My Top 6 Family Photo Tips

family photography in the Wilmington NC area
Professional family photos are not for today. They are carefully captured memories, later to be reflected upon and enjoyed. I believe it is so important for every family to invest in professional family photos every now and then. Of course candid shots make for great memories. But professional-quality family photos are essential keepsakes every family needs. They document a moment in time and allow everyone to be in the photos and look their best. They also provide a good excuse to actually print and frame pictures, have them printed into albums or on canvas to hang in your home. But doing a family shoot can be stressful too if you don’t come prepared. Here are some of the best family photo tips to ensure your session runs as smoothly as possible and that you get the best photos.

Family Photo Tips

  1. The most important tip in my book: Be sure to go through your preferred photographer’s galleries and be aware of their style. Photography is an art form and every photographer has their own style. It’s important you choose one whose style is aligned with your vision for your family photos.
  2. Choose a location that means something to your family. Traditionally, people would do family portraits in a studio. But now, it is much more common to take the photos somewhere you love. Try a location near your home, a favorite park, beach, or place in the city. You will treasure your photos all the more with some favorite scenery in the background.
  3. Pick a day and time with decent weather and good lighting. You will get the best photos in the late afternoon. Late autumn and early spring are good seasons to do photos because you won’t be too hot. I tend to offer early morning or late afternoon session times to my clients.
  4. Prepare for kid emergencies with snacks and extra clothes. With kids involved, you know anything can happen. That horrendous diaper blowout or the total meltdown tantrum can be overcome with a spare set of clothes or a handy distraction with a handful of your kids favorite treats.
  5. Wear neutral colors and minimal patterns, especially if your session is outdoors against a natural setting like the park or a beach. This keeps the focus on you and your beautiful family.
  6. Print your photos! What good is investing time and money in having professional photos taken when they end up sitting on your computer? There are many great ways to display your photos; create a beautiful album, display them on a gallery wall in your home or add some framed photos to a shelf or table. Whatever you choose, be sure to have a plan of what to do with your images or call on your photographer to give you some suggestions and recommendations.

These are just a few pointers to get the most out of your photography investment. Interested in having some family photos done? Contact me to schedule your custom family session.

Aubrey | Hampstead NC Maternity Session

When you get close to the end of your pregnancy, you really get tired. You’ve been carrying the weight around long enough and are seriously ready to get your movement and your body back. Plus, the heartburn! This can lead to some grumpiness and a whole lot of complaining. At least, that’s how I was toward the end of my pregnancy. And then there’s Aubrey. She builds tables, chases around her toddler, packs up a house and carries twins (YES, TWINS) – all with a contagious smile on her face. She’s amazing! At almost 35 weeks at the time of this session, she was active, happy, and glowing!

Hampstead NC Maternity Session

I found a little field just around the corner from her home. It was perfect. She didn’t have to go far and the light was beautiful there. Until that morning I woke up to the sound of a torrential downpour. We were supposed to meet that morning and we decided to just wait and see what happened with the rain. Well, like a dream, the clouds parted and the sun rays shown down on that pretty little field just in time for our session. Afterwards, we headed over to her home to take a few more. After the session, grey clouds covered Hampstead once again. I swear the sun came out just for her.

hampstead nc maternity photographer

Interested in a maternity session? I’d love to hear from you!

5 Photography Tips For Getting A Real Smile

Oh, kids. Don’t you hate it when they say “cheese!” and give you that canned grin? That look is something between “This hurts!” and, “Is there something in my teeth?” The fact is, every kid has a beautiful natural smile. When that camera comes out, though, they turn into little smile robots. Would you like to get a natural smile every time? Then read along and discover my 5 fail-proof photography tips for getting a real smile.

Photography Tips For Getting A Real Smile

  1. Relax. Nothing cans up a kiddo faster than when Mom or Dad is tense behind the camera. So loosen up and make a few silly faces. Instead of staring straight into the camera, giving orders, make eye contact with the kids and show them you’re trying to have fun.
  2. Use Reverse Psychology. Believe it or not, if you tell your little ones not to smile, you may very well elicit beaming, radiant grins. So get overly serious, open your eyes wide, and tell them they Must. Be. Completely. Serious. No smiles, no matter what. And be ready, because grins and giggles are on the way.
  3. Capture the action, capture the moment. Instead of asking your kid(s) to stay still and smile for the camera, let them just do their thing. Whether they are going down the slide, swinging at the park, or exploring the backyard, they are happy and in their element – and that makes for great photos.
  4. Be willing to be natural. In the age of digital images, it’s fine to let bloopers happen… and lots of them. Kids have so much energy that it may not be realistic to expect that everyone will be facing forward and smiling nicely. Mouths will be open, one kid is sure to be facing another direction, and the unfortunate bunny ears will likely appear. Let it go and keep shooting. In a moment of pure joy, you’re much more likely to capture something magical. Some of my favorite photos of my clients are the ones where no one is looking at the camera.
  5. Get gross. Once you’ve tried the above tactics, here’s a last resort. Kids think gross words are hilarious, and even more so if a straight-laced adult uses them. So stretch your imagination and let loose. Stinky socks. Boogers. You know what works with your kids. As a warning: you may find these words totally unravel them to the point of no return, so save this tactic for last.

photography tips for real smiles

The perfect photo is one that captures your loved ones in a moment of true emotion. Let go of your idea of perfection and capture your kids just being kids. You may not end up with “perfect” photographs, but you’ll perfectly capture the memories that matter.

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2016Are you still looking for a few amazing gift ideas for Mother’s Day?

I am thrilled to have gotten the chance to contribute to this Mother’s Day Gift Guide that was prepared with the help of fellow North Carolina members of The National Association of Professional Child Photographers.  We teamed together to bring you a handful of great ideas from our favorite stores, and we also featured our favorite gift idea inside. Check out page 7 to read all about it!

This Mother’s Day Gift Guide was created with contributions from:

Jeannie DeSena of Words & Pictures by Jeannie DeSena, Jody Dixon from Jody G Photography, Sara Brennan from White Box Photo, and Carolyn Ann Ryan from Carolyn Ann Ryan Family Portraiture.

I hope you enjoy and if you use any of the ideas within this document, please let me know!

Download here:  Mothers Day Gift Guide 2016

5 Newborn Photo Session Tips

Having a newborn is special. Your days are filled with sweet yawns, happy smiles and moments of awe. But, the time you have with your newborn is short. Before you know it, you will be wiping peanut butter from your curtains and chasing monsters out from under your toddler’s bed. So, how do you capture that special three months when life is just beginning? With a newborn photo session, of course.

To help you with this process, I’m sharing 5 newborn photo session tips regarding what you will need to keep handy.

5 Newborn Photo Session Tips to Help You Prepare

newborn baby hands photography1. Light Clothing

Prior to the session, be sure your baby is dressed in clothing that is easy to remove and will not wake them upon removal. Better yet, have only a loose fitting diaper on and wrap them in a blanket. This way, the baby can be minimally disturbed when preparing them for the camera.

newborn baby and mother bonding

2. A Warm Space

Start by making sure your baby will be comfortable throughout the photo session. This means you should warm up your home and create a space that will be comfortable and warm for your baby. Doing so will help keep your baby relaxed and happy throughout the photo session.

newborn baby sleeping

3. Necessities

You will also need to have handy any necessities to care for your baby during the session. This could be bottles and formula, soft blankets and pacifiers. Diapers and warm wipes are good to have too. Cold wipes can startle babies.

newborn baby in crib and baby held by dad

4. Soothing Items

Sometimes babies can become a little fussy during the photo session. For this reason, I recommend having soothing items nearby, like a pacifier, toy, blanket or white noise sound machine. Also, I always encourage feedings during my sessions. Anything to keep baby happy and relaxed.

Newborn baby lips and hands

5. Relax

Along with all the things you need for your baby, make sure you remember to relax at the same time. Babies can pick up on tension so being calm is a great way to keep your your baby relaxed too!

Newborns grow and change so quickly. They really can look very different from one week to the next. These tips will help you have a successful newborn photo session and help you capture those precious first moments to enjoy for years to come.

Interested in an in-home newborn session? I would love to hear from you!

Welcome

I'm Erika and I am a maternity, newborn, and family photographer based near Wilmington, NC. I use only available natural light to capture authentic and beautiful images that show the magic of childhood and the love between parents and children. Click on my photo to learn more about me or contact me, I'd love to get to know you!

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Wilmington North Carolina Lifestyle Family Photographer

910.719.3633 hello@erikariggerphotography.com