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Tops Tips for Family Portrait Sessions | Magdalena Studios

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Photos & Words By Team Member Ashley

All summer long we’ve been busy creating fun memories during our family portrait sessions, and we have some great tips to help things run smooth and stress free!! Whether you have a large group of families with grandparents or simply parents and kids, we love getting to know the uniqueness of your own personal family! Every session is always new and different and we learn a lot by working with such a broad range of groups. Family portrait sessions are a great way to document a family trip, beach week, birthday, graduation, or anniversary! While the obvious things to plan out are outfits and locations, we have a few tips on making your session fun and as easy going as possible!

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First, lets talk about the kids!! As a Mom, I know every kid is different. What makes them laugh, what makes them cry, and where they’re ticklish are all things I have to learn very quickly while photographing your family. And who knows them better than you?? So any tips or tricks you have from home that guarantee a good old fashion grin are always appreciated! We’ve seen it all, so don’t be embarrassed if your kid only smiles when you tell him not to, when you sing the Trolls theme song, or just can’t resist a good peekaboo! Give them a “pep talk” before the session to calm any uncertainties, and give them a clear view of what will be going on.We usually do posed photos first, then more candid play photos. While I normally steer clear of bribery, rewards are actually the perfect incentive to get cooperative kids during the session! Candy or treats are the obvious choice, but it can also be bubbles, a new toy, or anything tangible you can bring with you to reward them with after!

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My next tip is to remember you’re on the beach and windy conditions are almost ALWAYS possible. So, instead of wearing long hair all down, think about half up or one side pinned back, just so the wind isn’t making your hair do crazy things or hiding your face!

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Try to leave personal items at home or in the car, including cell phones, purses, personal cameras, and sunglasses. Try and save the selfies for after the session! We tend to walk around a lot on the beach and having to collect everyones things each time we move can be distracting to everyone. The only thing you really should bring is a small bottle of bug spray (those green heads are always unpredictable!) and some baby powder if you have little ones that tend to wipe their eyes with sandy hands.

Going with the flow, and letting the kids (and parents!) enjoy themselves is our main goal, all while getting some beautiful posed and candid portraits to cherish for a lifetime! We always welcome your ideas or family tradition photos but have plenty of poses, prompts and tricks we like to use to get those super natural, beautiful family photos that you’ll forever adore.

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