5 Easy steps to get Dad to enjoy your family Portrait Session

I can't tell you how often I get Dad's driving for the session with a frown on his face and totally stressed about what's about to happen but there's some really easy tips that made the experience for Dad enjoyable. 

No one really enjoys having their photo taken but Dad's in particular seem to dread it the most but you should be able to make it a fun experience so that next time you ask him to update the family portraits he's totally happy to go!

1) Don’t fuss too much over your outfits

As women, we tend to over analyze what we plan to wear when we are going out, but that's got to be one of the worst experiences for dads. My recommendation is to pick a colour for your outfit, it can be grey, blue, black, white; whatever suits you best and then just find tops that suit and match around that choice. The bottoms don't matter as much. Jeans work well or a simple skirt but just don't overthink what you're actually going to wear.

Try to pick something that Dad's going to feel comfortable with; there is nothing worse than seeing dads arrive in a button up shirt and a tie when I can tell he's the kind of dad that normally walks around in shorts and a pair of thongs. Pick something that reflects him and that he's comfortable in. This also applies to the kids. So many mum's want to dress their kids up or put them in that outfit that they really don't like but then the kids look miserable and unhappy.

family session clothing ideas

2) Reassure him that the session won’t take too long

I often get people really focused on how long the session is going to go for; my advice is don't pick the photographer based on the number of hours that they're going to give to your session but pick it based on the style of their photography my sessions don't ever go over an hour; I find with young kids they've had enough after 30 - 40 minutes and the dad's have definitely had enough by that stage. 

You don't need hours to get great photos you just need a photographer that can connect with your kids and capture those real moments with them.

Check with your photographer before the session how long it's going to go for and give Dad a rough idea so he knows what to expect. It's always easier for a guy to have an idea of how long you’re going to be there rather than getting there and then tell him that he's going to be there for hours on end

3) relax and let your kids have fun during the session

Once you're at the session, relax and let your kids have fun! The real smiles that come from kids bouncing all over the place and being themselves are going to capture the photos that you love the most. Dad's love watching the kids have fun and enjoy themselves and being able to have a joke with them.

When dad can look back on the photos and see the real smiles and remember the real moments that happened with his kids, he will treasure those memories forever and next time you ask him to go in for a session he won't hesitate knowing that those real moments will be captured again

clothing inspiration for a family session

4) talk to him about what products you are thinking about

So often we as women; are the decision makers in our homes but I really think it's important to involve dads in the process of getting photos done.Have a look around your home and think about where you'd like to put something and then have a chat with him about the kind of size that he likes. If you like the idea of an album, look at the different options and make sure there's something there the suits .

Sometimes I get families arriving to their viewing session and mum hasn't even showed dad the pricing. There is nothing more awkward than that moment of him having no idea of the budget you're expecting to spend. Have an honest conversation with him beforehand, talk about the kinds of things that you love and the kinds of things that you would like to buy from the session and it just makes the whole process a lot less stressful for you, him and everyone involved . It also really helps the photographer with knowing what they're aiming to shoot for you so they can really focus on getting exactly what is going to suit your home and what you're looking for. 

5) Book a time when you're not going to have to race to get to your session

Life with kids is super busy these days, we all know it but my advice to you is to pick a time for your session were there isn't going to be a lot of stress around racing to get there . If you have little kids see if he can take the morning off work; it's so much easier to come in during the week when he's fresh and hasn't been working for the whole week. You could also make a day of it; come and do the session in the morning and then head out for a nice lunch together so Dad can enjoy the little ones for the day.

If you have teenagers, a Saturday is going to be the best option but try to work it around the sporting commitments. So often I have people that race from a sporting match throw the kids in the shower and then race to get to me and everyone arrives stressed out.

If your Saturdays are always full of sport then look for a time in the school holidays. It means sports off, there is more time and again, maybe Dad can take a morning off work or a day off work and spend time with the kids as well.

We want to create special memories for you, so a day out can often create an extra special memory that gives even more many to the photos for you

Chris Buechner