A photoshoot should be a great experience for the whole family

As a professional I see it as my job to make the experience fun and memorable. This comes through entertaining conversation, clear direction and fast paced shots, and of course planning the best times and locations. The experience of working with thousands of children and hundreds of families has taught me when to be flexible and when to provide the push needed to get a great shot. My goal is for everyone to leave smiling.

3 Tips for a Successful Family Photoshoot: 
Planning,  Preparation, and Clothing
Plan ahead: Before the family photoshoot, take some time to think about the overall look and feel you want for the photos. Discuss with the photographer the best time and place for the photoshoot, I usually prefer late afternoon when the light is soft and warm if it's an outdoor shoot. An early morning photoshoot would be great for the light, but it puts a lot of pressure on families to be ready in time.
Be prepared on the day: Ensure everyone is well-rested, fed, and hydrated before the photoshoot. Do bring snacks, extra clothes, and anything else needed to keep your family comfortable throughout the day, but leave them in the car when you arrive. It's best to carry as little as possible. This will help create a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere for the photoshoot.
Unless my client insists on highly coordinated clothing, matching outfits is not something I mention. I think that everyone wearing the exact same thing doesn't look as timeless as a family photo should, especially for families that don't shoot photos every year. If a family wants to be silly and all dress together,  I'm down, but if they come to me wanting a timeless photo, we don't start there. 
Here are my suggestions on clothing:

clothing for a Family Photoshoot:
Tight fitting: This is true even for larger bodies, as baggy clothing on camera makes everyone look bigger. The best way to look your best on camera is with tight clothing (comfortable but not baggy) and strategic poses.  Likewise no big frills, or lace, or huge cuffs, or huge fluffy collars. This is the most  important advice, and the rule most often broken by clients.

Similar style: While I don't want everyone to match or even wear the same colors, everyone should wear the same style of  clothes, and colors that don't clash. The idea is for each individual to be themselves, but leave the focus on the family. If someone wears something very different it draws the eye, and can cause a distraction.
No patterns. No prints. Patterns and prints don't look good on camera. Solid colors are great, especially muted colors that match the season. Subtle patterns or muted flannel in the fall, etc. can work. 

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