Preparing kids for your family photo shoot | Seattle family photographer

The weather has turned, the leaves are changing, and it's officially fall! The season for family photos is in full swing, and I thought it would be helpful to share a few tips on how to prepare kids for your family photo shoot. Hopefully these suggestions will help everyone show up on shoot day excited, ready to participate and have a great time! 

Tell your kids what is going to happen and what you expect from them

A few days or week before your photo shoot, walk them through what is going to happen on the day and during the shoot. Tell them why these family photos are important to you and what kind of pictures you are hoping to get with them. Show them old family photos and ask them what they think about the pictures they see. Tell them what you're going to use the pictures for, and how their behavior or attitude will affect the photos. Repeat this every day until the shoot so they really understand what is expected of them and why! 

Let them choose their outfit (or part of it)

My daughter Vivienne (4) will not walk out of the house unless she feels beau-tee-ful in her clothes. If I make her wear something she is not into, she will walk around with a pout on her face and her head down for hours. So...if you have a strong-willed toddler like me, involve them in choosing their outfit. Or let them add a special accessory to an outfit you have chosen for them. If they love what they're wearing, this will translate into excitement for the shoot and smiling faces in the photos! 

Incorporate meaningful activities

If your kids aren't into sitting or following directions for more than a few minutes, choose a location that will allow for activities, or bring a few things to use in the shoot. Beaches are perfect for squirmy toddlers because there are a million things to do there. If your shoot is in a grassy field, bring your child's favorite book or activity. If you can't think of anything to bring, bubbles are always a hit! 

Plan a fun family activity following the shoot

Extend the special family day together after the shoot by going out for a treat, or doing something special. Sounds a lot like a bribe, but frame it in a way that encourages cooperation. "Let's listen to the photographer and finish up our photo shoot so we can get on with our day and go out for ice cream together!" Because who isn't motivated by ice cream?! 

Baby Rosemary | Seattle Newborn Photographer

She's here. And all eyes are on Baby Rosemary. 

I knew I was at the right house when I showed up for the shoot because Max had made a sign for the door that said a big brother lived there. He was so sweet and attentive to his little sister during the shoot - helping feed her, giving her kisses, and whispering encouragement to her when she started to cry. And the look on his face when he held her - such pride. What a sweet start to their relationship.  

Mini sessions and fall family photos!

Holy cow. I can't believe it is September. Summer has come and gone, the kids are back in school, and I'm finally attacking my to do list that has been collecting dust since May. Well. Let's be real, I'm thinking about and planning to attack the to do list. It hasn't happened quite yet...but it will! 

September also means I'm putting fall mini sessions on the calendar! I'll be offering mini sessions Sept. 30 and Oct. 22 this year. I made a soft launch announcement on Facebook last week and was surprised that both days are almost sold out already!  I only have a few left each day so if you want to book one, send me a note and we'll get it on the calendar! I'm also booking regular family sessions in September and October and have a few weekend slots available both months. 

Mini sessions are quick and dirty and are perfect for getting updated family photos in time for holiday cards. Here are a few pics from one of my favorite mini sessions last fall.  

And one of my favorite outtakes, because family photos are stressful and every parent who has participated in a family photo shoot can relate to this moment. 

Jackson in the city | Seattle lifestyle photographer

When you spend the first year of your life frequenting coffee shops, playgrounds, and breweries just outside the door of your Capitol Hill apartment, it makes sense to celebrate with an urban shoot on the sidewalks you learned to walk on. 

Jackson has been walking since he was nine months old and was definitely the happiest whenever he was running away from his parents. And his dad was happiest whenever he was harassing Jackson, which is basically the sweetest thing you've ever seen.  

Haynes Maternity | Seattle maternity photographer

Those last days before adding another member to your family, such a sweet time of anticipation. Soaking up every minute as just the three of you, wondering how things will be different once another person joins the family. Wondering how your heart will stretch to love another baby just as much as you love the first. Wondering what life will be like back in newbornland and how you'll ever survive those sleepless nights. 

Those last long days full of hope and excitement, anxiousness and love.

And then, before you know it, she will be here, and you'll wonder how you ever lived without her.