With wedding season in full swing, it is of course, time to start thinking of your family portraits in the fall! 

Outdoor portrait sessions in Calgary are usually between August and October - if we are lucky enough to have a fabulous and extended autumn season - and putting a session together is always a stressful thing for Mom's.  I want to make it as easy as possible so it is always a fun event for the whole family.

I admit I research before I blog about things.  I need to make sure I am not out to lunch with what I have to say..well this time I am going to the picnic table and eating my lunch.. OUT AND LOUD...  Does that even make any sense? The reason I am thinking this blog is "out to lunch" is  because I was doing a bit of research on Great family portrait session tips. I wanted to make sure what I thought were great tips, were actually great tips! Turns out my opinion is far from the norm.  I have found  advice like, wear earth tones and darker colours to look thinner. Seriously? Did this photographer tell all his potential clients they need to look thinner? Another tip was to either dress formal OR casual, but to not mix the two.  Well, I disagree.  Why not? I love the idea of mixing it up, especially if that is how your family is every day! My youngest is the best dressed in the house. Always in a suit and tie, he even has a small collection of fedoras. While my oldest... Jeans and t-shirts only. He is a total Rocker.  Actually, this was true, until my youngest became a teenager, but that is a conversation that requires coffee and good company. 

The advice I found went as far as "don't wear glasses - order contacts or consider asking your optometrist to BORROW empty frames just for the session."  Really? THAT IS IT! I can't take it any more! These types of tips are irritating. This little bit of research confirmed to me that my tips are far from what is out there on the world wide web! And, as my husband already knows, I am always right. So here are my suggestions:

  1. Wear what you want! Wear what works with your family or the theme of your session and above all things dress for the weather! We are in Calgary, Alberta - try to remember that.
  2. Think about your colours. Yes darker clothing is slimming - yes I wear a lot of black - but if you do not wear a lot of black, don't for your session! I love bright vibrant colours to brighten up a cloudy day. Why do you think rain coats are yellow? To brighten up a rainy day, right? ( Slightly off topic but call me, if you want, a fun puddle splashing rainy session with colourful rain boots, coats, and umbrellas! I am all over that!) Colour coordinate with your family but don't go all matchy matchy! Pretty please. Similar shades and colours work very well - it gives depth and variety and lets each person show their personality. Even if one person is in a tie and another is in jeans. It is about representing your family as they are at this moment in time.
  3. Cheese is for pizza and crackers - Let's leave it at home, shall we? I don't ask anyone to say cheese at my sessions and I will stomp on your foot if you are behind me and ask your kids to do so as well.  Just a heads up.
  4. Speaking of pizza... Make sure everyone is happy and well fed prior to the session and lets book it so you have plenty of time to do so! I try to avoid early morning sessions because I don't like to be rushed and would hate to ask you to wake up, feed the kids, get all done up and make sure every one looks fabulous then travel to meet me at 8 am... That is just mean...Although, if you are an early morning Family, then that is the best time to do it.
  5. Make it a great event.  If the kids are as excited as we are about the session, it will turn out just perfect! Why not bring something to do? Does your family go on weekend trips for ice cream? Bring some ice cream, we can take advantage.  Are you a family of readers? Bring your favorite books, or even let the kids bring their favorite character costumes.  Just be prepared to make it a fun family event - not just a sit up straight and say cheese family portrait from the 80's.

I hope these are helpful! A few simple rules to help simplify your family session.  Get in  touch to book your session so we can go out, have fun, create beautiful images and family memories together.