You are excited about your family portraits and looking forward to seeing your family artwork displayed throughout your home. The best tip for ensuring you have a successful family photography session? Make sure it’s FUN!
As an experienced family photographer, I’ve truly seen it all! You can trust a professional, like me, to get the best shot of your family no matter what. However, following these tips will help make sure your whole family has fun during the session AND helps us get great smiles.
7 Tips for a Great Family Photo Session
Choose a Fun Location
Choosing a fun location is key! If your family loves the beach, let’s go to the beach! Have a favorite park? We can go there. If you’re dreaming of a studio family portrait, we can definitely make my studio fun!
I can do wonders with photoshop, but if there’s a spill or crease on someone’s outfit it’s really tough to make that look nice in the portrait! My best tip is to dress right before as best as you can. If we’re at my studio, you can dress or put on the final touches there. If we’re meeting at a park, we’ll do the best we can! Planning a spring session? Check out the latest BLOG post on What to Wear for Spring Family Photography Sessions.
Leave Phones in the Car
Or at least silenced and put away! We don’t want your phone or tablet to become a distraction in any way during the session. Put them away and let’s have some fun!
Speaking of fun, let’s have some fun with music! If there’s a song or playlist that your family loves, let’s play it for some happy vibes. Spontaneous dancing is welcome during the session and makes for fun photos.
Bonus, if you can bring a ball or frisbee. Playful shots of the family playing are sometimes the best ones. We’ll make sure to take family portraits, but so many of my clients end up loving the candid shots the most!
Let Your Kids PLAY
Yes, let them play! The old way of standing completely still for portraits is long gone. Those types of portraits are totally fine but don’t show off everyone’s personality and joy. Letting your kiddos romp around allows me to capture them as their true, playful selves!
Bring Snacks for AFTER
Trust me, I know how hungry these sessions can make kiddos. Please do bring snacks, BUT I recommend that you wait until after the session is over. A bonus tip would be to bring a fun snack or picnic to celebrate the photos.
Schedule Your Family Portrait Session
I would love to be your family photographer! I’m honored that so many of my clients’ come back to me again and again so I can watch them grow! Interested in scheduling your family portrait session? Click here to chat!
Mommy & Me Mini Sessions will be announced later this month so be sure to get on our VIP list to get first dibs!
Now that SNOW finally arrived last week, it’s time to play! One of my family’s favorite winter activities is to hit the slopes and spend the day skiing. Sharing this winter past time with my kiddos is such a joy. I’ve learned some tips and tricks to going skiing with the whole family, so I’m sharing them with you! I have tips from helping your kids get started with skiing to how to help the non-skiers in your family have fun during a day on the slopes.
My Best Tips for Skiing with Children Near the Seacoast
1. FIND A GREAT SKI SCHOOL To be totally honest, even though you may be the best skier out there, teaching your own child to ski can be frustrating. I recommend paying for ski school to get your child skiing on their own faster and to ditch the frustration. There are some great local programs for kids to learn to ski as well as some of the bigger mountains offer day lessons.
Here are a few of my favorite:
MCINTYRE SKI AREA – Located in Manchester, NH – they have great seasonal programs and are just a short 35-minute drive from the Seacoast (all of my kids did their ski programs)
SUGARLOAF – Located in Carrabassett Valley, ME – WORTH THE DRIVE – Sugarloaf is MY FAVORITE! After working there for 4 years, I fell in love and so have my kids. Their Perfect Turn Programs are great for all ages and each year we spend at least a long weekend skiing this amazing mountain. The kids’ programs are in my opinion the best on the east coast.
Pats Peak – Located in Henniker, NH – This is where we have had our season passes for the last 3 years. Just a short 1 hour from the Seacoast – it makes for great day trips. My daughter who is just 5 loves being able to ski from the top with me using her Ski Harness (a MUST HAVE to save your back).
2. FIND PROPER SKI GEAR Having your kids dressed and ready to go in the RIGHT gear is key! You want them warm and comfortable. Besides the obvious, skis & ski boots, you will need the proper gloves, base layers, socks, and a HELMET. Not to mention, hand/feet warmers are a must-have when they are little. They will help to keep them warm all day. Always pack extra gloves as they are sure to get wet when your little one falls in the snow.
My favorite local shops for ski gear for kids (and adults) are:
Fire on the Mountain in Dover, NH – they have a wonderful boot program where you can get your kids the next size up year after year without investing in new boots every year. Last year my boys even went in the middle of the year to exchange their boots after a growth spurt.
3. TEACH THEM TO CARRY THEIR OWN GEAR Even at a young age, I made a rule that we don’t ski unless you carry your own gear. There is a LOT of stuff to carry and, as a mom of 3 who has done solo skiing with the kids A LOT, I needed them to learn this early on.
4. HAVE FUN AND BUILD IN BREAKS Remember that skiing is about having fun, BUT it is physically demanding. Your kids will need lots of breaks. Try to build in some breaks throughout the day so everyone rests and refuels before heading back out. Playing games like pizza/french fries (use an Edgie Wedgie to help with the pizza) and Red Light/ Green Light will help to keep your toddler/child engaged. If you notice your kiddo getting tired, take a break, get some hot chocolate, and make a snowman. A day on the slopes is all about making fun memories!
5. FIND YOUR SKI TRIBE Hey, just like anything with parenting, having a tribe is important. I have a handful of families who we ski with and I am always grateful for them. Some will take the older boys off on their own and then I have a few who will tough it out on the bunny slopes with me when my 5-year-old is practicing her skills. My ski tribe is a BLAST!
6. BONUS FOR NON-SKIERS For YEARS my husband was a non-skier (he just learned last year) and we had to find activities for him while the kids and I skied. Snowshoeing was one of his favorites. We would also end the day with family tubing – like sledding but WAY BETTER! Ski resorts have so much to do OTHER than skiing you just need to check out their websites. Who knows… maybe your non-skier will want to join the fun someday. 😉
While the world had stopped due to COVID-19 back in April of 2020, here in Newfields, NH we put on one heck of a parade for a special little 4 year old who had just beat cancer!!!! Jack’s mom Rebecca had posted in the local community page asking for a special favor from her “tiny town” and boy did the town STEP UP!
“We would love to give him a parade to celebrate this milestone,” she wrote. “He doesn’t quite understand what this means, but our family would appreciate marking the day with something that makes him happy.”
The response from the community was overwhelming.
A parade of more than 100 cars drove by the Winter family home on Exeter Road Tuesday, honking, holding out balloons and signs like “Jack you Rock” and “You did it.”
As a family photographer in Newfields, NH, these types of events touch me to my soul and after meeting Jack and his family back when he was first diagnosed, I knew that I had to be there to capture this amazing event. There was not a dry eye in the whole town. The Newfields Fire & Police Departments did an amazing job helping to coordinate this “super hero” parade and people as far as Massachusetts drove to be a part of it!
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and once again this year White Wave Photography will be donating 10% of ALL SESSION FEES AND SALES booked in the month of September to childhood cancer research! Today, we will be sending a check for $833 to theJimmy Find Clinic and Dana Farber Cancer Institute in honor of Jack Jack and fellow Newfields Cancer Warrior Super Joe.
Thank you to all of the amazing WWP Clients who have made this donation possible!
To learn more about White Wave Photography or get information about booking a family session please contact Jennie today. I would LOVE to chat!
YOU (mom) need to mentally prepare…to HAVE FUN! Kids (and dads) may not always cooperate and that is ok – I HAVE YOU COVERED. If you are stressed, the kids will be stressed so just relax and have fun. Going with the flow will ensure that we have a blast and capture those amazing memories. Typically, men don’t enjoy the photo session, but a bad mood can spoil it for everyone. Emphasize how important these memories are to you. Dads are great at playing with the children and that’s what they should be prepared to do. It’s the same fun they always have, but just all dressed up. Once he sees the photos with his real smile and the smile that he can add to those sweet faces, he’s sure to fall in love. Try This: Have him help you come up with some fun ideas for the session or choose the jokes for the kids. The more invested he is in the experience, the better.
#2 CHOOSE A FUN LOCATION
When choosing a location it is important that you choose a place that your family will enjoy. Whether that is an apple orchard, a park or your own backyard, it should be a place that means something to you as a family. Some of my favorite locations for fall sessions are Wagon Hill in Durham, Vernon Family Farm in Newfields and Fort Foster in Kittery. The beach makes for an amazing backdrop in the early fall since the crowds have left and the temperature is still warm but cool enough that you are not sweating in the photos.
#3 DRESS IN LAYERS
Fall in New Hampshire can be very unpredictable. One day it is 75 and warm and the next day there are morning flurries. By dressing in layers, your family can be prepared for any changes in the weather. Add a scarf, vest or jacket that coordinate to add pops of color to your wardrobe choices. View the full What to Wear Guide.
#4 GIVE BREAKS & Ignore the kids (say what?!?!)
We play a LOT during my sessions and kids love it. We will warm up with some games and I promise to get those sweet smiles you are looking for. The key is to IGNORE THE CHILDREN. I know, it sounds crazy but when parents are looking down trying to get little Johnny to smile, they end up ruining the shot. Kids love this rule and when I say it – they tend to LOVE ME and I promise I will get them to look when needed. Have fun and enjoy your kids – even when something unexpected happens…do everything with a smile:).
#5 THINK AHEAD: How can you use these photos for presents?
Fall Portrait Sessions are a great way to get some of your holiday shopping done early. Grandparents LOVE photos of their grandchildren and they make the perfect Christmas Gifts. One great idea is to split up a wall gallery into one to hang in your own home, one for Grandma and one for Nana. Get some ideas for gifts here.
Fall in NH is everyones most favorite time of year to update their Family Photos and if I am being honest. It is my favorite too!!! Not because of the foliage but because of the fun!
Family Photography in NH is special because we have the mountains, the ocean and the most beautiful fields around. Just imagine your kids playing in big piles of leaves or running through a field having a BLAST while I capture the smiles on their faces.
Your family photos should never be something that you dread and you should look back on these photos as treasured memories. I am ALL about fun in my sessions. We play games, use potty words (with permission of course – yes poop and farts get a rise out of EVERYONE – not just the boys LOL) and kids think it is HYSTERICAL when I make mom and dad do silly things.
Let’s CHAT and plan how your family can have just as much fun as this family did!
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