What Makes a Fantastic Family Session: Sunset Beach Photographer

I met with this family last night to do their ordering sessions and for me, I was so excited as I knew as soon as the session wrapped up at the beach a few weeks ago that it was going to be one of my favorites!  And it was!  The tears flew as we viewed the session at my downtown studio!  I was thrilled, I captured exactly what they wanted!  I was sharing with another photographer about the experience and she asked “what do you think makes a fantastic session”  A few years ago or so I did an blog post about the anatomy of a great session, but I’ had to revamp everything and that information was lost so I thought that I would write it again!  This is both for the photographer and the client…

  • Location!  Now it doesn’t get much better than the beach…it’s just a perfect location and it’s dreamy, it brings back memories for the client, the light is amazing…but if you are not at the beach the location needs to do the same!  I work REALLY hard at my locations…that they do all of the above for my clients.  You will not find me at the local park or typical photographers “hot spot”  I love to find dreamy, airy locations that bring help my clients feel relaxed and that brings out their personality!

  • Clothing:  It does make a huge difference….if the client is too dressed up, then we can’t get them on the ground, if the kids are not comfortable, it will show and you want your family to be unique.  In this session, mom knew ahead of time that she wanted a canvas for her walls.  I encouraged her to not go matchy matchy..but to make sure that there was some coordination …one of the first things someone said after seeing the gallery was “I love what they are wearing”  it really makes a difference.
  • Planning:  You have to plan.  I knew in my head some of the things that I was going to do with them, I also knew mom wanted some “at play” images…(by the way, those are some of my favorite) Both she and I planned!  Don’t expect that if you just show up….snap…and leave that you will get fantastic results!  She also knew she wanted a canvas which helps me know the kind of shots I need.
  • Attitude:  This family was excited about their pictures (ALL of them…including dad) …well I had to work a little bit on big bro…but you will see he was an amazing sport!  But their attitude and excitement really showed through!  I know a lot of times, mom’s are the ones that decide to do pictures, and drag dad along…but oh the memories!  If everyone can get excited and realize in the big picture what we are doing…it makes a huge difference in the session!  I also promise that I will make it as fun as I can, that’s my job as a professional photographer.  I often have dads say “well that was the most fun I’ve ever had taking pictures”
  • Relax: It’s so hard, but do what you can to make your client feel at ease, help them to relax, encourage a glass of wine if they are really nervous!  Often they are worried about their children and if they will behave or if their outfits were the right choice!  Assure them that you have it all under control and that it will be amazing!  Do some ‘break the ice” pictures just so that they can see it will all be fine!  I often start with the oldest child as this helps mom see “okay, she really does know what she’s doing”
  • Willing  to think outside the box:  Sometimes for the best shots, you (and your client) need to be able to think outside the box…having a “dog pile” with four grown children is definatley not what most people will say they want when they hire me, but when I threw up the idea, what great sports (even the one who got piled on) and they are the BEST pictures!!! So don’t be afraid to try new things, and clients, if your photographer suggest something to you…go with it…you will probably find that those will be your favorite shots!

So those are my few bullets for a great session!  I’m sure you have things that you can ad, but if you are struggling to get unique and fun shots, ask yourself if you are doing all of the above!

In other news…I just looked at the calendar and YIKES!! 8 beach sessions in 14 days…it’s going to be a bit crazy!

  • I still have availability for this Thursday..discounted session!  Message me for details!
  • I’m teaching a class in a few weeks and need some people to take this short (10 question) survey about photography.  It’s anonymous and would help me out a ton!
  • I am still booking beach sessions! With quite a bit of availability in September!

And now…for one of my favorite sessions!



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Burlington, NC Newborn Photography, Chapel Hill Family photographer, Chapel Hill Senior Pictures, Greensboro Newborn Photogrpaher, Burlington Senior pictures, Holden Beach Photographer, Ocean Isle Beach Pictures, Mebane Newborn Photographer, Bald Head Island Photographer

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