What? Stop laughing, IT’S POSSIBLE. The first step to having perfect kids is the most important:
REDEFINE YOUR VERSION OF PERFECT.
When you think of a perfect family portrait, what do you see? If you’re like most Americans, you see a family dressed all in white, not a hair out of place, posed perfectly, with Crest Toothpaste-ad-smiles perfectly plastered on their faces; everyone is looking at the camera, looking mildly at peace with the universe. Now take a step back from that picture in your mind. It’s a lovely picture, but what story does it tell you about that perfect family? There isn’t one. There’s no story, no personality. Just a pretty picture. It could be a stock photo from a frame in a store.
Hear me now: there is nothing wrong with this picture. If that’s your style, own it. But a word of warning: aiming for this kind of photo may cause side effects ranging from extreme stress, meltdowns, hysterics, and tantrums (and that’s just the moms).
For my money, if I’m getting a family photo session, I want photographs that capture who we are as a family. How we love each other. What we enjoy about each other. The affection between us. The personalities unique to each of us. Even the meltdowns that happen. I want our real life – something that tells a story; something I can look back on in 20-50 years and say, “My goodness, yes. That’s exactly how we were, and it may not have always been pretty but it was real and it was good and it was ours.”
2. DON’T. STRESS.
Just don’t. Kids sense stress like bloodhounds and they respond with nervousness, worry, crankiness, and sometimes refusal to cooperate altogether (which is what makes that perfectly posed photo example such a landmine of disaster). Just relax and have fun. Let your kids be kids. If meltdowns happen – which they probably will – go with it. Keep smiling, keep laughing, keep playing, and give your kid(s) space if that’s what they need to calm down.
2. HAVE FUN.
Fun looks good on you. I want to capture the best of your family’s connections and personalities, and the best way to do that is to get your family having fun together like only your family knows how. Don’t be afraid to be silly, to relax, to goof off.
3. BE AFFECTIONATE.
Love is beautiful & so are you. Visual affection reads beautifully in photographs – hugs, kisses, snuggles, etc. all speak volumes. Whether you’re holding your children or snuggling your sweetheart, relax and make it real. If you’re not sure what to do with your hands, make sure you’re touching one of your loved ones. That’s it. That’s all. Don’t worry about the shot – let me worry about it. All you have to do is relax and have fun.
Think you’re up for it? Click here to schedule a free in-studio consultation to start planning your session.
Emily Lapish is a full-time photographer, wife, mom, and crazy person. She is tattooed, pierced, and also a responsible adult person with a full time job. Likes include long walks through Target while cradling a latte, and taking off on spontaneous adventures. She is fueled by passion for restoration, grace, and also by obscene amounts of coffee.