There are a few reason why I don't feel like this is a question that needs to be asked and they all sort of tie into one defining factor....
Family shoots are beautiful, I love doing them. Having professional family photos in your home I feel is an essential, not a luxury.
I thought I'd put together a little list of tips to help navigate a family session....
The first thing is Location.
When choosing a location it's important to think about your family structure. If you've chosen a long grassy field but have small children, how are they going to handle the long grass? Is it going to itch them, are they so small you wont see them through the grass?
Maybe you've decided on the beach, naturally children want to play on the beach. If you've booked your family shoot on the beach and have children you know they're going to want to run around... LET THEM, RUN WITH THEM! The photos you're going to treasure aren't the ones of you all standing still smiling at the camera, its the quiet cuddles, it's the hysterical laughter.
Outfits - Make sure your clothes are comfortable, make sure you're wearing clothes you can move freely in. You're at the beach, it will probably be a bit windy, think about what your clothes are going to do in the wind, if you're gong to be fussing over your dress blowing or you can't sit down in your clothes, you're not going to be in the moment.
If you've gone with the beach think about your clothes getting wet. Do you have long pants on that are going to pull down from the weight of the bottom's being wet, I love having a bit of a water fight on my beach shoot, so white will end up see through. If water play is up your alley definitely choose a darker colour.
Another wind problem we encounter during a shoot is your hair, of course we all want to wear our hair out and be all cute and flowy, but try pinning some of it back or wearing it half up half down to avoid finding yourself fixing your hair too often and not being able to enjoy the moment.
A family session should be looked at as less of a photoshoot and more as quality time together, it's an opportunity for you to have some fun without distractions. It's important to not fuss over the kids clothes being perfect and stressing over them being covered in sand, be in the moment and focus on creating a memory to look back on.
Tina, Doug and Ollie's shoot was so much fun, they ran, they played, they embraced the mess of the beach. The outcome was beautiful.
Thanks for reading, I hope you go into your next family shoot with a bit of confidence!