Have you ever arrived at a family photo session and felt super stressed? Your kids are hungry. You just ran from an family friendly event or sports game to a session. You have 30 minutes and then you need to be home cooking dinner or moving on to another activity. Your kids are cranky. Someone is cold. Someone else doesn't want to have their picture taken. You are frazzled and so is your spouse.
I have been there too! Most often I am the one trying to help people relax. I bring snacks and water to sessions. I bring special incentives to get the kids excited for what happens when they do a good job. I don't set a time constraint, I find that sessions usually end up running the same length as if I did but it takes the pressure off everyone if we run over.
Most recently though I tried to do my own family photos with my sister in law. I set up the camera and we traded off taking shots. Some of the outtakes are so hilarious I just had to share them! It was Easter. We just arrived home from an Easter Egg Hunt. I had a few minutes before I had to start cooking our big Easter meal. The kids had not had lunch yet. It was cold out! We get together so infrequently though, we wanted to have some nice pictures to make the moment last!
Not even the best photographer can get her own kids to behave all the time! It is so much easier working with another photographer!
We had all the excuses; tired, hungry, cold, grumpy, taking too long, I wanted to sit in that chair. In the end though, looking at the reel of outtakes was the best comic relief. Best of all, we managed to get a bunch of good photos also!