How to Mentally Prepare for Your Family Portrait Session

September 26, 2020

Family portrait day is approaching! Hooray! ...I mean oh no. You've gotta get the kids dressed up, calmed down, and ready to go while somehow also managing to look your best and smile. It sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, and honestly, you've been dreading it.

And don't worry, I get it. Luckily, I've photographed quite a few family sessions, and I have tips here for mentally preparing yourself for family portrait day. After all, being a parent is hard enough - why add unnecessary stress when there's something you can do to relieve it? 

  1. Don't sweat the small stuff. Your daughter's hair isn't cooperating? Fine. Let it fly free - she is a child, after all, and children are always a little bit unkempt. Your favorite blouse has a stain? Wear another one - in 50 years when you look back on these moments, it won't matter which one was your favorite anyway. Remember: your photographer's goal is to capture life as it is, not life as you wish it could be. Let the small things go and focus on the big picture.
  2. Let your photographer lead the way. Most professional photographers come prepared with a bag of tricks to make you look your very best in your family portraits regardless of how you might feel that day. Trust them - they've done this plenty of times and they're prepared for just about anything that your kids might throw their way (figuratively or literally). Leave the posing and prompting to them and focus on what matters: your family.
  3. Breathe. I know it sounds silly, but it's important to take a moment even in the midst of the chaos of raising children to inhale, exhale. Ask the spouse to watch the kids for a few minutes while you take a few deep breaths - or if that's not possible, make it a game with the kids. "Mommy wants to teach you how to relax. Can you take some deep breaths with me? One, two, three..." Chances are, they'll feel better, and you will, too.

So there you have it: my top three tips for preparing yourself mentally for your family photo session. I hope they're helpful to you!


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