Expert secrets to stress-free family photography

Expert secrets to stress-free family photography

Are you nervous about your upcoming family photography session? There's no need to worry if you follow a few smart tips and tricks for fabulous family photos. These tried-and-true secrets to a stress-free photography session from the experts at JCPenney Portraits will have everyone in your crew smiling with ease.

Decide on outfits: What to wear can be quite the dilemma, especially if you have a particularly picky person in the family. The trick to making this work is to let that person choose their outfit and then work family wardrobes around them. For example, if Mom is known for being particular with her clothing, let her select an outfit and then build a color palette for the family off of that. Remember to coordinate, not match, when selecting clothing for family members. When in doubt, keep outfits simple.

Rest is best: A good night's rest is one of the best things you can do for your family in order to have a successful photography session. When everyone is well rested, their attitudes are more positive and irritability stays at bay. For younger kids, make sure to plan sessions around that mid-day nap. You don't want sleep-deprived tantrums as you're trying to get that special image.

Eat up: Make sure everyone is well fed before you head to your family photography session. Grumbly tummies make for unhappy kids and impatient parents. Even a small snack beforehand can help, just make sure that it's something that won't mess up those tidy outfits (think crackers, pretzels or anything dry and without food dye). Want a fun way to celebrate afterward? Bring a treat to reward kids after the session (or plan a trip to the ice cream shop).

Trust your photographer: Worried about forced smiles? Forget the cheese (it's better on crackers anyway). Let the expert photographers interact with your kids to inspire natural smiles and interaction you're sure to love when captured in photographs. Allow kids to be kids and you'll be surprised just how much fun a family photography session can be. Your photographer knows what to do and has many methods to get the pictures you're sure to cherish for years to come.

Bring interactive props: Is there something your family loves to do together? Not only is this a way to encourage a positive photo session, it also can serve as a meaningful prop. For example, bring a book to read together or favorite board game you like to play every Friday night. That blanket knit by Grandma is also a wonderful prop when everyone snuggles together inside. Check out this prop photography gallery for ideas.

Let go of perfect: When it comes to kids, perfection is a myth. There is no such thing as the perfect photograph, plus the beauty of your family is in its uniqueness anyway. You want to capture everything that makes your family one of a kind because that's what you adore about them anyway.