Some Things I’ve Learned as a Bay Area Family Photographer
First things first, family photography sessions are meant for all ages! From little newborn nuggets to (almost) grown mini-adults, aka teenagers, family sessions are a wonderful way to have a professional moment for this time in your family’s life. Another tip I can’t stress enough is that a family photography session is that I want you to be as comfortable in your skin as possible! That way the photos look natural and truly capture the family dynamic candidly. I want to help you create your personal memories so do what feels right to you! That being said, I want to give you a couple of pointers for different age groups and for any family at any point in their lives.
Tips for All Ages:
The most common question I get is, “What do I wear?” Wear something flattering in your favorite color! You want to look like yourself in your photos so let your personality shine through! Slightly darker shades will ensure that the focus is on your face, not on the bright shades in the photos. Be careful of large or bold patterns, they can be distracting, as can text on shirts. Yikes!
Layers can be flattering on both girls, and little ones. Wear something fancier than a t-shirt and jeans. Men, a Henley or a button up can go a long way and are super comfy. Ladies, accentuating your waist with an accent belt or A-line shirt/dress can be very flattering. Bring your best self forward!
Lastly, be aware of the weather. Having been a Bay Area family photographer for so many years, I’ve learned that the weather can change pretty quickly. Wear something you won’t get upset with if it gets wet or dirty. If you think it might rain, bring umbrellas! It can make for a super cute family moment a la “Singing In The Rain” or, “Africa” by Toto. Oh, and always bring an extra layer or two.
Tips for Teens:
I know makeup trends come and go, but makeup looks best when natural, especially when it comes to foundation and bronzer. It’s best to accentuate your eyes and lips with some great eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick. This applies to you gentlemen who do your makeup too!
Bring ideas for a photo shoot theme. I always encourage parents to let their kids bring the thing they are really into that year because it’s all part of making great memories. This includes having an inspired shoot by a show they love, like the shoot pictured below is inspired by “Empire.” This is your time to shine. Let’s get some awesome single shots for your social media feeds!
Tips for When You Have A Little Human Bean:
For sessions at your residence, I recommend trying to schedule a feeding for about 10 minutes after I arrive. Have them in just a diaper and swaddled in a blanket or in the first outfit so we don’t have to change them. Time is precious at this stage! Lastly, pull out the things you’d like in the photos ahead of time. Toys from loved ones, blankets, birth certificates, and footprints might be something you want in the photos.
Bring props! Props and costumes can be a fun way to break the ice and help get everyone out of the awkward stage of stale smiles and personally I think that fun/funny pictures make the best memories anyways! You can also have them bring their favorite toy. In time they may want a photo of it, or you can use the photo to embarrass them in front of a girlfriend or boyfriend. It also doesn’t hurt to bring an extra set of clothes, just in case!
I hope this has been helpful and I look forward to helping you make some amazing memories with your family this summer and fall!