Planning your family photo session can be a wee bit stressful! Especially if you're doing an extended family session with some littles! Below are a few things that could help you get the most out of your session!

coordinate but don't match

Coordinating colors is key! Matching outfits can be cute for some but I'm all about the coordinated family. Take this family for instance, no one is matching each other and all the colors compliment each other. Try to stay away from busy patters that could clash against each other. For bright airy pics, neutrals are key! I am all about wearing black because it "makes us look slimmer" but I promise, light fabrics are golden for photos!

get the kids excited

I have one family every year that I see and it has been a joy to watch the kiddos grow! Each year they talk about seeing Miss Catrina and practicing their Miss Catrina smiles! I just think this is so precious!! Talk to your kiddos about the session coming up, get them excited and if need be, throw in some bribery like candy or ice cream afterwards!

Make sure the bellies are full

Have a snack before the session! Hunger can easily throw any munchkin into a breakdown. Making sure their bellies are happily full and they are well rested helps tremendously!

plan your bribes

Not all snacks are created equal. When planning what snacks to bring to the session as quick "reset's" or bribery, aim for the least amount of mess!! Gummy snacks are great! Chocolate leads to messy hands and can destroy an outfit in no time!

Back ups

Depending on the age, you may want to plan for back up clothes. I had a client come for a mini session once and her daughter got car sick on the way over. Thankfully she had a play outfit in the car and we proceeded. But having another outfit can be super helpful!

The puppers

I mean, if you know anything about me, I'm obsessed with my puppies! They are totally part of the family and can come to the session as well! Just a couple of quick things, select your location based on your pet. If they are really reactive, we may want to plan a location that is super low key with a low chance of running into any one. Also, bringing someone to help out with the pup for photos they are not in is a must! Nothing like trying to take a photo in one hand while the leash is being pulled due to the pup spotting a taunting squirrel in the other hand! Extra hands are much appreciated!

Leave plenty of time to get ready

Moms are often running around trying to get everyone photo ready. Leave a bit of extra time for a buffer so you're not stressed out going into the session. Kids can always sense the tension and it's sometimes a little harder to get them relaxed after.

Family sessions should be fun!! Remind dad that it'll be over before he knows it! Bribery works on them as well! Also, don't stress about everyone always looking at the camera. Sometimes the sweetest photos are the moments in between when the kiddos are looking up at you with love.