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  • Serena Burroughs

Worcester Family Photographer - 5 Ways To Get Better Results At Your Next Portrait Session

Hi friends!

I'm pretty sure there is a good chunk of us that booked a family session before, that right after we submitted our credit card info to pay for it ... we wondered what we could possibly do to make sure everything goes smoothly. Especially when some of us are currently parents to toddlers! We want to make sure our investment will pay off and that's totally normal and okay.

Every year I try walk in your shoes to try and better understand what it's like.

I become the client myself and hire a professional for my own family photos!

Just like you I had to figure out how to avoid the temper tantrums or in my case ... I had to figure out how to keep my kids interested as they're tired of seeing a camera on most days. What should I even wear? What if it'll be super awkward?

I understand, trust me. Getting your picture taken isn't always easy and there can be anxiety leading up to it.

So many fears, so many reasons not to do any of it.

But I think there is a few things we can do to make us feel better prepared. I will of course mention those in an email should you ever decide book a session with me. I always coach every client and check in with emails leading up to a session - but I thought I'd write up 5 helpful tips for really ... anyone. Maybe you just want some information for an upcoming session or you're plain curious. Whatever the reason: know that we can prepare and have a huge influence on things, simply by making sure we follow these 5 steps.

Worcester Family Photographer

1. Take advantage of communication - Talk to your photographer

Sure, you are paying to have a service done; to have someone document your family.

You are paying for the photographer's time and expertise. Why not tap into that expertise? So many worries can be squashed by just sitting down and writing your photographer an email. They will be excited to be able to answer your questions and therefore make your experience with them that much better - I guarantee it!

We as photographers want amazing relationships with our clients and want you to be happy and at ease. We want our clients to be glad to have booked with us! Answering questions, hearing and responding to their concern is another way we can ensure we do a good job, and perhaps that will even help the client recommend us to their friends.

2. Don't be afraid to be yourself

I know a lot of us want to use the occasion to really get dressed up - And that's fantastic,

I encourage it - but there is a way to do it. I think your portrait session should have room for some experimentation, but not too much. Have a dress you reeeeally love? Make sure you feel like yourself in it, and love the way you look. Bonus points if you can move in it and be a present parent during the session.

Love the look of eyeliner? A dramatic smoky eye, but don't have much practice with it? Skip it! Your session might not be the best occasion to try a completely new look.

Chances are you're setting yourself up to dislike your images in the end, not recognizing yourself in the photos - and perhaps regretting having invested into family portraits in the first place.

When it comes down to it, we take these images for our family, to document our legacy and to remember a particular phase of our lives.

You don't need to mimic an Instagram Influencer or celebrity to be beautiful.

Being the parent you are, wearing somewhat matching clothes, hugging your children, visibly loving them with all your heart in the photos ... It really doesn't require more than that. I promise.

Child and Family Portraits in Worcester by Serena Burroughs Photography

3. Take it easy, don't feel the need to discipline too much

I am noooot trying to tell you how to parent. No, no! Don't get me wrong.

Surely we all have different styles of how we raise our babies. It comes down to our personality, experiences in our journey and each particular child and their personalities and so much more.

It's NOT easy, I think we can all agree.

What I mean is to lean back. Let go of overly high expectations and feel confident that there is time. Your photographer is not bothered. They better not be if they're in the business of working with children.

Honestly, our children don't care about the money we invested, the time limit, and won't understand why they're getting to visit a super fun looking meadow or park, but are expected to stand still and say cheese. You can try and explain it, but it doesn't compute. So why expect them to act like little adults or versions of ourselves, when we could much easier try to reach them by being more like them? It'll blow your mind what you're able to ask of them if you are becoming their friend during the session. Their partner in crime. Your kids want to jump into the lake? Take your shoes off with them and walk along the shore! Throw them up high, sprinkle water on them - Have fun!

When we tell our kids off too much during a session, it'll put a negative swing on things and it will show up in the photos. Instead, try to redirect their attention to something else. Don't want them to run away? Have a snack in your bag, that you know they like. Figure out something to do after the session, a reward and negotiate. Have a young child? Perhaps bring a popular toy, and become more interesting than the tall grass they want to run around in.

There is luckily many roads that lead to Rome, and children respond well to many things. As long as you're at ease and trust that things will work out just fine, and trust your photographer... you will be golden, honest!

Family Photographer in Worcester Massachusetts Serena Burroughs

4. Consider letting your children take a nap before the session

Now implementing all of the above is not going to be of any help to you, when your toddler or baby has gone all day without a nap and your ideal session time in summer is 7pm.

If 7pm just won't work, try to chat about this concern with your photographer. And maybe even consider a sunrise session, if you really want soft light.

But if you prefer sunset, definitely consider letting your kids take a nap during the day.

Let them refresh themselves, and give them a chance to still be their happy selves by the evening hours. It'll make it so much easier for everyone involved - especially your little ones!

Photo by Professional Worcester Photographer Serena Burroughs based in Massachusetts

5. Bring a back up outfit

Got children that are in the process of being potty trained? Maybe they got dirty on the way to the session or your little baby spat up all over herself in the car? Plan ahead and bring a back up! Bonus points if you bring more than one backup option.

Some mishaps can be edited, but if we have soaked pants, things become tricky.

Many photographers are crafty with photoshop, but even then... Post processing is very time consuming and could end up costing you extra. Avoiding full body shots could also be a way to go forward, but things don't have to be so complicated.

Bring a diaper bag, a change of clothes and voilà! Crisis averted :)

Indoor Family Photograph in Worcester by Serena Burroughs Photography, based in Massachusetts

Well, and that is it! I hope these 5 tips are helpful and can come in handy for your next session and take some of the worry and nervousness out of the equation. :-)


Family Photographer Serena Burroughs based in Worcester Massachusetts

Serena Burroughs

of Serena Burroughs Photography LLC resides in Worcester County in Massachusetts and serves clients in her in the area.

Reach out below to inquire about your session!


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