Fall is almost here. Kids can finally play outside. And family photo sessions will be in full swing. Speaking of family photos, ok, let's be honest. We ALL know that it's super duper important to take family photos but a lot of people ended up not doing it on a regular basis.
Us moms already have enough on our plate when fall hits so the last thing we want is more stress. Raise your hand if you already feel stressed out even just when the phrase "family photo" is mentioned. Stressed about coordinating the right outfits. Stressed about young kids cooperating. Stressed about the quality of the photos you will get. This list can go on and on. On top of that, you have to pay for this stressful thing! This is just not a good experience for a family as a whole. If I were that stressed out, I would not do it either!
However, it doesn't have to be stressful!
At lease not when you have a family photo session with me. Wink wink.
I know now you are either rolling your eyes thinking it's impossible or you are eager to know the secrets. Hang on for a second and first take a deep breath. Before we dive in, I want you to actually ask yourself a few EXTREMELY IMPORTANT questions. You might be attempted to feel that I'm making it way bigger of a deal but just trust me, this is necessary AND there is no right or wrong answers to these questions. There is only your answer.
Ok. Are we ready?
Why do I want to even take family photos? Like, seriously, why? Is it because everyone else is doing it? Is it because I want to share on Facebook to show case how cute our family is? Is it because I want my family to look perfect(maybe finally for once)? Is it because grandma wants an update? Is it because I just love to see my family together?
What do I want to feel when I look at my family photos? Strong connections between family members? Joy? Stylish? Trendy cool?
What am I going to do with my family photos? Send a copy to grandparents? Update my photo wall? Print one and hang up in our living room? Take one to the office to put on my desk?
If you have pondered about these questions and you are still with me, here's a high five across the internet from me!
Now I'm going to walk you through a family session with Amy Dangerfield Photography. Sit back, and enjoy the experience!
This is Lauren Sipe and her family.
Lauren is my kids' swimming teacher. I've spent the past two summers working with Lauren to make sure my kids are water safe. We would chat during classes about all kinds of things and we got to know each other more. When she asked me to do her family photos I was beyond excited! I literally jumped and did a happy dance.
Lauren is a fun relaxed mama of two little cute kids and she is expecting her third baby. Both her and her husband loves nature. Her husband is actually a hunter. Lauren said that they Love horses. Lauren's parenting style is very close to nature too. She breastfeeds. She co-sleeps. She will do home birth. I have a full list of amazing locations here in the Valley, but I thought how fitting it is for us to choose a location by the Salt River for her family! I know at sunrises, there are usually wild horses along the river so I recommended the location and Lauren was extremely excited about the location choice! Deal!
Next step, we worked together to pick out the outfits for the family. I actually provide personalized styling for all of my families. With the location being green with some desert features, I wanted something to pop but not too distracting--no patterns, an orange little dress and lighter color for the boys. Lauren is expecting so we need to take that into consideration--flattering, but easy to move around for mama. I put together the outfit and sent her the look which I think would look fabulous for them along with the direct shopping link.
She already has a similar green maxi dress she really liked so she showed me a photo of her dress and I think it would be good so we switched out her dress. She ordered the other outfits directly through the links I sent her. A little side story. She ordered the T-shirt for her husband from Amazon but unfortunately, it fitted poorly with the neck design. We were both a little bummed. But I told her don't worry, just return this one and a simple collared shirt would work. She decided to just head over to the mall to find a good one. She texted me the photos while she was shopping and very quickly we decided on a shirt.
I actually don't make any commission if anyone purchases through the links I sent out but I enjoy the process. It's like I get to satisfy my shopping desire and I don't have to spend tons of money. Haha! In all seriousness, Lauren said that it was REALLY helpful to at least have the exact look put together instead of just a Pinterest board for inspiration or even just a color scheme. And I actually recommend Amazon for outfits because you can try out a few different ones and just return the ones you don't like hassle free. At least for me, with two little munchkins and a husband who's tall but skinny, I would much rather spend time trying out clothes at home instead of spending hours and hours in the store.
Anyways. We have the outfit ready!
I highly recommend hairdos and make up for moms for your photo sessions. You know, family photo sessions are special occasions so make it special. Even make it an event! More on that in a second.
Sunrise was at 5:30am and Lauren actually got there way early at 5am and she excitedly texted me that they saw horses EVERYWHERE! That's a good sign! When I got there at 5:15am, the kids couldn't wait to tell me that they saw horses eating breakfast! And I know, when kids are excited, we are off to a great session.
I quickly arranged the family together to get some photos of the whole family posed, mom and kids, dad and kids and just the siblings. Even though I LOVE unposed photos, I know how important to each family to still have some posed photos to send to grandparents. SO, don't worry, I will take care of them quickly at the beginning.
Since the kiddos are already correcting me singing Baby Shark the wrong order, I think it's time to move onto my favorite part of the photoshoot--UNPOSED! Let's get real and have some fun!
Kids don't care about taking good photos but they surely care about playing fun games!
I have to say that I am a sucker for movements and changes. I believe that when people are moving, the don't think about themselves as much and they tend to just enjoy being themselves in the moment more. So during a session, I have people move--swing, jump, or dance. I also have people walk around a little bit to explore different parts of the location.
Adventure is out there.
And at the end of the shoot, I always make sure to get photos of just the mom and the dad. It is SUPER IMPORTANT to me to get that shot for the family. When kids come along, easily kids become the new center of life. However, without the love of the mom and the dad, or as I say, the wife and the husband, no kids would exist! It's important to remember that your spouse is someone who will be your partner in crime and be your teammate raising the children.
Of course, to make sure kids are happy and safe, usually I will have the kids sit in my wagon at a safe spot near by and have mom show the kids a little video on the phone. Hey, special time, special treatment! My kids don't usually play with phones but for photoshoots, do what you gotta do!
And yes, I bring big lollipops to give to kids at the end. Shhhhhhh, don't tell your kids before the session though, let me be their favorite photographer. Wink wink.
When I said, that's a wrap! "Yay but I'm sad that we are done." Lauren said, "Let's do this again!"
It was fun! They had lots of fun exploring around and even getting into the water. I had tons of fun creating the images. I told them to go to IHOP or some place to get breakfast that they don't usually get. Take a nap. Make it a special day.
When Lauren received her images through an online gallery, she easily downloaded the whole gallery and she shared with her family. Then she texted me--"Amy, thank you so much! My mom teared up seeing all these photos. And my sister is totally jealous that we got such good family photos!" She also had the option to purchase prints easily through her gallery directly.
"Wow! Working with Amy was such a pleasure! Amy's warm, fun and kind energy created a wonderful stress-free shoot and my kiddos LOVED her!
Family shoots can be stressful when you have little ones, but Amy allowed them to be themselves and somehow captured their true personalities in the most beautiful, heartwarming shots. Amy answered any questions we had promptly, took care of every last detail and all we had to do was show up and be ourselves. I am amazed at how quickly we received the photos and the quality was flawless!! Amy is a true professional! I will be recommending Amy Dangerfield Photography to ALL of my family and friends." Lauren
Some people may say, hey not everyone can be the amazing Lauren Sipe! But you know what? I don't want everyone to be Lauren and to copy paste this session. I want your family to be your family. Unique. Special. Real. And YOU!
The workflow and the experience will be as relaxed and joyful as this session but the personality will shine through with all the personalized touches be it the location choice, outfit choice or simply the family dynamic.
It's really awesome to get a lot of professionally done, beautiful family photos of everyone in the frame. However, I will have to say, what matters more to me and especially for you is that you as a family, despite of your busy schedule, had a special fun day together. And when you hold the photos in your hands or look at them on your walls, I hope you can catch yourself a smile on your face thinking about all the little details of that day as a family and think to yourself--this is my lovely family and I want to be with my family forever.
Let me know if you have any questions about a family photo session with Amy Dangerfield Photography. And of course, let me know if you would like me to document your family fun and tell your story through my lenses!
Thank you for reading!