Keep your family in the loop.
Posing for a session for family portraits is not something that is easy and not the kind of thing and not the type of thing that proves to be natural and commonplace for most people out there. Your family members will at some point or so be a little iffy about the thought of having to pose for 3 hours or so in front of a professional family photographer and professional grade photography equipment.
You need to make sure that everyone is looped in on the thought of posing for the family portraits as much as you possibly can. Get your family photographer to meet up with the rest of the family so that he can talk to them and so that they can get to know him a little bit more. This will really ensure that you get to introduce your family photographer to the rest of the family formally. They will be more at ease during the day of the photo shoot if they know that they aren’t in front of a total stranger during that time. Think of it as a fun activity that you can have with the rest of the family. They can suggest ideas about the photo shoot. Perhaps they have something that they can suggest or talk to you about what they would like for the photo shoot. Think of it as a group effort.
Don’t force the kids to smile.
Parents usually make the mistake of forcing their kids to smile when they are posing for family portraits but this is the wrong way to go. A forced smile can make the kids look a little weird. You need to make it as authentic as you possibly can. You will be able to do that by getting them to enjoy the photo shoot by all accounts. Talk to them. Enjoy the time that you spend with your family. Joke around with them. You can even tickle them and play around with them during the photo shoot. Leave the cheese at home because that’s not something that you can use for the family portraits so try to remember that all the time while you can. This is something that the kids should find somewhat fun and enjoyable. It should not be something that they are forced to do.
Have a snack bar ready.
The family is bound to get hungry and when kids are hungry, they can be grumpy and not enjoy the photo shoot altogether. This is something that you should prepare for early on. Pack a quick picnic basket or pack something for the snack bar as much as you can so that you get to pre-empt this need for the photo session early on.
Timing is essential.
You can’t just pick any day of the week. It has to be during a day of the week that isn’t too busy or that isn’t a school night. This way, everyone is refreshed, energetic, and excited for the photo shoot that is up ahead.