What to Expect At Your Family Photography Session [SF Bay Area Photographer]

Family

You booked your session! YAY! I am SO excited to get to know you and your family. As a mom myself, I understand the stress that goes into the days and months leading up to your session so that is why I have laid it all out there for you! No question is a silly question so please do not hesitate to reach out with any you may have.

After You’ve Booked, Let’s Get You Styled!

Once we have decided on a date, you have signed the contract and paid the deposit, I will send over a link to a styling platform that will help you plan and put together your outfits for your session. Please please please do not overlook this! This styling platform is so easy to use and can help you visualize different colors, patterns and textures together that you may never have thought of before. Every style is welcome! Love the urban look with converse, beanies and distressed t’s? I’m your girl! Love big flowing dresses, hats and the boho feel? I’m also your girl! Want nothing to do with dresses and just want to be yourself? I’m still your girl! Listen, there is no right or wrong when styling your family for your session. I have a post all about styling here – Styling Tips – But other than that, this is about you. I can tell you all day to dress a certain way, but in the end, dress what you are most comfortable in and what reflects your family!

One Week Before…

About a week before, I will send over an email to confirm our meeting time and location. I always remind families that the weather in the Bay Area can be very unpredictable so please be flexible if we have to reschedule. I do not like rescheduling and will only do it if absolutely necessary but no one wants to do family photos in 100 degree heat where everyone is sweating. If the weather is overcast, I do not reschedule. In fact, sometimes the session with overcast skies and clouds, are even better than sun! Trust me on that one! I also have a Location Guide that I will send over to give you an idea of some of the locations I love and shoot at often. This is just a few of many so if you have something in mind that you love, I am all ears! A lot of times the locations I fall in love with are because families have introduced them to me! So please don’t hesitate to give ME suggestions also!

The Day Has Arrived — DAY OF YOUR SESSION! YAY!

It’s here! The day is finally here for your family photography session. The outfits are ready, location is picked and it’s go time. I usually use the same flow at all my family photography sessions. I will start out by getting the photos of everyone looking at the camera. We usually run through those relatively quickly, roughly 15 minutes for so. From there, I like to move. We’ll find another spot in the park and get your kiddos up moving so they don’t get bored. Usually changing scenery can re-direct kids and help them engage more. At the end of your session, I try to focus on the candids and storytelling images. I place in you in a pose and from there, I let you be — play with your kids, love on your spouse, pick wildflowers, throw rocks, play games… the possibilities are endless! Just be you! If your kids are wild and crazy, play some fun games. If your kids are more chill and laidback, hang out on a blanket and play telephone! Please do not apologize if your kids are running around crazy, not listening or acting up — This is completely normal and expected! I have been photographing families in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost 7 years now and I literally have seen it all! I often tell moms to not scold or get mad at your kids if they aren’t smiling. Its okay. While I do try to get one of everyone looking at the camera, I really try NOT to force kids to smile if they just aren’t feeling it. Below are a couple tips to help this day run smoothly:

  1. Make Sure Everyone is Fed — including you Mom! No kid or even adult, does well on a hungry stomach. We will be doing a lot of walking, some running, playing and moving around. Make sure your kids are fed, even a light snack , to hold them over until our session is over.
  2. No Yelling At Your Kids – I get it. I am a mom too and understand when kids don’t cooperate it can be very frustrating. But trust me, the last thing we want is tears and red faces from crying. Family photos are stressful for kids already, so please try to let them be who they are. I will do my best to redirect them to another location or a fun activity but let’s work together to try and get them involved and having fun.
  3. Bring A Small Treat – Sometimes when nothing else is working and kids are being wild and crazy, I’ll bring out the candy. I try hard to not have candy as sometimes it can cause even more tantrums and crying, but I use it as a last resort. A small candy like gummy bears is perfect b/c it doesn’t have food dye in it so it won’t stain kids clothes.

After Your Family Photo Session

Phew! Your session is over and YOU DID IT! YAY! A sigh of relief that it’s over but anticipation of seeing the end results. If you are ok with social media, I try to share sneak peeks from your family session about one week after our session. If you don’t want your images on social media, that’s okay. I am happy to text you your sneak peeks as well! From there, it takes me about three weeks from our session date to edit your images. All images are edited in color with a few in black and white and then uploaded to a digital gallery where you will download the high resolution files. Family Sessions always have a big variety of posed, candid and documentary type images.

Family Photo Sessions in The San Francisco Bay Area

Want to see some examples of past family photo sessions in the Bay Area? Here are a few of my favorites:

Extended Family Photography Session

Summer Family Photos in the San Francisco Bay Area

Family Photography Session – Mt. Diablo

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