We’ve all seen it - the perfect family photos posted on social media. The kids are combed and don’t appear to be in a cage match. The parents are smiling - at the kids, at each other, at the camera. I’m here to tell you - from experience on both sides of the camera - that this is possible for everyone! Any family can have the images they want. It just takes a little work up front and some extra parents smiles (and maybe positive consequences for well behaved kiddos)! If you follow these 5 steps, I *promise* you’ll have scroll stopping images and holiday cards you can be proud to send to everyone!a

STEP #1: Perfect family photos begin with clothing choices

It can feel overwhelming to have to choose clothing for the entire family. I see moms at target with pieces neatly hung on the cart- comparing the colors to see if they’ll work. (Or in my case, strewn about the floor while one of more of my kids probably runs over them). But so much can be accomplished before you even leave the house. First, choose an outfit that *you* feel comfortable in. I know that a lot of photographers push mom to dresses. Loose, flowing dresses can flatter many bodies, can help some people feel more comfortable than more figure-flaunting options, and look great in golden hour photos. But the reality is many folks don’t love wearing dresses. And that’s more than fine! Don’t let anyone try to convince you to wear something thats not “you.” These photos should be a representation of you and yours at this time in your lives. Will that feel authentic if you wear something you buy for this one day and never touch again? Or even worse if you’re not truly comfortable in. Slacks are sweet. Pants are **. Jeans are jovial! But no matter what types of clothes you and yours feel best in - color choice will make a big difference. 

Choose something for yourself first. I know that may be a foreign concept for many primary caretakers reading this - but put yourself first this time. Choose something you love, feel good in, with a color that compliments you. Jewel tones are lovely. Lots of neutrals with one bright color scattered among family members looks fantastic too. Stay away from stripes, busy patterns, logos, or characters. Match your partner and/or kid’s clothes to yours. 

The *great majority* of my clients are families who do not have any dress wearers during normal lives or picture day. You are welcome no matter what you choose and we will make beautiful memories for you to keep forever!

Family Photographer in Austin

STEP #2: Be ready to get close

Family photos will feel stiff, impersonal and awkward without a bit of coaching from yours truly. The biggest thing I will be reminding you all of constantly during our session is to get closer. I want to see hands on shoulders, cheeks to cheeks, snuggles, tickles, and giant messy hugs. Lifestyle family photography isn’t about stiff poses, but rather capturing true connection and interaction. You’ll want to start out looking at the camera, but I will be constantly telling you to get closer and look at each other! These are the images you will treasure. 

Austin Family Photographer Katie Kueck

SECRET #3: You have to relax and trust

I get it. Kids are stressful. Trying to get them to do anything when you need it done can feel absolutely impossible. But kids can also surprise us. Constantly. It is so common for me to be culling through a lovely session and have these wide, genuine grins from the kids but the adults in the photo have worried faces, like they’re on the edge of reprimanding their kids for getting “too wild.” But I promise, I will redirect before any tragedies occur. Just relax, lean into the silliness, and *have actual fun*. It will reflect in all of your faces!

Kids Photographer Austin TX

SECRET #4: Know your family - and let me know you too!

I can make fart noises all day long (three kids under 8 here!) but only *you* know what will make your kiddo belly laugh, start to dance, and want to get snuggles from you. You don’t have to worry about the light or the background - that’s my job. If you can bring your introvert out or make your extrovert laugh and dance, we will capture real, fun family photos.

Katie Kueck Austin Family Photographer

SECRET #5: Let’s set ourselves up for success in all ways - including *when* we schedule our session

In order to capture that dreamy golden hour light, we will be looking at booking our session in the hour after sunrise or the hour before sunset. Depending on the season, those can be vastly different times! If your kids are absolutely out of control after dinner and before bedtime, a summer evening golden hour session may not be for you. However, a morning session in the summer *or* an evening session in the winter when sunset is generally before dinner and bedtime routines may be just the ticket!

Another thing to keep in mind is what else is scheduled for your photo day. If Junior has a birthday party Saturday from 12-3 its probably not the best idea to schedule a family photo session during the inevitable sugar crash. Let's look at Sunday evening, when s/he’s had a full day to recover - or another weekend. We want those littles fresh and ready to play during this special hour!

Austin Family Photographer