So you have a date and time for the photo shoot.  Here are a few ideas to help make for a fantastic experience.
1. Play.  Have fun.  Joke around.  Laugh.  With groups, embrace each other.  These actions make for authentic photos.
2. Know that at the photo shoot, not everyone has to smile and look at the camera 100% of the time.  Sometimes, the best photos are the ones that have interactions or engagement with something other than the camera. 
3. Explore and practice poses you may want at your photo shoot.   Look at pictures in magazines, web search poses for women, or poses for men for your senior shoot.  Is there a certain pose you would like for one of your family photos?  If you have ideas for a pose, be sure to let me know.  When you come to the photo shoot, I have resources for you to look at and choose from.  Also, practice your different smiles, grins, your serious faces, poses you know you may want to do as well as your posture.  Pinterest is a great way to find some ideas.
4. Come well rested and well fed.  Bring drinks and snacks for little ones.
5. How to dress. 
   A. Dress in clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident.  Not stiff and awkward.   And, if you don’t like showing your arms, wear long sleeves, if you despise your varicose veins, wear pants, if you have an issue with your toes, wear closed toe shoes.  Feel good and make sure children feel good in the clothes they wear to the photo shoot.
   B. Pick a color scheme that will look good inside of your home.  Consider the colors in the rooms of your house where you will want to hang prints or canvases.  You decide your clothing style.  For senior photos, bring several options.  For siblings or families, do coordinate your outfits, but don’t match outfits.  Avoid labels like Abercrombie or character clothing.  When your child looks at the picture on the wall of him wearing a Barney shirt in six years, he is going to yell at you and ask you what you were thinking letting him wear a shirt like that.  Pinterest has some great wardrobe coordination pins to help you get ideas.  Have fun with it.  Textures are good too – a fleece jacket, a wool jacket, hats, a vest, scarf, jewelry can all enhance a photo.  

6. Bring things you and/or your family like to do.  Have everyone bring their favorite book, bring a basketball, volleyball, softball, ukulele, guitar, drum sticks, spatula and mixing bowl, paint brushes and color palette, favorite toys, (try to stick with the classics and not trendy.  Refer to the Barney example above.) Stuffed animal, a red helium balloon, a fresh flower, skis, swim goggles and a towel, pumpkins, maps, board games….  You get the idea.  Props help tell a story and share who you are.  Also, 99% of the time it helps us feel more natural. When we are being photographed with something to focus on and fiddle with, we feel more relaxed and comfortable.

7.  Come manicured.  As in be neat.  Clean.  Moisturize if your skin is dry.  If you paint your nails, put on a fresh coat.  No sleep in your eyes.  Don’t over do make-up if you do make-up.  Brush your hair.  Unless of course, you want a disheveled look.  But even then, take the time to dishevel yourself properly.

8. With young ones sometimes meltdowns happen, stubborn happens, and listening doesn’t happen.  It’s ok!  Don’t feel bad or embarrassed.  We can engage him or her with something else for a bit and see if that does the trick.  If after failed attempts and unsuccessful bribes, it’s just not the day for your child, we’ll try again on a different day.  Please don’t stress about it!  That’s just life with young ones.