- Mandie Roberts
A Guide to Family Portraits | Colorado Springs Family Portrait Photographer
As a photographer you hear a lot of the same things:
1."I'm waiting to lose a few more pounds before I book."
2."What should we wear?"
3."We have never had photos done before."
4."Can we bring our dog?"
5."I'm worried my kids won't cooperate."
6. "Are you LGBTQ+ friendly?"
This post is to debunk all your worries, your procrastinations, your idea of how family photography works in my world.
Let me begin by saying, relax. I got this. I have been posing families for over thirteen years and find there is a bit of a stigma when it comes to investing in professionalism. Yeah, I've got the professional things in place, but it won't feel like you just paid for a stuffy session with someone who has the personality of a rock. I'm going to actually turn up in a sweater and leggings and probably just came from changing a last minute poopy diaper or screaming at my kids to clean their rooms- so I GET it. I dread my own family photos each year because the amount of time it takes to get outfits together and to convince my family to behave. So yes- I understand how much it takes for you to show up.
Let's address the first statement I hear again and again: "I'm waiting to lose weight." I have a major issue with that one. Time is going to pass and your kids are going to grow and honestly no one really gives a damn about what weight you are, they just want to see you in your beautiful glory as the moment comes. If you wait to get photos done for whenever you are satisfied with your weight, that day might never come and your children might have grown up. I am a pro at flattering poses and angles and would never make you feel anything other than beautiful. If you ask me to slim you down with photoshop- the answer will be no. I do not believe in contributing to body dysmorphia or negative body images. But I do believe in showing how beautiful your family is with you in it. So stop that nonsense and book with me anyways.
Number two: What should we wear? The answer is simple and that is: keep it simple. Nothing with words on it. Please do not wear all white t shirts with matching jeans. Please nothing that is ultra bright (we are in Colorado Springs- we have red rocks that change skin tones and bright colors often reflect). Stay true to your vibe as a family. If you are a BOHO family, go for it. Think about the season too- if it is autumn, burnt oranges and browns are awesome. Neutrals work year round. I am also in the middle of revamping my client style guides- so please utilize those too. Basically, my point is, I'm here to help. Send me what you have picked out and I'll let you know the truth like a bestie.
Number three is my most commonly heard statement. And it's ok. A lot of my clients have never had family photos done before or have had them done in the 90's at JC Penny. And that is OKAY. If anything, it motivates me to streamline the process, to make it fun and to take the intimidation out of it. It also motivates me to try my hardest to impress you and to blow you away. Photography sessions are not as scary as they seem but they are still a huge investment. Invest in taking family photos because you never know what the future holds and it is so important to preserve time together.
Number four; yes, dogs and cats and birds and freaking goats. Bring them all. I'm a vegan for goodness sake. I want all the animals. We usually start with them first, get it out of the way and stick them in the car for the rest of the session- just so we can focus on toddlers next, or, if the fur babies are your children, your couples portraits. The only way I'll say no to dogs at a session is if the location bans them, which means that location is lame anyways.
NUMBER FIVE: YOUR KIDS PROBABLY WON'T COOPERATE ANYWAYS. Honestly. Teenagers usually don't want to be there, toddlers are barely human. Babies cry and poop. When I say I have seen it all, I literally have. Don't expect perfection. This is why I am a lifestyle photographer. I curate beautiful images of reality. Of mom and dad hugging in the background while their kids go and find me sticks and flowers. We will get that perfect-ish photo of everyone looking at the camera but for the most part, we are going to authentically create a session that is representative of your family. It will be more beautiful than stiff, boring, everyone looking at the camera photos. I promise.
I can't even believe number six is a question. Unfortunately I have to answer it a lot. Yes, I literally don't care who you love or what gender you are or what color you are or what religion. If you are a good human being, I want to photograph you. That means families with two moms or two dads or families that have mixed beliefs and colors. Come to me. I'm not going to treat you any different. And screw the people who will.
Okay, thanks for coming to my Ted Talk. I'm glad I got this off my chest. Let's just create something beautiful together.
(photo of my own toddler below trying to throw herself into the harbor)
Now taking fairytale family sessions for 2023-2024 all over the Earth.
Click that contact button to book.