I can’t tell you how many people have brought the soccer uniforms or hockey gear to the session and had the kids change in the car before heading out.
Your kids have a lot of activities and your weekends are stuffed. But you made the time in your schedule to get the photos done, and we want to be sure that we make the best use of it.
I plan on most sessions to be about 45 minutes long. Sometimes, we need a little bit longer to accommodate for a meltdown, a quick snack, a potty break, or a wardrobe malfunction. Sometimes, shy kids are just starting to warm up after a half hour, so we need a few more minutes.
And sometimes, especially for families with older kids experienced in my sessions, they know exactly what we need to do, and in 35 minutes, they are back in their car!!!
There are some photographers out there who offer 2-3 hour sessions for families.
That sounds absolutely dreadful to me.
No family that I know wants to spend that much time in front of a camera and this photographer does not want to torture your family like that!!! Maybe there are people who could behave and follow directions all day, but you know that you and I (and your spouse and kids) are not those people!
Why do I plan for sessions to be this amount of time?
1. In elementary and middle school, most of our academic blocks work in 45-minute segments. As an experienced teacher, I know that I can keep your family moving and engaged in that timeframe.
2. 30-60 minutes is plenty of time to do lots of poses and games, and even have a quick snack break if needed. It also gives us a buffer to regroup if things are not going well.
3. It’s just enough time for your family to feel like it was a fun experience that you will remember.
4. It can be squeezed in between all of the other things.
5. Most kids can last that long without a snack or the bathroom.
So, I’ll ask you to budget about an hour, but don’t be surprised if we are done sooner!!
Cara Parker is a Massachusetts photographer who serves busy families, seniors, and couples.
Read Why I Let Children Play at Family Sessions