How to Enjoy Your Family Portraits | Seattle

9 tips on how to enjoy your family portraits | #portraittips #family #familyportraits #seattlearboretum |

Family portraits are one of those things that usually mom is most excited about, dad is here to make mom happy and the kids are just along for the ride. Right?

It's a funny thing, though, because, of all those photos we have of our family, the family portraits are unique in that they are usually the ones that make it to the wall. And they are usually the ones that have the whole family in it. Mom or dad are not stuck on the picture taking side of things, but can actually be present in the moment to be part of that moment.

So, how do you enjoy your family portraits, especially when someone may be dragging their feet to participate?

My biggest suggestion is to roll with it. And trust in your photographer, as while things may seem like chaos to you as Mom, trust me, this is all normal in the life of a portrait photographer.

But the problem is, if you get upset or start trying to control the happiness and engagement of your family members (kids or spouse), all it's going to do is heighten the tension and make those "I'm smiling so to not get yelled at" smiles, and not the fun ones of true spontaneous laughter that you truly want.  And trust me. No one is going to burst out in spontaneous laughter if there is high tension in the area.

So what do you do you're wondering? Let me take the reigns.

It's amazing how many amazing photos we can get while we let the kids do their thing, and once I start joking around with dad, he'll lighten up too :)

If you want those spontaneous laughter moments, you have to let the kids do some of the fun things they want to do, before you ask them to sit and smile pretty for the camera. And the more I get them moving and doing the things they love, the more they will smile authentically as well as the more likely they will hang out to do that one photo that I ask of them (and that you really want!)

So my top  9 tips for enjoying your family photos

  1. Feed the entire family before coming to the shoot. And feed them something with protein and not just carbs. Because low blood sugar will disrupt the listening skills of any family member. And that vacant far away look on little faces, or full on melt down faces are not the funnest to remember.
  2. Trust in me that I know what I am doing
  3. Let the kids run and play. We will capture the moments they love then ask them to do the moment you want. They are much more likely to do what we want after they get their choice first.
  4. Be open to silly 4th-grade humor fart jokes. Because you know dad will laugh too :)
  5. Be open for those more candid laughing moments of your kids vs the sit still, stare at camera and smile big photos. Because, for kids, the first option is what will actually create the smiles
  6. Don't bring up bribery, treats unless it's the LAST option. And let me tell you when that is. Because the second you do, treats are the entire focus. Also, never bring a sucker or chocolate. If you bring treats, make it gummy bears, or something that doesn't leave a sticky face or hands. Raisins are great too!
  7. Do not threat, yell or talk sternly under your breath to the kids. Because while you are trying to get them to do what you want, it's only going to change the dynamic of the shoot and all fun flies out the window. Trust me, let me take the reigns and I will get them to laugh.
  8. Be open to non traditional portraits, because sometimes, that is what life gives!
  9. And finally. Ask for a portrait of you and your husband without the kids. It's so easy to focus on just the kids, but it's just as important to focus on the relationship and love that started the family too!

This photo session below is a great example of rolling with it! I've been photographing this family since Caroline, the oldest was itty bitty. They are the sweetest, and always so much fun to photograph. This session we had, the littlest, Miss Nora was 2.5 and gonna do what she wanted. Not a lot of stand here and look and smile coming from her that day, so you know what we did? 

We played. They ran, they twirled, they joked and they danced. I let them be them, and we caught some magic. Mom and dad trusted that I knew what I as doing and that I would create moments that they would treasure and sneak in a family portrait in the middle. Probably seemed like chaos a time or two, but they rolled with it, and we walked away with these moments of pure childhood delight. Plus a family photo and a mom and dad only photo for them.

Win win :)

Have a question or comment? Leave it below and I'll answer it!



What Age to Schedule your Newborn Photos?

schedule newborn photos.jpg

When you are pregnant, there are a lot of new things you are figuring out every day. So much info, let alone stuff you have to buy and things you need to plan.

And one of the important things, if photographs are important to you and your families legacy is to schedule your newborns photo shoot.

But how old should your baby be for your newborn shoot? How long is a newborn a newborn?

My suggestion is to call and schedule the newborn session for in the range of 7-10 days after your due date. It's best to get on the schedule early when the schedule is still flexible, and we will plan for a session date and time that both parents can be home and your baby is 7-10 days old.

After about 10 days, your newborn will go wake up a bit more, look around more and just be more alert which make it harder to get those cute, cuddly all rolled up in a ball photos that are so iconic and recognizable as newborn photos.

But what if the baby comes early or late? 

Don't you worry. About 50% of the time, the newborn session gets rescheduled because baby decided to come early or late. I know that I plan for that, and keep other options available in my calendar for the week before and after the scheduled shoot just to account for your babies choosing their own arrival time :) 

So, there you are. Plan for scheduling the newborn shoot for 7-10 days after your baby arrives and we work together from there!

Now take a look at some adorable newborn photos of little Daphne!



Seward Park Engagement Photos in the Fall - Bryan and Vallerie

 Seward Park Seattle Engagement Photos  in Fall

Relaxed. Natural. Distinct. Fun.

When you are a California girl who's recently transplanted to Seattle for work, that California girl is still there in your heart. That's why this fall, when Valerie and Bryan contacted me about their engagement photos, they wanted to be somewhere with a beach.

We settled on doing their fall engagement photos at Seward Park where we had beach access but could also find some trees with beautiful colors. Valerie wore an adorable strapless dress, and while the air had a bit of a bite to it, she wanted to have her photos show her as the California girl, even if there were a few extra goose bumps on her skin.

The grey and rainy day shifted to giving us some sun reminding us of the heat of California and home to them while we created some portraits to share their love.



Why would you want a wedding album?

 Flush mount wedding albums custom made and embossed with your name and wedding date

So, you are getting married, and while looking at photographers, you notice that some offer wedding albums and some do not. Some photographers just give you a download of 1000+ images and wish you the best for you to take care of the memories of your day yourself.

Why would you want to take on the pressure of creating a wedding album? I love offering wedding albums, and maybe 75% of my wedding clients walk away with a beautiful heirloom in their wedding album. And the best part is that I do the bulk of the design work for the album so that you don't have to.

I am already intimately aware of the images of your wedding, and which are the strongest storytelling images that will show your wedding in a way that truely tells the story of your wedding day.  You absolutely get to have say in switching images and the final design, but my clients have always sighed a breath of relief when I tell them that I will create this heirloom for them.

It isn't something that has to sit on their todo list till your 5th wedding anniversary when you realize crap! I haven't done that yet!

Why would you want a wedding album? It's the best way to be able to relive and remember the best day of your life right? Much better than 1000+ digital images sitting on your computer or Facebook never to be remembered.