5 Tips to Prepare for Your Family Photo Session

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I am Neyssa Lee a Seattle area photographer, mother of six, who is planning obsessed, who help you see the beauty, love and joy, in your own family’s chaos. Learn more by heading to my ABOUT ME page.

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Hi, I'm Neyssa

You have your family session booked, the date is on the calendar. So now what? If you’re anything like me you want to plan to make the most of the family session. Here are the 5 tips I give families with an upcoming family photo session.

Plan What to Wear in Advance

I know it can be easy to put outfits until the last minute, however, no one likes racing around to stores trying to find coordinating outfits, in all the right sizes the day before family photos. Instead, start thinking about the color palette and feel you want right away. Then you can check closets for pieces you already have for everyone and slowly start looking for what you need to fill the gaps. For more ideas on putting together what to wear, click here.

When you have booked a session with me, I not only can help you as much or as little as you’d like with picking out your wardrobe, but you’ll receive a private link and password for Style and Select, an easy online styling service. In a nut shell, you complete a simple questionnaire, then select outfits options for everyone in your family based on your answers. The best part is that the results offered give you prices and where to buy for everything. I know you’re busy, so I’m hoping this not only eases stress for planning for a family session, but simplifies the process for you!

5 Tips to Prepare for Your Family Photo Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Family sitting on log pile

Explain to the Kids What Will Happen During Family Photos

Kids like to know what to expect. Chatting about the day and what will happen will help make them more comfortable. Explain that you’re going to go explore a fun park (or river, or lake, depending on the location we’ve selected) together as a family. Tell them that I will be there with a camera, and a camera bag. Showing them my picture if they don’t know who I am can help them get a better idea. You can even tell them I have four kids so I REALLY like kids!

If you’re making it a fun event like having family photos and then all going for ice cream or hot chocolate or to a special playground, chat up the entire event. I suggest not bribing like saying, “You behave and you get a hot chocolate,” but making it more about the fun family adventure you’re going to go on together from family photos to special treat afterwards.

5 Tips to Prepare for Your Family Photo Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Dad spinning with son

Mama, Pamper Yourself

When you feel special and beautiful, it shows on camera. I’m not saying this has to be anything big, get a pedicure, a massage, or even just a new lipgloss. Sometimes taking a moment for ourselves helps you recharge and forget about the stress of wanting everything perfect for picture day. 

If you really want to treat yourself well, consider a spray tan. Did your brain just start counting “Mississippisously” like Ross in Friends? I know. That’s what I first thought when an old friend and co-worker, Amanda, told me she was starting her own spray tan business called Endless Summer Spray Tan. But then I learned more, like how the products she uses are vegan, and free of parabens and added preservatives. Amanda also comes to you, matches your skin tone. Gone are the days of orange, splotchy spray tans. Now I’m all about keeping it natural and being true to who you are, but I also know my legs right now are ghostly white – not photo ready at all! A little warm glow may be just the pampering you need to feel like the beautiful and confident mama you are. Wanting to try out a Spray Tan? Mention my name when booking with Endless Summer Spray Tan to save $15! 

5 Tips to Prepare for Your Family Photo Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Husband and wife snuggled together

Pack the Snacks and Feed the Kids

Even if you’re going out to dinner, it is a good idea to feed the kids something before your session. Hungry kids can’t think about anything besides being hungry. Full tummies make for more fun. You can also pack snacks to eat on the way or during the session. While sessions typically only last about an hour, I know that all that playing together can feel like hard work. I just suggest a “clean” snack that doesn’t leave messes on face/clothing or turn mouths colors – unless you want that captured in your photos!

5 Tips to Prepare for Your Family Photo Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Family dancing together in beautiful light

Show up Relaxed, Ready to Love on Your Family….No Matter What.

Your job is to just show up relaxed, take a breath and love on that beautiful family of yours. Drop all expectations of perfection and let me photograph the connections and love in your family. Remember, we aren’t after that perfect shot, but a collection of images that show who you are right now. Rest easing knowing that I have seen everything from the shy kid to the wild ones, and everything in between and always capture images that are true to those children, true to your family. 

One mom told me, “My husband said, ‘We were such a tranwreck but somehow Neyssa made it look like we were pulled together and getting along!’  I told him that is why you’re the professional!” 

5 Tips to Prepare for Your Family Photo Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Mom with sons

Feeling prepared but haven’t booked your photo session yet? Don’t worry, I can help with that. Contact me and let’s get your session on the calendar. 

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