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3 Steps for a Relaxed Family Session | Calgary Family Photographer

Updated: May 8, 2022

Family photo sessions can sometimes feel hit or miss — will the kids cooperate and have a good time, or will this be a fight?

Luckily, there are a couple steps you can take to make sure that your family photos go off without a hitch! Here are 3 steps for a stress free family session:

Find the right photographer

The most important step is to have the right person behind the camera. Find someone who is comfortable with kids, and is willing to take things low-pressure.

One of the things I pride myself on as a photographer is being good with kids— I’m actually a level 1 Early Childhood Educator! I have lots of experience with children, so I know how to talk and explain to them. But most importantly, I know how to keep things fun! I promise to go with the flow so that our session isn’t just something your kids have to endure- it’s something they will enjoy and be ready when it’s time to come back for more!

Have the right location

Parks are definitely an ideal location when it comes to family portraits. This is why I often recommend family photos in Fish Creek Provincial Park to my clients. Having a big, natural reserve to capture your photos in means we can keep moving and keep things interesting, especially for younger kids with shorter attention spans, but still have some beautiful views to work with.

If you have older kids, a location such as downtown might be best, especially if they haven’t spent much time there. This can create a spark of adventure as we get to walk around and take pictures somewhere new. Downtown has some awesome wall murals and architecture that make for great backgrounds for your family photos!

Set Your Family up for Success

There are a couple things you can do leading up to the session. The first is to explain to your kids exactly what is going to happen and when. If your children have never had family pictures taken before (or even if they have!) don’t assume they know what to expect.

  • Tell your children when the session will be ("Next week after lunch, we’re going for family photos!")

  • Tell them where it will be ("Remember when we went to Fish Creek Park? We’re gonna go there again!" Or, "We’re going to go to a big park with lots of new places to explore!").

  • Tell them about me ("Someone is going to meet us there to take pictures of us. Her name is Tamzen and she is going to show us around the park a little bit take pictures while we explore!")

Feel confident in knowing this is going to be a fun family session that will create lasting memories for your family. And when you explain everything to your children, set this as the tone! At the end of the day, we are there to have fun— when we are having fun, amazing pictures will naturally follow!

BONUS TIP: if you have small children who need naps, or fall asleep in the car, make sure you arrive at least 30 minutes before your session starts. This gives you time to wake your littles up, and they can get into a happy mood before it’s time to meet me and start taking the photos. This is extra important if your little is grumpy after nap time. Take some time to have a little picnic or play on the playground before your session to make sure everyone’s happy 🤗

To read more about my favourite Calgary locations click here.

For more tips on how to prepare for your family session, click here.

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