A little boy and his momma | Cleveland Family Photographer Tess Smith Photography

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Smile Pretty Now | Northeast Ohio Family Photographer

Tips For Preparing For a Family Photo Session

I've scheduled a family photo session for my own family with a very talented local wedding photographer, Kayla Schneider of Full Bloom Photography. Our session won't be until later this year but I've already started preparing for it.  I scheduled at a time that would be convenient for my family. My husbands work schedule will be less hectic, my youngest child should be full of smiles and new accomplishments. She'll be about 10 months and she shouldn't be walking quite yet but might be standing on her own. Those are the most important factors for MY family. My older children should do just about anything for a piece of chocolate. Heck... I'd do just about anything for a piece of chocolate!

I've started to piece together what we're going to wear. I've chosen a color scheme based on something I loved. For your own session I'd suggest the same. Pick out your favorite piece of clothing and go from there. I've added textures, ruffles, and accessories to give the photo's a lot of jazz. I like a lotta jazz! I've enlisted the help of my friends who are local crafters and etsy sellers to help with the accessories and even the outfit for my oldest. I'm excited to see what they come up with based on the ideas I've given them.

Next I'm adding dimension and details. Bubbles, balloons, letters, garland, etc... I'm packing a box. Photographing a family does not have to be sitting in front of a camera and throwing a cheesy grin on your face. When I shoot, I shoot for emotion. I like to evoke a feeling. I enjoy capturing little details. Tucking hair behind your little girls ear, The look on a parents face when their child did something insanely adorable. A family being just that... a family. Running, jumping, playing and enjoying life. A few weeks ago I took some shots of a family and some of my favorite images are of a little boy opening a band aid. I caught his serious little face concentrating on the task. And then the joy when he did it all by himself. It's the little things.

Lastly- My plan for the shoot is to go with the flow. If we get mud on our pants... we get mud on our pants. And the beautiful images I had in my head will be just that... with mud. At the end of the day jumping in those mud puddles will bring about a true genuine smile and REAL laughter and that's what I wanted after all.

Here's a sneak peek of the Massey Family. I'll be sharing their photo's soon.


  1. What a great idea to pack a box of things for the photographs! I love that you are planning so far ahead too. I've got to get our family portraits done, I think the only one we have of all of us was on Easter last year... who feels bad for the poor soul that gets to photograph our family of 7?!!!

  2. what great ideas!!! i've usually picked outfits that work when we get our photos done, but i've never thought to bring things to jazz up our session. LOVE it!