You have probably seen me post about extended families and thought, okay that seems fun, but not for MY family. If I know you at all, my guess would be that you would love pictures with your extended family, you just can’t imagine it going smoothly. Let me tell you that I come from a tricky family and I have photographed thousands of people over the years. I can confidently say that large groups are my speciality. I am so excited to give you my bests tips for How To Prepare For Extended Family Photos
One of the best ways to prepare for extended family photos is by sending everyone in your family this blog post. It is hard enough to get two parents on the same page for family pictures. Now try and get multiple parents with multiple family dynamics and one set of grandparents leading the pack, and it’s just impossible. Let me do the communicating for you.
Hi, my name is Hiliary and I will be your photographer. I photograph hundreds of people every year. I can PROMISE you that I am a very thorough and efficient photographer. You don’t have to like family pictures, but this will go a lot smoother if you can have a good attitude for just 60 minutes, yes I promise you, I will finish the entire session in an hour, that is, as long as everyone is on time. While this session may not be important to you, it is important to someone in your family.
My extended family sessions are truly legacy sessions. So many families ache for pictures that you are getting, but can’t get everyone together. These might be yearly pictures for you, but they are once-in-a-lifetime pictures for someone else. Remembering how much they mean to someone can also help the session go smoother. While I can finish the photoshoot and get all the pictures we need quickly, come prepared to soak in the evening chaos. This might be the only time you get a professional picture with you and your grandma. If you plan on spending extra time with the people you love most you will be happier. I promise we will have fun.
If none of that means anything to you, rest assured that I get paid by the session, so the quicker I get your family session done, the more money I am making. Of course I am more than willing to spend hours on your session if I need to, but we both want it to be as quick as possible.
Choose a color scheme and send it out to your family. Let them know very specifically what you want them to wear, and what your want them to avoid. Set out your outfits ahead of time, including socks, bows, ties. Know how you are going to do your hair, and your kids. Making decisions ahead of time eliminates all the stress the day of. If the weather forecast is cold, have layers that match the color scheme so you don’t have to take coats off. I always suggest eating ahead of time. Hungry kids and husbands can ruin a photoshoot quicker than bad weather.
After you have done everything you can to make sure everyone knows what to expect, has a good attitude, has eaten and napped, let go of all your expectations and trust me. I am a professional photographer and it’s my job to navigate the session and help it go smoothly. While it can seem like everything is going wrong leading up to your session, or even during your session, I promise you that I am getting beautiful images that you will cherish. It always seems 10 times more wild to the parents. I shoot extended families all the time. The chaos is second nature to me.
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