hair, nails)

With outfit selection, things you’ll want to avoid are:

  • Super bright colors
  • Logos + graphics on tops
  • Being super matchy-matchy
  • Wearing a lot of (tiny) patterns

Things you’ll want to do are:

  • Wear coordinated colors
  • Mix solid colors and patterns
  • Wear clothes that have movement
  • Show your personality
  • Think about what you can have fun in as a family (not too dressy / formal)
  • Neutral colors mixed with pops of color (rich, deep, bold)
  • Layer accessories (necklaces, bracelets, scarves, hats, etc.)
  • Bring a change of clothes as a back up (especially for kids if they get dirty being cute + having fun!)

WHERE to have your session can be another conundrum. I really love doing home sessions, but not everyone loves their home. Or wants to deal with all the cleaning. I get it!

Now, I don’t have a studio. I shoot on-location (at clients’ homes, at local parks, around the city, etc.). So if you don’t want to have the session at your home, I think Air BnB’s are an absolutely genius solution for that at-home feel in your photos! It’s just up to you if you want light-and-airy or a more cozy feel. You can bake cookies or make pancakes. You can cuddle in bed and snuggle on the couch. And then you get to leave, and I’ll do the clean up!

But if you do want to have the session in your home, you can play your kids’ favorite game, get crafty & artsy, read their favorite books… and, of course, have tons of fun and ALL the giggles!!

But maybe you’re not into home sessions and prefer to be out and about….

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For the adventurous families, our beautiful metro parks around Ohio are perfect to let your kiddos run, explore, and play! We can go to your favorite ice cream shop, the zoo, or somewhere special you like to go as a family!

Either way, you’ll create lasting memories, having fun with your family while I capture your personalities, authentic emotions, and all the little moments in between. You know, the ones you didn’t even know existed…. the ones you’ll love forever!

As a mom, how many times do you get to see yourself holding your baby? Your hands grasping their little bodies? Their little fingers twisting your hair? How fleeting are their adorable, silly faces before they’ve grown into the next phase of childhood, as they grow up before your eyes??

Every chapter needs to be documented and celebrated! This is YOUR STORY!

So, let’s talk about keeping your little angels happy through the session. I know this probably won’t be on the top of their list of things to do (mom forcing me to wear something I’d probably not rather, because I want to play, get dirty, be loud, run around, and not sit still and smile for some weird lady… you know, the usual).

Well, this is also why I don’t do a lot of posing during sessions, and really prefer candid and real moments. Having fun makes the session so much better for everyone! In my session questionnaire, I ask what fun things you do as a family, what games you like to play, songs to sing. That way we can make sure they’ll have something they want to do while we trick them into having fun, being cute, and smiling for real (I’m not into ‘cheeeeeeese’ faces…. #sorrynotsorry)

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And make sure to bring water and snacks. Lots of snacks! For them and you! Sometimes rushing around to get everyone ready, you forget to eat before you leave, and hanger doesn’t look good on anyone! Plus you can bring special treats if you need to resort to bribery… you gotta do what you gotta do (no judgies!!) Just make sure the snack wrapper is somewhat photogenic –or you can hand them a few pieces at a time– so we don’t have to stop necessarily. And stay away from things that while dye their hands and face (like Cheetos…. mmmmmm, Cheetos….ha!) Some great options are fruit, fruit snacks, goldfish, crackers.

And the last thing I want to touch on to help you get ready for your session…. Make sure EVERYONE gets a good night’s sleep the night before! Being well rested and hydrated makes a bigger difference that you’d think in how you feel (energy levels, attitude…. kids behavior).

…and did I mention the snacks??

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Are you ready to BOOK a Lifestyle Family Storytelling Session??

I’d love to help you capture your beautiful and unique story to treasure for years to come! If you’d like to join my Facebook Group for inspiration, to feel prepared & be confident for your session, just click HERE to Get SUGAR PLUM’D!!

Hi! I’m Erin Burke, the human behind Sugar Plum Creative!
I can’t wait to meet you!!!


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