GO BACK
        TO MENU

        9 Ways to Ruin Your Photos

        1. Arrive late

        -Don’t look at the directions until it’s time to leave.

        -Don’t plan for traffic.

        -Don’t plan for the unexpected

        I mean kids are completely predictable.

        Do all of these and the sun will be half gone and you’ll miss half of your shoot time. But hey, fewer photos for the same price! 

        Instead:

        • Check your drive time DAYS ahead. A week if you can manage it! 
        • Expect traffic
        • Expect trouble parking
        • Expect a walk to find your tog

        2. Wait until photo day to prepare clothes

        Don’t wash

        Don’t iron 

        Especially, DO NOT find all  the clothes until the day of!

        You’ll find everything exactly where you expected it to be and everyone’s clothes will fit perfectly. Kids don’t out grow clothes often enough for it to matter.

        Instead:

        Find, wash, iron and hang it ALL in one place up DAYS before the session.

        3. Don’t feed the kids before the session

        Look, kids eat all the dang time. They can go another 3-5 hours.

        Mom, you’ll be so preoccupied you will forget.

        Instead:

        Fill them up before you get ready enough to last through the drive AND end of the session. That can be 3-5 hours!

        4. Wear Crocs

        They’re big, noticeable, and ugly. Best part, kids can put them on solo! 

        Ugly shoes will still look ugly in the photographs.

        Instead:

        Go barefoot! Y’all, shoes matter

        5. Dress young kids too soon

        Hello, 5 point harnesses! Put on their pants & undershirt before getting in the car. Top them off with the button up or dress on site. 

        • No wrinkles
        • No drool
        • No crumbs

        6. Don’t dress for the weather

        The beach is always windy. Your hair will stay out of your face and the kids won’t get chilly! Its the beeeeaach!

        Kids will totally fake being warm in a maxi dress in November!

        Instead:

        If you don’t want to be wearing sweaters in the sand or chattering your teeth… schedule your session e-a-r-l-y.  (FYI the beach is always windy, as is Katsuren Castle if you’re in Okinawa)

        7. Wear a dress that’s too short

        Moms & daughters! You are going to run and sit down. You have to be covered AND comfortable to look good.

        Instead:

        Dresses should hit at the knee or lower. Longer the better. Look for flowy material that gives gorgeous movement.

        Avoid tight or restrictive cuts.

        8. Wear a shirt that’s low cut

        Again for mom & daughters, if you can’t bend over to hug your crew without question, it’s too low. I’ve had great shots ruined by excess cleavage, and bra straps. 

        9. Wear business casual

        Creases in your pants just aren’t allowed at my sessions unless you’re in uniform. Park, beach, or formal garden – it doesn’t matter.

        You simply look too stiff to be relaxed with your people. Save it for your branding session.

        Same goes for dress shoes. They really do matter!

        Bonus!

        Hire the wrong photographer

        I’ve done it.

        And you know I vetted their portfolio, blogs, and Instagram feed!

        What went wrong? Her personality and ability to handle/direct the kids.

        • Were the images well lit, edited and framed? Yep.
        • Did we all look fabulous? Nope.

        Know your crew, know the style you want, and ask the right questions. My four boys are a lot to handle, and I did not ask about her experience with the number and ages of families like mine. She was not equipped to keep the attention of four boys at any age.

        I (Alison) am the circus ring leader of four boys. We're a half-homeschooling USMC family, currently in Virginia. I love loud, messy, families, especially those with littles. I like dancing, loud music, and people! I'm passionate about education and the beach. Born and raised in Charleston, SC I'm a cornbread purist. Skillet only! Find me on Insta @alisonbellphotog!