What Your Photographer Wants You to Know

Photo by Jillian Marie Photography

This time of year is full of holiday preparation, decorating, and planning for family photography sessions. Whether you’re planning for Santa pics, outdoor sessions, or studio shots, you can find a great list of local photographers in your area.

By talking to several professional photographers over the years, there are a few key points that your favorite photographer would love for you to know:

  1. The photo shoot isn’t going to go perfectly, and that’s ok. If your toddlers are melting down or having a bad, it’s going to be fine. Take a deep breath and relax: everyone will have a much better time if the adults can keep calm too. Sometimes little kids just need a break and can come back in a few minutes and smile happily. (Don’t schedule your session during naptime or during a rushed hour of your day.)
  2. Give the photographer the time to edit and deliver, based on the timeline they initially sent you. They are all very stressed during the holidays and have a tremendous workload, so give some grace on delivery and make sure to read the emails or instructions they’ve posted.
  3. Make sure you (the mom) feels good in what you’re wearing. Here are some other tips for looking your best at a photo shoot. If Mom doesn’t love the session, it won’t be the best it can be. Wear something that fits well and that you’ve worn before. Stray away from dresses or tops that easily wiggle or show bra straps. Avoid white because it stains easily and reflects light really strongly.
  4. Have motivators ready to serve as a reward after the session is complete. Small, easily chewable snacks are the best for little ones and should be held until the end if at all possible. If you need to hand out a snack to get a small child to cooperate, remember to stay away from chocolate, colors that stain, or overly chewy or crumbly snacks. Small gummy snacks, sweet tarts, or goldfish crackers are favorites.
  5. Wipe little noses. During the weather-changing seasons, everyone seems to get the sniffles. Have a baby wipe or tissue handy to wipe those little noses. Snotty kids make for challenging photo editing and will only delay your photo delivery!
  6. Plan family outfits that coordinate well but are not overly matchy-matchy. You can get color palette ideas from Pinterest or from viewing other family sessions your photographer has taken. Neutrals in varying shades, jewel tones, or other solid colors look very nice together. Avoid lots of whites, tiny plaids, and overly distracting patterns if possible.
  7. Try to have fun! Relax, laugh, and enjoy the candid moments with your family. We try to plan a fun family activity for right after photos so that everyone has something to look forward to: an ice cream treat, a family activity, or always a favorite, a trip to the dollar store for prizes!
Rachel Harris Ledet
A New Orleans native and entrepreneur, Rachel is a mom of four with an active schedule. Rachel maintains a daily balance of running her own marketing firm, 30|90 Marketing, managing her kids’ schedules, and maintaining extracurriculars including coaching dance, volunteering, and occasionally teaching courses. Rachel lives in Mandeville with her best friend and husband Lenny, daughters Addison and Amelia, stepson Luke, and son Tucker. With a family of six and a million balls in the air, Rachel keeps things light by continuously learning, spending time with amazing friends, blogging, finding any route to a concert or outdoor festival, and planning her next getaway with her husband. A sense of humor can get you through almost anything, so she tends to surround herself with fabulous and very funny people.


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