Alexandra Mona | Seasons Greetings! How to get better family portraits.

Seasons Greetings! How to get better family portraits.

December 11, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

The holidays are almost here, and it is time for the family portrait!

You do not have to chose a color theme, certain outfits or a specific location for your photo session. The most important aspect of the session is that you have fun and that the family enjoys this experience together. After all it is not your everyday activity being photographed. And whether you are shy or self conscious, have fun with it and have fun with your family! It will reflect in the pictures and this is what helps the photographer to create a great memory.

Walker_DAY0039_SWalker_DAY0039_SPhotography by Alexandra Mona

Here are some tips and tricks on how to prepare for your session!

Moms and Dads

  • Hair – If you’re getting a hair cut for your shoot, do so about two weeks beforehand, just in case it goes wrong – you just never know. For men, a fresh cut a couple of days before the shoot is fine.
  • Hair accessories – If you’re shooting outdoors, be ready to put your hair up and make it look nice in case of a windy day. Bring bobby pins, hair clips, headbands or any other favorite accessories.
  • Red eyes – Visine is your friend.  Make sure you get some rest and sleep before the shoot.
  • Make-up – A subtle application of make-up can really soften your skin and accent your facial features. But make sure you know what you’re doing, and make sure it matches your skin tone, or your face may look orange compared to the rest of your body. Also please no glitter or glimmer, that will reflect in the sun! You can also get your make-up done by a professional.
  • Facial hair – Men, be freshly shaved and trim your beard, sideburns, especially looking for wiry stray hairs. Ladies, even if you have some light facial hair (particularly around your lip or chin), indulge in a waxing in advance of your shoot – even barely-there light facial hair will be noticeable in your photos. Men and women both, pluck and clean up those eyebrows.
  • Moisturizer – Dry skin can really detract from a great photo shoot. Start moisturizing nightly a week in advance of your shoot. When you get out of the shower, dry off until lightly damp, and slather on moisturizer. Focus on your arms, shoulders, neck, face, hands, anywhere you’ll be exposed to the camera. This includes your legs if you’re shooting in shorts or a skirt. ProTip: For dry skin on your face, especially around your nose, use a sugar scrub. Mix a cup of sugar with about a quarter cup of olive oil, or just until it looks like wet sand. Scrub your face with it anywhere you have flaky skin, wash it off, then wash with soap to remove the oil. The sugar paste shouldn’t be oily, just wet enough to moisten the sugar. Also, be sure on your face to use a facial moisturizer, not a thick body moisturizer, or you could break out.
  • Nails – A fresh coat of nail polish will make a world of difference in your photo shoot. A nice French manicure is great as well. Pick a neutral color that won’t distract in your shoot or clash with your outfits. Freshen the morning of the shoot, then be careful not to scuff it while prepping. [I see this most often with high school senior girls, to whom half-gone nail polish seems to be a popular fad.] Your photo shoot is a great excuse for a fresh manicure, but if you can’t go to the salon, make sure your nails look tidy and clean, including the cuticles.
  • Undergarments – Bra straps won’t do anything to help your outfit look its best. Be sure you bring a set of bras and strap-adjusting accessories to work with any outfit you want to shoot in to keep those straps well-hidden..
  • Ironing - If you iron, iron the night before and then hang the clothes for your shoot. If you’re wearing something that wrinkles easily, don’t wear it in the car on the way to the shoot – just change at the location.
  • Last but not least! FEET - make sure your feet are groomed as well or get a pedicure. Just in case if there are barefoot images. You don't want flaky skin or dirty toes in your pictures.

Newborns and Babies

Use a wash cloth to clean away flaky skin and eye boogers.
Trim those tiny fingernails and toenails with appropriate baby trimmers.
Book your shoot around your baby’s feeding and nap times, work with the natural rhythm of your baby. The perfect time to shoot is right when the baby would be laying down for a nap. If your baby normally falls asleep after a feeding, wait to feed the baby until you’re at the shoot. Baby photographers allot plenty of time for this sort of thing to set up the best situation for great photos.
Dress up paper diapers. Cloth diapers are classy and stylish, but if you don’t use them, bring bloomers or decorative diaper covers, solids preferred.
Nothing is the best wardrobe for a newborn – no outfit fits a newborn well, and they often look swallowed in clothes. Accessories are good, though – little hats, dainty headbands, boys in crocheted hats, etc. Bring sentimental items like the quilt that Grandma made for the baby, a baby blanket from your own childhood – they’re great for the youngster to lay on.
If your baby takes a pacifier, bring it – if they’re bottle fed, bring an extra bottle to help put the baby to sleep.
Also, if you want any personal props in the pictures, please bring those along as well. 2-3 different outfits and shoes per person for variety.

I hope these little tips help to prepare for the shoot and add to the experience. It makes a big difference and what is better than sending heartfelt greetings and wishes with a customized greeting card?

My vendors offer many designs and samples but if you have special graphic requests, I can surely adjust your personal greeting card.

Family Portrait of Walker Family photographed by Alexandra Mona 7o2 Photography

Christmas GreetingsChristmas GreetingsThe Walker Family photographed by Alexandra Mona 7o2 Photography.



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