today’s love story:
Planning your family’s portrait session – 3 things
and all the magical moments that made it
THE 3 MOST IMPORTANT FAMILY PORTRAIT DECISIONS
.You can already envision the best picture of your cuties hanging on your living room wall!
But wait. How are you going to make it all happen? Even I’ve felt the nervousness of portrait planning decisions!
What should we wear?
Where should we have our pictures taken?
Will the kids behave? (or really, what can I bribe them with?)
Who should we hire?
What should we do with the pictures afterwards?
There should honestly be a support group.
"Hi, I'm Erica Ewing, and I'm trying to plan a portrait session."
"Hi Erica," the moms reply in that knowing 'we too spent 1,000 hours online trying to figure it out' kind of way.
So here I'll break it down...
1. Why are pictures of my family important right now?
What brought you here, to a portrait artist’s website, at this specific moment?
Are you celebrating an important milestone in your life? Maybe expecting a new baby, or your baby just turned one…or is it just that your kids are at such fun ages and you never want to forget this moment…or maybe your “baby” is going to be a high school senior this fall…how did that even happen!?
Maybe you’ve wanted to do it for so long, but just never got around to it. Life is busy! There’s always a reason to NOT do it. But oh girl, let me tell you – I grew up with a dad who was morbidly aware of time. He used to tell me that the older you get, the faster the years go by. I know in my heart this is so true, as I look at my now 11 year old so I swear was literally just a chubby little toddler who wanted to snuggle all the time.
Maybe as your littles grow older together, they just love each other so much…in between the wrestling & arguing, you catch them giggling together over a book and THAT’S what you want to hold onto forever.
When you focus on why pictures are important, it will help guide your decisions and will also help you realize that some of the concerns you’re stuck on might not actually be that important.
2. What should we wear?
Outfits are usually the first thing mommas think (aka stress!) about when it comes to family pictures, because it seems like so much work!
This little trick is going to make it super simple – ready for it? Look at your home! Yep, that’s literally it. You’ve already chosen your favorite colors and your style, so leverage that work:
– what color are your walls?
– what are your accent colors, found on your throw pillows, or any art you have on the walls?
– what color is your couch, comforter, rugs?
Choose the 2-3 colors that match your home, and there are the colors for your outfits!
Playful colors for the playroom, and neutrals with pops of blue & green for the living room! AND when you fall in love with your portraits, you’ll know they will match your decor and complement your home perfectly. And also…don’t overthink it. Simple is good so your family shines through!
3. Where will we display our new portraits?
Which rooms do you spend the most time? Maybe you hang in the living room, or there’s a place in the dining room that opens right up to the front door, so you’ll see your beautiful family every time you get home.
At our studio, we can virtually show portraits hung to size on your own walls. It’s like interior design for portraits…and its a free service! So you know you’ll love it before you even invest a penny.
– Which rooms are you in the most?
– Where might you want to see a picture of your favorite people every day?
– How might your kids enjoy looking at these pictures?
You might even choose different outfits for different rooms! Colorful outfits for the playroom, and classic blue tones for the living room.
BONUS: When you're looking at a gallery of 30-50 pictures of the people you love most, the easiest decision is to make no decision at all.
Ok, so nevermind where to hang, what size, finish, etc but simply which of your gorgeous portraits deserve to be printed into this world.
IT IS SO HARD TO PICK A FAVORITE! WE KNOW THIS FIRST-HAND.
We worked with a high-end family photographer a few years ago. We went back to their studio to make our selections a couple of weeks after the session (similar to our process here). We chose a 20×30 boutique-framed wall portrait for our living room, a print box of every portrait (we HAD to have them all!) and the digital files. They processed our credit card and sent us home to make our selections from an online gallery.
If you think a photographer is doing you a favor by providing an online gallery, think again.
Sounds convenient, but after you spend a solid 40+ hours in front of the computer debating between picture A and picture B, you’ll realize that it was no favor at all. I’m not even kidding when I tell you it was ONE FULL YEAR before that portrait was printed. We loved the pictures, had already PAID for the products, and just struggled to make the decision and “pull the trigger.” I started and stopped the process so many times without making a decision, which made it really stressful…and I missed out on a year of enjoying that gorgeous 20×30 portrait of my beautiful family! But you know what, I look at that picture every single day of my life. I have for the last 3 years, and I can’t ever imagine my home without it.
As a fellow mom, I recommend you get an expert's help.
I’ve hired photographers who – like us – provide the full printing service (including help choosing favorites), and I’ve hired photographers who simply sold us a flash drive of the digital files.
For me, done is best.
I value a someone who will guide us through the entire process, help us with sizing, make suggestions on how to print, and help us select our best images. I’d hire the expert every day of the week.