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  • Erin Marie

3 Tips for a Stress-Free Photo Session

Getting family photos taken is an investment of your time and money. Fortunately for you, I've put together a short list of my best tips so you can have a stress-free photo session that results in a gallery full of beautiful images.

Girls dancing in the sand

1. Fuel Up First

The most common reason that parents get stressed out during their photo session is because they have a kid who is tired or hungry on their hands. Because what happens when kids are tired or hungry (or both)? That's right - they act out. And not in the ways you, their parent, want to show off to the world.

Fortunately there's a super easy fix to this first session stressor: Fuel up first!

What does this mean?

It's simple. Before your session, let your kids have a little quiet time to rest and have a healthy snack. Depending on their age this could mean taking a nap, reading a book, or snuggling. Just a little time to recharge their batteries (and yours, too!) with a little food afterward can make a big difference in their behavior during their session.

PRO TIP: Save the sweet treats for a reward they can have after the photo session. Reminding them that ice cream is coming their way when we're all done works a lot better than dealing with a sugar crash right in the middle of your session!

Parents swing their daughter

2. Be Prepared & On Time

The second most common reason for stress during a photo session is running late. So I always recommend that my families make sure to have their outfits and any special items or actives packed and ready to go the day before their session. Because honestly, most of the time our hands are full just getting everyone out the door.

PRO TIP: Traffic around the Tampa Bay Area can be really heavy, especially if your session time happens to be during rush hour or certain seasons. Take your travel time and double it. This almost always guarantees that you'll have a relaxing drive to your session, plenty of time to find parking, and you'll probably be able to use the restroom or brush everyone's hair before it's time to begin.

Family laughing together in a park

3. Pick a Specialized Photographer

Finally, the best way to relieve stress during your family session is to have a photographer that specializes in taking family photos. There are loads of fantastic photographers in the area, but the truth is that not all of them specialize in taking family photos, and many work in studios.

If you're looking to have photos taken at the beach, a park, or even in your own home, you want a photographer who has been trained and is experienced with the unique challenges that those locations provide. And if you have kids in your family, you want to make sure your photographer knows how to interact with them in a way that will help them be comfortable and let their personalities shine in front of the camera.

PRO TIP: Look at the photos on your photographer's website as well as what they share on social media. Are they sharing photos that you'd love to have taken of your family? Their work should reflect the type of session that you're looking for and will give you a good sense of what kinds of photos you'll be getting in your own gallery.

Kids playing on the beach

Hi there! I'm Erin, of The St. Pete Family Photographer. I offer lifestyle family photography for families that live and vacation in the Tampa Bay Area. My families love that they get to enjoy an adventure together AND get beautiful photos in the process. If you're interested in a family photography session, let's connect! And if you're just browsing but want to keep me in mind for later, you can follow me on Instagram. Let's be friends!

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