HeffelYour kids are only little once and while it may be cute to capture them at some of their not-so-precious moments to post on social media, you want your family portraits to be memories that you proudly display for years, minus the crying and spaghetti sauce-covered faces.

If modeling isn’t your family’s everyday forte, here are some tips to get you and your children ready for your next portrait session with tips provided by Ati Photography (atiphotography.com).

Thomas Preggy

  1. Timing is everything. Schedule the photo shoot when your kids are at their happiest. Work your appointment around your kids’ normal routine. Lighting is important—A bright, high sun is not ideal for perfect portraits; photographers prefer to shoot outdoor photos in the early morning or just before dusk. If you end up altering your normal routine and can go with the flow, try to encourage a little nap and bring some snacks along to keep the kids satisfied.
  2. Clothing is key. Choose a formal or casual style of clothing and stay true to your style. You want to coordinate, but not be too matchy-matchy.
  3. Foundation, foundation, foundation. Select one anchor piece of clothing as the foundation of your photo and build everyone’s wardrobe around that.
  4. Operation coordination. Coordinate the style and colors of your clothing with your location in mind. When choosing your color palette, consider what will look nice with the existing colors in your home.
  5. Seasons change and so do your tastes. For a photo that stands the test of time, select clothes that are classic rather than super trendy. While a little bit of pattern can be a good thing, it’s best to avoid clothing with large graphics and logos, but don’t be afraid of color and pattern—a pop or two of color and design adds interest to the picture.

KlohePullensYou may find it helpful to layout all of the potential outfits a few days ahead of time to see if you love them and if they work together. Mix and match away until you are set on your selections. By doing this, you won’t have to stay up all night before your shoot—you will need a good night’s rest to avoid bags under your eyes.

Hiring a professional photographer is an investment. Just remember that simplicity is best and a little preplanning will pay off in a great looking family portrait in the end.