Inviting Your Family Photographer into Your Story

Allie Harrington
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Booking a family photographer isn’t easy. When you’re a parent (as I am now, hard to believe!), you really want to find someone who understands your family unit. You wan’t someone who enjoys being with your children, and who will bring out the very best in each other. You want someone who will listen to what you want to get out of the photos, and the style that you want to convey. After photographing so many families, I wanted to share some ideas about how to connect with your photographer, and choose one who will really be able to capture your true story:

-Get to know your photographer: I always try to connect with my family clients, and learn about them, because it truly makes the photos more meaningful. I like to ask lots of questions about who they are, what makes them happy, and the things they are passionate about. I believe the values of a family, like connection, happiness, and laughter, really come out in a great photoshoot. I LOVE getting to know the little ones as well, and truly listening to them tell me about their favorite doll or toy or hobby. Their eyes totally light up when they’re talking about the things or people that they love, and that makes for some beautiful photos. What really helps is when clients show up open-minded and ready to engage!

-Think of a meaningful location: I’m fairly flexible when it comes to locations, and I’d love to photograph your brood in a spot that means a lot to you. Maybe it’s the mountain where you first met, or the park you always take a picnic to in the summer. Maybe it’s your little one’s favorite park or playground, or a coffee shop where you go every Saturday. A photoshoot at somewhere that has significance to your family can really be memorialized forever with images, and will be something beautiful to look back on in the years to come, when your children are grown.

-Let your little ones bring along props: I know it can look funny to have a favorite doll or truck in a photo, but I enjoy when parents are laid back enough to have their little ones bring along things that matter to them. We can definitely set them aside for some of these more traditional shots, but children tend to do well when they have a prized possession with them, and I’m all for it. I’d rather them be comfortable with me as a photographer, than be sad or frustrated without that beloved item! Let me know ahead of time if there’s something you want to incorporate into the session, and we will make it happen!

-Use the same photographer for years: This isn’t just a shameless plug for myself, although I’d sure to love to be a “legacy” photographer for your family! But, using the same photographer each year or every six months can really build a relationship and help your children establish trust with them as well. As the one taking the photos, I also love getting to watch little ones grow and families establish themselves over the years. It’s a true gift for me, as well!