5 things I've learned about photographing families with young children | Calgary Family Photography

Recently I had the most amazing evening with a family that I have had the fortunate ability to photograph a few times now.  This family epitomizes the definition of 'perfect in your now' and made me want to share 5 things I know about photographing families with young children. 

1. Do your best and then let the kids be

Child and family photography has come a long way from the formal "sit and smile" that we were used to way back when.  As a photographer, and a physiotherapist who has worked with children for over 15 years, I know that if they are kept happy, everything is easier.  You've done the hard work.  You got everyone changed, dressed and potty breaks.  You've packed snacks, water and tissues, and you've actually made it to where we are going to meet.  Now this is where your job ends and mine takes over.   I will gracefully guide your family in and out of position while we play and chat in between.  Here's the thing....once your kids are happy, you are too - and that my friend is when we all lean in and the photos go from "oh that's such a nice shot of you all" to "WOW.....we look amazing".  You wouldn't believe the number of tricks I have up my sleeve that will have us laughing and you looking awesome - you're going to have to trust me on this one.  Don't believe me - well here is some physics.  My camera only needs 1/500th of a second to get the shot.  I KNOW I can make that kind of timing work.  

Griffith woods, family together, kissing, baby and little boy,

2. life with small kids never goes quite as planned

Living the dream while your children are under the age of 4 years old is something of a myth.  Trust me, I've been there.  Dream state living with the house in perfect order, the kids in the perfect matching outfits and their hair in just the right place prior to a photoshoot is akin to believing that unicorns rule the world.  Wait..what?  That isn't true?  I am obviously writing this too early and minus 2 cups of coffee.  But sigh. sadly it's true.   In my eyes however, your family is  perfection, even if the gel didn't quite make it onto your son's gorgeous head of hair and he believes he is representing the best of all dinosaurs as he roars his way through a photoshoot.  

bridge, little boy jumping, pink wrap jacket, family photography

3. Ya but what do I wear!?!

Ok - total truth here.  I've been doing this for a while and even I wanna know what to wear when we have our photos taken.  Parents are always asking me "what do we wear?" and I think I have to write a whole blog on just that as it is really a great question, but in brief

1. Let it be comfortable, 2. stick with neutrals and a pop of colour, 3. make it YOU.  

Seeing a whole family coordinated to within an inch of their being typically screams overdone.  Looking back on those kinds of images will inevitably make you cringe at the 'sameness' of it all.  Yes, my personal taste dictates that my trusty white tshirt and jeans are the perfect pairing to any outings (day to evening in my world depends only on the perfect pair of cute shoes) but wearing something stiff and for the first time the day of photos is likely not the best of ideas.  Having said that, the Lassu family had me ogling their clothing choices and making me think that I totally need another sweater wrap in my closet. 

family photography, connected, little baby and little boy, mom in pink wrap coat

4. Where do we go?  What should we do? 

Hello  FAVOURITE question!!!!  The options are endless.  But here is the thing.  The time and space you have for family photography depends on a few things,

* the age of your kids, * what life is like for you now and * what you want to remember.  

Listen, here's the thing - lean in close the secret it coming.  It's YOU that you want to remember. The surroundings are somewhat inconsequential.  You'll much prefer the image with you in it not just the bare field of grass without your loved ones.   Having said that - creating the most of the backdrop we have is what I am here to do.  Your backyard, your bedroom, the antics at the kitchen table or a field that you just can't enough of.  My job is to make it beautiful.  All of it.   Even under a bridge where all your little one wants to do is to throw rocks - done!  

baby learning to walk, sunlight, family photography

5. somehow we want those details

Watching this mama with her baby made me feel all sorts of things I thought were gone forever.  When you are living it day in and day out - you can't imagine being able to forget how your baby's head snuggles under your neck so perfectly.....

baby snuggling mom, family photography

...or how littles ones see trolls and fairies in the smallest of places as their imaginations run as wild as they do. 

little boy in the forest, family photography

I was a baby wearer to the extreme and it is one of the things I miss most about my littles getting bigger (though I always give into piggy back rides when asked and they know it!).  So you bet I'll capture those little ones in your arms and hanging off you - it happens so fast guys...you will be so glad you have something to remind you of what it was all like.  

family photography, together in the forest, Griffith woods.

and those candid moments round it all out 

We never get to see ourselves in our day to day how we interact with our families and I am telling you, it is awesome.   Seeing how your kids get to watch you every day - hair blowing in the wind, the funny scrunchy smile you make at them when they do something funny, the tight squeeze you give them back or the way that you wrap them up in your sweater when they are cold, it is all amazing when done right.  To the family who rounded our my evening, you guys are rock stars in your own backyard with a star quality family to show for it.   

how to book an extended family session.

Our families memories, and most notably our photographs, are the first things we think of when we speak of our most treasured belongings.  Family photography isn't just about taking a still photo and trust me they don't stay little forever...if you have questions inquiries and even hesitations, I would love to hear from you.  

I have a few select spots available for the fall of 2017.  karin.histon@gmail.com. 403-612-6539

Karin Histon