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  • Kerry Paradis

Tips for Getting Family Photos Taken

Family Portrait by Kerry Paradis Photography

Trust me, I know as well as anyone that getting your family pictures taken can be stressful. There is a lot that goes into it and it can get tense very quickly. You want everyone behaving properly and looking great for their pictures at the same time. You have already coordinated your session with your family and me because everyone is so busy and you want to make sure your session turns out exactly how you envisioned. These are some tips for putting the odds in your favor that things will turn out the way you had hoped.


When you first get in front of the camera it can be a little nerve racking, this is completely normal! Most of my new clients start off this way and then get more comfortable as the session goes on. For this reason, most of the better pictures happen later in the session. Put your trust in me being 100% honest with you that if I need you to do something to make the picture better, I will ask. Most people appreciate the honesty. A photographer who is too shy to help you adjust throughout the session may leave some good pictures on the table. Just try and relax during your session and I will make you look great. If you feel stressed on the inside, you will look stressed in your photos.


I am not going to go into too much detail here because I have already written a whole blog on it that can be found here, but you need to plan out what you want to wear. Think about how you want your photos to feel and look, then base your clothing choices around those concepts. For the most part, clients normally take a neutral approach. The benefit of this is because you never know where this picture might hang. Believe it or not, that can factor into what you want the picture to look like.


For those of you with children know this better than anyone. You don’t want to have your session right in the middle of nap time. It never works out for anyone. Most younger kids are better early morning when they are still fresh. If you get on my schedule early enough, we will have time to plan around this. I know that sometimes the best pictures may occur during the golden hour in the late afternoon, but if your child is tired, it won’t really make a difference, they will be grumpy and won’t cooperate anyway.


I know this is easier said than done with everyone so busy now days, but it does help. If you have relatives coming into town and your son has a soccer game the morning of your session, that may put too much stress and distractions on your family. If possible, try and schedule your photos for a day when you don't have a lot of plans. It will help you center your focus on the pictures.


I have seen so many families show up for their sessions so stressed out because they were rushing around which led to arguing. I know it is very hard to make it anywhere on time when their are kids involved. It seems like they move at a snails pace when there is somewhere you have to be. One of the benefits of arriving early also helps your children because you can walk around the location and get your children comfortable before the session begins. Sometimes your child just need to familiarize themselves with their new environment. It also helps encourage comfort and confidence for the photos. When everyone is relaxed and comfortable, I will have a much easier time capturing natural and honest photos of your family instead of spending time relaxing everyone.


Some of my best and favorite pictures happen when people just act natural. Don't get me wrong, I like to pose you in certain positions, but I also like the candid pictures as well. The pictures that are captured and will hang on your walls should be an honest reflection of your family. I like to even take the silly face pictures because it will show you years down the road that you had fun as a family. It is my job to capture their natural personalities so parents, relax, let your kids be kids. Just to be clear, this does not mean you can't bribe your kids to be good. I bribe my kids all the time :)


When I go through the initial edits and post a few on Facebook, I have some favorites in mind. There are times when a picture I wasn't thrilled with turned out to be their profile picture. Only you know what you like. I can only try and capture what I think you may like. I take a ton of pictures and try and give you a good variety. If one pose doesn't turn out the way we want, chances are there will be plenty of others that will. I try not to stress too much about any particular pose.


I will be the first to tell you that some of my favorite photos I have ever taken of clients are the ones between takes, the candid ones. I always tell my clients to smile all the time because I will be taking pictures non-stop. There may be a short period where I will tell you to rest your smile, but for the most part, if you are in front of the camera, you may never know what picture I may capture. One of those in between moments may turn out to be your favorite photo. If you have little ones, let me worry about getting smiles out of them. I will bounce around and make a fool out of myself for the sake of the picture. My husband is pretty good at this as well. I actually have clients requesting him to come to the shoots now because he has become quite the master at this. There is nothing worse than having a photo of a child that is smiling, only to see the parents not ready for the picture. Just smile, look at the camera, and allow me to help get the smiles out of your little ones. To be truthful, your kids are more likely to smile for me than you anyways because I am someone new to look at.


This is obviously not an all inclusive list and it by no means guarantees that things won't get stressful, but if you take this advice, it will definitely help. As always, if things aren't working out, don't stress because my policy is I will redo the shoot for free if we need to. I am not satisfied unless you are. I have built my business around this philosophy and it has worked out so far.

Picture of Kerry Paradis from Kerry Paradis Photography

I was born and raised in Perry hall (Baltimore area) and have been living in Harford County Maryland for close to 15 years. I have two daughters that keep me very busy and a very understanding husband that helps keep me sane :) I love all kinds of photography including Newborns, Weddings and Family. For the past several years I performed shoots out of my house, but recently opened a photography studio in Joppa, Maryland next to the “The Great Hall” Wedding Venue at the Millstad. My studio allows the perfect lighting to capture the best pictures and it is surrounded by 40 acres of property that is used by a ballet studio and gymnastics facility. There are plenty of places to photograph! I also have some favorite beautiful spots in the area that I like to photograph at as well. Whether you are looking to capture the first days of your baby’s life, the important times with your family, Senior Portraits for your High School Graduation, or walking down the aisle on your special wedding day, I would love for you to consider me! I do not take any of my business for granted and feel blessed to do what I love for my career. I invite you to check out my website and subscribe to my email list for exclusive discounts and updates. I try and write these blogs in a way that might answer some questions you may have. If you ever have any ideas for my blog, shoot me an email and I will be happy to see what I can do. Feel free to check out my testimonials.

#MarylandFamilyPhotographer #HarfordCountyFamilyPhotographer #BaltimoreCountyFamilyPhotographer #HarfordCountyPhotographyStudio #FamilyPictures #FamilyPortraits

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