So you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and get your family photos taken. You find yourself and amazing photographer and LOVE their work. You give them a call to book and they ask you to schedule during Golden Hour. The conversation continues a bit like this:
You: ‘What/When is Golden Hour?’
Photographer: ‘It’s about an hour before sunset, or about an hour after sunrise, it’s when the sun gives a beautiful glow and creates the amazing pictures that you see in on my website’
You: ‘Oh great! When would that be?’
Photographer: ‘Around 7:30am or about 5:30pm’
You: ‘Oh no that will not work because of bedtime/dinner time/bath time/snack time/wake-time/getting ready/schedules….’
I know the objections, I hear them. I was there before with young kids and I understand that they have a hard time being off routine (but more accurately moms have a hard time taking them off that routine). I can fully appreciate that this is a hard thing to do, especially with babies. BUT I will say I don’t think you would be able to find another professional that you would question about their expertise. You are trusting me to create memorable, beautiful images of you and your family. You are trusting that I will make you look your best. This trust includes using my expertise to choose the best lighting and time of day for your session. I need your help to do that! You are choosing to INVEST in a session and that investment means that you should TRUST me to show you HOW to make the most of your session.
Let me scream it on the hilltops…Golden Hour is the BEST, MOST BEAUTIFUL time of day to have your session. You will look amazing. The light will be amazing. It creates even, beautiful light for skin tones, and amazing incredible sunsets/sunrises. EVERY. SINGLE. PHOTOGRAPHER. WILL. AGREE.
I’m not sure that my passion for this will outweigh your momma bear instincts to keep you kids content and on schedule, but I can offer you some very helpful tips that can make it much easier if you’re willing to consider it.
Make your session THE activity for the day. Yep you heard me correctly, this is THE thing that your family is going to do today. Stay home the rest of the day, make it super low key. Read books, get some good naps in, relax, make sure everyone is REALLY well fed. Keeping it low key allows your kids the time to rest and be calm for the session. If you spend the rest of the day running around to birthday parties, grandmas house, or the zoo by the time your session rolls around your children will be exhausted. Exhausted turns into cranky and cranky turns into meltdowns. Keeping the rest of the day simple allows your kids to be rested for the session.
Prepare your kids for your session. I’m not talking about their clothes, I’m talking about discussing with them what to expect. Something like ‘we are going to meet my friend Chana and she’s going to take some pictures of us’. Tell them about who I am and where we are going to go. Show them a picture of me from my website or instagram/Facebook, and let them know that it is so SPECIAL that we are going to be out late exploring a new place. Get them excited about it and they will most likely be too distracted by the new places to bring on the meltdowns.
Try not to stress about it! I know, easier said than done. It is one day though, and really it’s just around two hours. Think about it as if you were on vacation. When I go away my kids are sleeping in different places, eating different food and typically totally off schedule. I usually just throw my hands up in the air and say ‘whatever happens happens.’ I know that when I get home they will fall back into their routines and things will get back on track. I know you are worried about the meltdowns. I know that you think that your kid will not cooperate. I know that you want your photos to come out amazing, and that’s why you’re hiring a professional. I will make the smiles happen, you just make sure that you show up, and maybe pack a few ‘clean’ snacks.
Chana Grossman is a photographer working in Long Island, NY and the surrounding Tristate area. You can reach Chana at 347.301.4622 to be a session.