Family photos can be stressful.
First you have spent hours trying to figure out outfits and making sure they fit, were washed and that the kids would put them on and not fuss about everything!
Then you have to actually get out the door! There is a great Michael McIntire comedy sketch that I suggest listening to so you can laugh at the ridiculousness that getting out of the house can be (watch here )
All of this is then followed by the stress of the actual event : Will the kids smile for at least one photo? What face is my partner making now? When will the dog barking? What does my shirt look like?
I totally get it. It is really stressful.
There 4 things I want you to know about our time together.
1. We have time for speed bumps.
I do my best to book enough time to handle bum changes, outfits mishaps and tantrums (from both young and old). While it may seem like there will not be great photos, I promise I will do my best to find small moments in the chaos. It is ok that things are not going well.
2. Try to forget the camera is there
We are programmed to listen for that shutter. It is amazing to me how quick little kids learn to say "cheese". In adults we have also learned to paste on a fake smile and suck in our tummies when that shutter sound is heard.
Once you can start to ignore me and my camera, there is a layer of relaxation that happens which translates so well to the photos. Connection matters so much more then perfection.
3, This is a judgement free zone
Bribe away! Get your mom whisper on! Give your partner a big smooch! I am a photographer, not a professional critic. I want you and your family to show up as you are and celebrate life together. I am not interested in anything but giving you images you will love.
4. I believe bodies are beautiful.
While society would have us believe that only certain bodies are worthy of being photographed, I do not buy it at all.
Bodies are beautiful as they are. I could rant about this forever, but the best thing I want to know is that you are beautiful and deserve to be photographed with your family regardless of your size, gender expression, skin tone or body shape. ( If you want to learn more, I highly suggest following BodiPosi Panda along with Jameela Jamilo and so many others once you start looking for Health at Any Size advocates.)
Remember that while it is stressful, perfect is not the goal. Strive for connection with your family and in the end it will be worth it!