Motherhood, Family and Wedding Photography
Based in Owen Sound Ontario









How to Win at Family Sessions | Southamton Family Photography


What if I told you that there were a few things you could do to WIN at your next family session? I’m sharing my favourite family photography tips that will guarantee beautiful images that you will love!

1. Plan a Sunrise Session

If you have little ones; evening sessions interfere with normal bedtimes, especially in the Spring when our sunset time is between 8:00 – 9:00pm.   If you love the glow that evening gives, but you know that your children just can’t stay up that late, ask for a sunrise session. Morning glow is just as gorgeous as evening glow. And if your kids are anything like mine, you are already up before the sun anyway!

2. Bathe the night before your session

There will be enough stressor’s the day of your family session, why not try to eliminate some of them? Bathing your children the night before takes one thing off your list. This goes for mom and dad as well. It can be really hard to get ready when you have a couple of mini me’s pulling on your skirt. Why not shower and curl your hair the night before, leaving only makeup and touch ups for the next day?

3. Eat before you arrive

Having everyone in your family eat a meal before your session helps to balance everyones moods. Children won’t be grumpy or nagging for food during the session which removes one more potential frustration point.

4. Bring water and snacks

When your kids start to get tired and resist the camera, I love to have you or your spouse snuggle with them and take a small break. Snacks always feel like a treat and children tend to be more sensitive to dehydration. Make sure your snack won’t stain if it falls on your children’s clothing. Crackers, apple slices and cheese are a few great ideas! Avoid anything with chocolate, not only does it stain – but if they eat too much it could make them feel sick.

5. Bring a few favourite toys

This tip works magic with children around 6 months to 3 years old. Bringing a familiar and loved toy is comforting and it’s something we can talk about which helps distract from a meltdown. Keep the toy small and make sure it’s photogenic. Some examples are a favourite stuffy, a shaker, hot wheels cars, etc. My kids love Maileg Mice, so we bring a few of those to our sessions 🙂

6. Comfortable and coordinated outfits

The biggest correlation I have found for styling and beautiful images is colour. I always tell my families to dress in neutrals and pair with muted or pastel colours. Avoid bright colours and bold patterns. If your children are young, you should all wear clothing that you can chase, tickle and twirl in. Dresses, especially midi or maxi dresses, are a fabulous option for moms because they have beautiful movement, adding a softness to your images, and they are oh so comfortable!

7. Dress for the appropriate temperature

There is nothing worse than being too cold or too hot, and children are even more sensitive than we are as adults. Some of my favourite ways to sweetly style kids in cooler weather is to wear cozy sweaters or layer shirts under overalls, add knee high socks or tights under dresses – you can even add adorable booties, toques and mitts!

8. Don’t expect perfection

Children are unpredictable and sometimes they behave very differently than you may expect.  My earlier tips (snacks, toys, a sunrise session) should help avoid some big emotions. And if all our tricks fail, we will ease into some tearful images where you are comforting them. And you know what? Those ones are beautiful too.

Are you thinking of investing in a family session? I would love to bring your dream family session to life! Come say hello and let’s start planning!

Film scans by Canadian Film Lab
All images by Owen Sound Newborn Photographer, Loni Carroll Photography


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