As a photographer, I know that capturing your family photo is incredibly important. But, sometimes, it can be challenging to get everyone comfortable and relaxed going into a professional family photo session. This can be especially true for dads or any other family member who might feel self-conscious or uncomfortable in front of the camera. 

Let’s face it – having photos taken isn’t the most natural experience for some of us. Perhaps it’s been many years, or perhaps they’re nervous about how the session will go or how they will look. All of these concerns are valid, and it’s okay to admit if you or another family member are struggling with a bit of anxiety going into a session. 

However, it’s important to know that there are ways to make the experience enjoyable for everyone involved, and as a family photographer based in Modesto, CA, I’m here to share some tips on how to get your spouse (or any other reluctant family member) to relax and enjoy the family photo session. 

First, a note — I don’t mean to single out dads in an unfair way. In my years as a family portrait photographer, I’d say if there’s one family member who tends to be least enthusiastic about having photos done, it’s most often dad, with teenagers coming in a close second. But it’s important to note that this reluctant family member could be anyone. Occasionally, moms feel self-conscious, especially after they’ve recently had a baby. Maybe kids are scared of new situations and can be hesitant to be in front of the camera. Sometimes grandparents or older family members can be uncomfortable because they aren’t used to the experience of being photographed. I want everyone to enjoy their next family portrait session. 

No matter who is feeling stressed, I’ve got an approach that helps everyone relax and enjoy the session.

Communicate with Your Photographer

First, it’s essential to communicate with your photographer beforehand. Talk about your preferences and any concerns, and make sure to address any specific worries your reluctant family member(s) might have. By doing so, your photographer can tailor the session to meet your needs and help everyone feel more comfortable and confident. 

For example, dad may worry about looking stiff or awkward in the photos. I can reassure him that I’ll provide guidance on posing so he doesn’t have to worry about appearing awkward. If you have a specific insecurity or worry or a special request for retouching, be sure to mention it before the session. That way, we are all on the same page going into our time together.

Collaborative Pre-Session Planning 

Planning in advance is also crucial. Work with your photographer to choose the location, time of day, and any specific shots you might want. When everyone knows what to expect, it reduces anxiety and makes the session more enjoyable. During the session, I will provide gentle direction and feedback to capture the best family photo. There’s nothing worse than wondering, “What should I do with my hands?” as you stand in front of the camera, right? So I’ll make sure you each know exactly what to do every step of the way. 

Often we start with simple and easy posing ideas, like having everyone walk toward the camera holding hands or having dad play with the little ones to capture those wonderful candid moments. We’ll try out a variety of poses and movements to get a variety of images, and I find that the more direction I give, the more comfortable everyone is, so that’s a main focus of mine during the session.

Fun, Easygoing Portrait Session Experience 

I also incorporate as many games and fun activities as possible. It’s unnatural to ask a family to sit still and smile for a long time, and it also doesn’t produce the best images. I find we get the best results when we keep a light and playful tone during the session. So I may ask you to play a quick game with your kids, to tickle them to get authentic laughs or to snuggle together on a blanket. My goal is that the session be authentic and truly enjoyable so we get the best images possible. It’s true what they say – time flies when you’re having fun. Don’t feel surprise if our session time goes by in a flash!

Modesto, CA Family Photographer 

Family photography sessions are meant to be enjoyable and memorable experiences. As a Certified Professional Photographer, I understand the importance of making every member of the family feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera. I pride myself on making sure that even the most reluctant dad leaves the session smiling! 

By communicating, planning, and having fun during the session, you can capture beautiful photos that you and your family will enjoy for years to come. So, book your next family photography session today, and trust me to guide you through the process of creating unforgettable memories. Reach out here!

Contact us today to schedule your family portrait session!

(209) 456-9353 or hello@rachaelvenema.com

or click the Contact link at the top of our website.


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