I’ll try to keep this simple and to the point because one of my goals for your family photo session is to keep everything as simple and as stress-free as possible! So let’s talk about preparing for a family photo session in your Pittsburgh home!
What do we wear?
Do not, I repeat, do not run out and make yourself crazy trying to buy everyone new matching outfits. You’re going to think I am crazy but I vote for keeping it REAL! Seriously! Mom, wear your fave leggings or torn skinny jeans and tunic. Dress casually and comfortably like you would any other day of the year!
Let your kids pick their own outfits! Especially if your three year old wants to wear the dress she has worn EVERY DAY for the last four months and your five year old insists on the Spiderman costume with a Batman mask and rain boots. I’ll absolutely love it if they do this! Or dress them in a casual and comfortable outfit that you love.
Remember, this session is not about the perfect portrait, this is about capturing your real and very awesome and unique family. It’s about remembering how life was at this exact time.
However, you could always try to get them to wear something dressier for the beginning of our session and I will get a few posed family photos, and then let them go change into whatever they want to wear.
What rooms will you be photographing in?
This is entirely up to you! I promise to only enter the rooms and areas of the house that you are comfortable with! I’d love to use the rooms that get great natural light and I usually stick to the main living room or family room where your family usually spends most of the time.
I also love for the kids to show me their bedrooms so I can get a few photos of them in there! I think it is so very special and important to get a photo of your child in their room. We can also go into the master bedroom, playroom and kitchen.
I just ask that you allow me to open the curtains and blinds to let in all the light that we can.
What if my house is a mess?
Whatever you do, do not deep clean for me or for the session. If you really feel like you need to clean up, I vote for quickly stashing any clutter into a laundry room or spare bedroom. I do not judge a sink full of dishes or a messy bathroom.
If you follow my work then you know that I embrace reality. And if you were to pop into my home on any given day, I most likely will have a sink full of dishes, a messy bathroom and a pile or three of laundry on the couch.
We’re so boring, what will we do!?
No, you’re not boring, I promise. However, when I consult with my families before our session, I will ask you a few questions like, what do you normally do when you are all home together!? I know most of the time you may all be screening out, and that is ok, but we will dig a little deeper to find some activities that you can all do while I am there. I much prefer if these activities are something you all enjoy and have done in the past.
If you need some inspiration, here is a blog post of ideas!
However, if you’re not really the kind of family to make pancakes or play a board game together, then let’s NOT do that. I’d prefer if you do an activity that your family usually does together.
And depending on the weather, we can absolutely go outside for photos! We can get some on the porch, in the front and back yards and even take a walk to the nearby park or ice cream shop, etc.
Say no to cheese.
Seriously, please do not feel the need to look at my camera and smile. Just play and interact with your kids. I do not know many adults that are comfortable being photographed so I tell my clients, do not look at me. You will feel so much more relaxed and comfortable when you get to just look and interact with your children. Once you are all relaxed, I will have you look and smile for a few images, because we know Grandma will cherish those.
I want to include your fur baby!
Yes, I want to include the family pet(s)! They are a part of the family too! If your pup and/or kitty is comfortable and somewhat relaxed around me, then I want to definitely include them into your photo session! I am very much a dog and cat person and I love doggy kisses, so no worries there!
And yes, the Grandparents too!
I am also happy to include other family members like Grandparents, Great Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles! Please feel free to invite them over to be included in a few photos!
So, just relax, I’m a professional that has photographed hundreds of families in the last decade. I assure you that our session will go smoothly and it will even be fun. I promise you that you will treasure these pictures for your lifetime.
Have a look at my family gallery to get an idea of what your session will be like!
If you have not already booked and you are interested in a newborn or family session please do not wait to get in touch. I know life gets busy and these things tend to slip to the bottom of the to-do list, but it’s time to make it a priority! Please get in touch before my schedule is filled up! I only accept a limited number of clients each month, so once my schedule is filled, it is filled. I can’t wait to hear from you and to plan a unique session for your family!
~All images by Mary Beth Miller Photography ~
Mary Beth Miller Photography specializes in lifestyle and documentary family, newborn and Fresh 48 photography in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and many of the surrounding areas. Mary Beth has over ten years experience photographing families, newborns and babies in the Regent Square, Squirrel Hill, Shadyside, Greentree, Point Breeze and Highland Park. Her style is very relaxed and natural and your family session will feel like a stress-free Sunday afternoon with your family!