Planning your family’s photo shoot for your holiday card can sometimes feel more like a chore instead of a fun, memorable event. If you have a family photo shoot planned in the coming months (or hope to), here are five tips for beautiful family photos on the Space Coast:

1. Plan Ahead

Assuming these pictures will be used for holiday cards or gifts, don’t wait until the last possible moment to plan your session. Book your photo shoot for late October or early November to avoid the pressure from the holiday hustle and bustle.

On the days leading up to your session, plan the way you want your family to look. From clothing to hairstyles and props, have those items ready so you’re not running around the day before. In the hours leading up to the shoot, plan to enjoy yourself and have fun! That way, your images reflect your best selves.

2. Color Themes

What does your ideal family photo look like? Elegant? Choose neutral colors like creams, pastels, tan, slate blue or gray. Energetic? Look for consistent color themes in each closest. Instead of everyone wearing the same look from top to bottom, use one consistent color and pick two pops

3. Be Natural

Take photos in an environment your family is comfortable in. Whether that’s Cocoa Village, Wickham Park or your home, a place that actually means something to the family will allow everyone to let loose and be themselves. This also applies to the clothes you wear. Picture time is not the time to try a new style or force the kids to wear something they normally wouldn’t.

4. Have An Extra Set of Hands

If you have a friend or a family member like an aunt or uncle that your family is comfortable with, bring them along. You will be able to focus on the moment rather than fixing your daughter’s hair or making the kids laugh. Plus, they can entertain the kids if the adults want to get a couple’s photo taken.

5. Create Authentic Moments

Some of the most authentic moments captured are those that are not necessarily posed. Family sessions that incorporate some type of activity the family loves to do together results in natural smiles. Do you love to play football? Bring a ball to throw around. Do you love to read? Bring a book. Don’t be afraid to have fun!

Also, leave the “cheese” at home. Too often parents will yell out “cheese” and demand their child to look at the camera, which only creates tense, unflattering photos. Help the photographer capture your child’s personality by talking and laughing with them (or having your extra set of hands

do so.) If you’ve hired a seasoned photographer, they will know how to make your child comfortable, so trust them and let them work.

This article appears in the October 2015 issue of SpaceCoast Living.
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