Family Session Tips | La Jolla Family Photographer

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Looking for family session tips from a San Diego and La Jolla family photographer?

You’ve come to the right place! I’m Tristan, a San Diego and La Jolla family photographer who also specializes in newborns and maternity photography.

Ever wonder what you can do to help prepare your children for your family photography session with a La Jolla family photographer? I will be sharing 5 tips that can help assure you have a fun and relaxed family photo session with your younger children.

Let The Fun Begin.

Kids are free-spirited. They love to play, have fun and laugh. They have endless imaginations. I know photographing young children can seem daunting to some, but I love the challenge and helping create amazing memories for all of my clients. Seeing the world through the eyes of a child is so magical. I love getting to play and capture this special time in their lives. My young clients make me feel like a kid again!

But being carefree and wanting to follow their own path also means children might not want to do the things you want them to do during a session. All moms want out of a family photography session is gorgeous pictures of everyone looking their best and smiling. Your toddler might have other plans though.

Pre-Session Prep

At the beginning of every family session I like to get to know each child a bit to help them feel more comfortable. All of my families will receive a pre-session questionnaire to help get to know you ahead of time. This is especially helpful with shy children. Part of my job is to help families feel comfortable in front of the camera. Don’t worry about posing or what to do. I do a mix of some posed shots and candids. I am aiming to capture the authentic connections your family has.

There are also some things that you can do beforehand to prep your kids for their family photo session. And I have a few tricks for during the session too! You’ve spent all this time finding the right family photographer, picking out the location, choosing outfits, and getting everyone ready, let’s make sure it goes smoothly!

1. Set Expectations

Setting expectations with your kids before your family photography session is a great first step. Sit down with your kids and talk to them about what you are going to be doing. Let them know this will be a fun experience. I’m there to hang out with your family and see how much fun you have together! Sometimes even showing them a photo of me helps a ton. “This is Tristan! She’s a friend of mommy’s who is going to hang out with us at the beach and take some pictures. She’s super silly!” You can show your own excitement for the day to get them excited too.

2. Plan a Fun Treat

I’m not above bribery! Sit down together as a family and decide on something fun you can all do together after the session is over if everyone has fun and listens well. Maybe it’s ice cream or picking up takeout. Maybe it’s a fun trip to the park on the way home or movie night with popcorn. You know your family best and what the currency is. I mean, who doesn’t want ice cream after dinner?

3. Rest & Full Tummies

It helps if your kids are well rested before their session. Outdoor sessions typically start during the last hour or two before sunset. During the summer this can be slightly challenging with early bedtimes. Trust me. The gorgeous lighting is worth it!  A good nap or some quiet time prior to your family photo session will set your children up for a good evening.

Making sure kiddos have a full tummy prior to your family photos is important. You don’t want to get a case of the “hangries”. Pack “clean” snacks that are easy and non-messy like fruit snacks, cheerios or graham crackers. Having water on hand is always a great idea as well.

4. Getting Real Smiles

I know this has been ingrained in us since childhood, but avoid telling your child to “say cheese”. This typically creates smiles that are non-authentic and forced, especially in young children. We want your family photos to be full of genuine giggles, laughter, and that shows true joy. I usually tell silly jokes, ask funny questions, make silly noises or occasionally fall down to get a great reaction. Just don’t judge me after the session!

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5. Let Them Be Little

I want this session to be a blast. This is not your old-school, let’s go to JC Penny’s and sit on a chair family session. We play! They jump! I have running races and they have tickle fights with dad. We talk about stinky feet. If your kids get distracted, we’ll go with it. I want you to explore with them, tickle them, spin them, dance with them. My goal is to capture genuine authentic moments of you and your family. I want your photos to tell a story that helps you remember this stage of life with them. I will guide you along the way and even suggest some fun games like “ring around the rosy”. It’s important for you to let loose and just have fun with your children and let me handle the rest!

Ready to book your session with me, your La Jolla family photographer, Tristan Quigley? I can’t wait to work with you. Let’s have some fun!

Tristan Quigley Photography is based in San Diego and travels to surrounding areas including Encinitas, Carlsbad, La Jolla, Del Mar, Rancho Sante Fe, Cardiff, San Marcos, Oceanside, Carmel Valley, Coronado and other surrounding San Diego areas.

Please contact me if you’re interested in booking your photography session with Tristan Quigley Photography.

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