Lena Eivy Photography | How to prepare for your Day In The Life Family Photography Session
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How to prepare for your Day In The Life Family Photography Session

Welcome you brave beautiful soul. You, who are ready to move beyond those picturesque images of families laughing in a field of wildflowers without a care in the wold. You, who know that life is not always a perfect sunset walk on the beach but the little moments that surround us everyday. You, who value the beautiful mess that is everyday life. Welcome!

So, you’ve stumbled upon this crazy photography that captures REAL moment in REAL life. Your heart melts when you see a child tumbling on a couch or a family making breakfast together.

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You are ready to take the plunge and invite a photographer in your home to capture your REAL life in all of its glorious mess, but now what? How do you prepare for such a photo shoot? This advice is for you:

First, don’t panic. Unlike the perfect family walking hand in hand on the beach, this photoshoot will capture the essence of who your family is. You will be able to look back on these photos in 20 years and remember those tiny moments that seamed so trivial at the time that are so enormously important.

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Second, lets get your house ready!

Step 1: REMOVE YOUR CLUTTER

You want this photoshoot to be about you not about your stuff. Living in our homes everyday, we forget about just how much stuff we have, but the camera will notice it all. Not only that, but your stuff will distract from what is really important: you and your family. Put all those knick knacks away. Remove those magnets from your fridge. Clean up the shoes that are on the floor. All of this stuff will show up in your photos so its best just to put it away.

I grabbed this shot of my daughter at a party and was amazed by how busy the background was when I got home and actually looked at the image.

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2) PLAN ACTIVITIES THAT YOU ENJOY DOING TOGETHER AS A FAMILY (AND HAVE A BACK-UP PLAN IN CASE IT RAINS)

I don’t know about you, but in my house, our weekends are full of running errands, cleaning and reading. There is nothing wrong with this but for your Day In The Life Photoshoot, plan a day that involves spending quality time together as a family. If your family likes to take a walk, take a walk. If you family likes to go to the beach, go to the beach. If your family likes to snuggle up and watch a movie, do it! Remember, the goal is to capture your family doing things your family does. Resist the urge to dress everyone up and head to the field of wildflowers to capture that perfect shot.

Don’t forget to have a back-up plan in case it is raining (since Murphy’s Law declares if you plan outdoor activities, it will rain). An afternoon of family board games can create the most precious moments.

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3) BE YOURSELF AND BE OPEN TO CAPTURING THE REALLY REAL MOMENTS

Ha! Have you ever tried “being yourself” when someone is shoving a giant camera in your face? Not so easy. Be aware that the first hour will probably be thrown out for just that reason, but don’t panic. In all my years of photographing people, I have never met a single person who doesn’t eventually get used to the camera.

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Along those same lines, don’t worry if your child decided that today of all days is the day he refuses to smile and insists on crying in the corner for an hour. That is real life. That happens. One of my favorite images of my daughter is one where she is taking a poo on the potty. I love this image because it reminds me that every time she sits on the potty our cat joins her in the bathroom demanding attention. You won’t get that kind of photo in a “smiling on the beach during sunset” type of photoshoot.

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Hopefully you have a better idea of how to prepare for your Day In The Life Family Session, but as questions come up, ask them! The more you know, the more comfortable you will be and the better your shoot will turn out.

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