Fun Family Photography in Kansas City by Denise Williams Photography » Kansas City's Family Photographer

Back in September I had the pleasure of meeting with a dear client to photography their younger son for his senior year. This Olathe Northwest High School Senior session was so much fun!

We shot in one of my favorited places, the freight house district. There are some neat spots down there and Cameron did hung in there through all the places we shot. I think he rocked it, actually!

See for yourself!

Olathe Northwest High School Senior

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Olathe Northwest High School SeniorPINIMAGE

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Dad got in on the fun for the last photos!

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Do you have a senior that still needs photos? It may be winter but it’s not too late! We can brave the cold or there is also spring. Get in touch!

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Family photo season is wrapping up here at Denise Williams Photography but you may still be preparing for your session. We have had it pretty good in the weather department here in Kansas City, but I think that time is running out! Family portraits are such a great keepsake for future generations. However, getting the family together to take those portraits can turn into chaos if not approached correctly. It is one of my number goals to help you keep this from happening with stress-free family photo sessions!

There several factors to consider when it comes to a family photo session since there are a range of ages. Below are some tips to keep you and your loved ones calm and smiling the whole way through your stress-free family photo sessions!

Stress-Free Family Photo Sessions

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stress-free family photo sessions

1. Timing is everything.

If you have younger children, arrange the photo session at a time when they’ll be well rested. A rested child makes for happy photos. On that note, make sure that all family members have gotten enough sleep the night before. This helps everyone!

2. Dos and don’ts of bribery.

Get your family excited about the session instead of offering a reward in return for their cooperation. This can often backfire and tends to lead to forced smiles and an irritated bunch of people.

If you do choose bribery, keep it positive and maybe something more immediate. (Like a package of smarties they get throughout the session) Using the promised items in a punitive way will backfire. Trust me! I have seen it over and over again. Statements such as, “Ok, that’s it, you don’t get ____ now” will not get you to your goal. At this point, your emotions have taken over your logic and that’s pretty hard to recover from. (i.e. red-faced-from crying children)

If you have already promised something, give it to the photographer and let them handle it. Kids react way different with someone they don’t know well.  Which leads me to my next point…

3. Relinquish control.

As much as you’ll want to direct your children on where to stand and how to pose, it’s best to leave that to the photographer as they know what works best. Remember, they do this for a living and you are paying them. Let them do what they do best and you can sit back and relax!

4. Take the focus off of posing.

The best photos happen when you’re having fun, so joke and play with your children. Hold your partner’s hand and just let the moments happen. The posed photos will come natural from this approach.

5. Plan ahead.

Discuss all of your requirements with your photographer beforehand so that the family photo session can just flow. Let your photographer know if you want specific pictures taken. But remember, keep it general. If you try to control everything about the session, you will not relax!

6. Keep those sugar levels up.

That doesn’t mean shoving everyone full of candy! If everyone is well fed beforehand, the photo shoot will run more smoothly. It’s also not a bad idea to take a few non-staining snacks and some water along for those who might need it. Don’t over do it though. You don’t want to worry about carrying all of that around with you.

I hope these tips have been helpful! If you missed my last post on finding the perfect photo location, you can check it out HERE.

Now get out there and enjoy capturing your family memories! Need someone to do that? Click the contact button above.

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Choosing the perfect photo shoot location might seem tricky, but it really doesn’t have to be difficult. In this post I am going to tell you how to find the perfect photo shoot location. A location usually drives some of the other decisions you will need to make about your shoot so it’s important to choose the right place. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you decide on a location:

How to Find the Perfect Photo Shoot Location

  1. What kind of theme do I want? If a particular building or natural backdrop would work well with your theme, look around your area for spots that meet your requirements. (will it look well in your living area when you display your portraits? Will your outfits fit the location?) If you don’t know what kind of backdrop you want, take an afternoon to drive around your city for inspiration. It’s easy to overlook beautiful spots that are practically in your backyard. Ask family, friends or your photographer for ideas too.
  2. Are you allowed to take pictures there? Make sure that you can legally take pictures at the location that you have in mind. If it’s not public property or available to the public you will need to get permission first.
  3. Is it accessible? Consider that not all outdoor locations may be available all year round or you might not be able to get to them at all. Will it be easy to walk to the session location from where you park? Is parking available?
  4. Is your location safe? Your safety is also an important aspect to think about before you decide on a location. Taking pictures on railroad tracks may look neat, but it’s best not to put yourself in harm’s way. (don’t take pictures on railroad tracks!)
  5. Will the photo session be in a public place? If the location you have chosen has a lot of foot traffic, you need to ask yourself whether you are comfortable being photographed in front of others. If not, you might want to rethink your choice in location

Make sure that your location doesn’t become a distraction and that there is shelter nearby if you need it. Your location tells a story so it’s worthwhile to choose a meaningful spot.

Need other tips when preparing for your family photo session? Check out my handy dandy guide HERE!

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If you’re preparing for a photo session with your children, you may be feeling a bit apprehensive. Children can be unpredictable when it comes to photo sessions, which is why the below 5 tips for Making a Photo Session with Kids Easier will definitely come in handy before your upcoming photo session.

Top 5 Tips for Making a Photo Session with Kids Easier

1. Don’t make a huge deal out of it.

If you’re stressed out and cranky, your kids will usually pick up on it and act accordingly. Their behavior will usually be better if you are relaxed and having fun. You may have to make some compromises to keep the peace such as letting your energetic daughter’s hair stay straight instead of curling it. Focus on the big picture and don’t sweat the small stuff.

2. Make it fun.

Let the kids have a couple “fun pictures” where they get to pick their own pose or props. You get to keep the more serious photos while they get to keep their silly photos. This way everyone wins. If you are struggling to get your kids to sit still, turn the photo session into a game. Simon Says usually works like a charm.

3. Be prepared.

If you’re going to be out for several hours, ensure that your children are well rested and have had their nap. Bringing snacks and activities along is also a great idea. If your kids pretty young and you are having your own photos taken apart from them, you might want to bring a helper along to watch the kids. If you happen to be shooting in a remote or woodsy location, plan on bringing supplies like bug spray, tissues or a first aid kit.

4. Be patient.

Save your sanity by trying not to control the photo session. Sometimes the best photos come from kids just doing their own thing. Let your photographer take charge of the session and your kids. They will likely respond and behave well for them!

5. Have a chat.

Get your children talking about topics such as school or their favorite songs. This allows them to feel more comfortable around your photographer and will also give your photographer a chance to capture a few candid and cute expressions.

Making a Photo Session with Kids EasierPINIMAGE

I hope these tips have been helpful! Need more tips for getting the family on board in the first place? Check out THIS POST.

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I loved creating these back to school mini sessions! So fun to create a set and use and old school house to get these shots.

One of my favorites aspects of the back to school sessions is the Interview photo. I ask questions about some of the child’s favorites and photoshop them on to the photo. I love how it displays their uniqueness at this time in their life.

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Of course, every mom needs a close up back to school portrait to see the beautiful eyes and smile of their child.

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Don’t miss photography tips, first dibs on sessions and all the latest at DWP! Hope on my list below:

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