It’s that time of year where my inbox is filling up with family reunion photo inquiries. I thought it would be a great time to write up some tips on preparing for your extended family session! These sessions can definitely be stressful for a lot of reasons, but they don’t have to be. Don’t overthink it. Remember that the purpose is to capture a HAPPY family! So here’s some tips on how to achieve that!
6 Tips To Prepare for Your Family Reunion Portrait Session
- Do your session at the beginning of the family reunion! If you wait until later, your chances of non-sun-burned, happy, cooperating people go down. We all know that we tend to ignore bedtimes and routines during vacations, and this really effects how well little ones cooperate. So planning your session at the start of your reunion will help alleviate some of that.
- Pick a color palette, not just two matching colors. I really love the outfits this family chose for their session. They complimented their styles, the location, and really look peaceful and cohesive together. Don’t be afraid of patterns or mixing up the styles, too. Some girls can be in dresses, some in shorts, some in skirts. Boys can be in button downs, tees, polos, etc. You’re style doesn’t need to match perfectly! Just let “cohesive” be your keyword!
- Plan an evening shoot, and then make sure everyone is fed before! The sun goes down really late in the summer, so we can get away with doing after dinner shoots. Sometimes, noon is the time of day that will work with your schedule. And that’s ok, too! But if we can catch that summer golden hour in the evening, it adds a little extra special touch to your photos. Plus, who doesn’t want to go out for milkshakes after your session. And night time is the perfect time for that in the summer! Especially if you’re in Bear Lake for their famous raspberry shakes!
- Plan for your smaller, individual family sessions. Most families opt to add this add-on to their extended family session since everyone is all ready for pictures anyway. We take about 10 minutes with each family, and we really can capture some great shots in that amount of time. Bring bubbles or something else fun to help the kids relax and enjoy the moment. Have the “fun uncle” help to get genuine smiles. (We all know every family has THAT uncle).
- Don’t stress. I KNOW this is way easier said than done. I always stress about my own family sessions. But seriously….. the second the adults start stressing, it immediately passes down to the kids. Go with the flow. Be ok with a crying child in the grandkid photo. It’s really normal!
- Plan your time. These sessions are not really fast. I’ve been doing them for quite a few years, so I do have a process and go as fast as I can without compromising quality. But plan for at least an hour, especially if individual families are getting pictures done as well. We start with the families with smaller children, so if your kids are older, know that your turn will probably be at the end of the session.