Let me start out by saying, I’m not a big drinker. Feeling the need to tell you that probably indicates the opposite, but I promise, I’m really not that mom that stumbles out to the bus stop with a shot of whiskey in her coffee cup and sunglasses on (not judging that mom at all, some days that approach feels spot on). However, I do love me some wine, and the time I love my wine the most of all is when I’m about to have my very own family photographed each year. I know, I know… we tell you and tell you not to stress about your upcoming photo session, that we will do all of the work for you, and you can just relax. And you hear us, but I know, you still stress (just a teeny bit). I get it. Confession time: I’m such a hot mess before my own family’s photo sessions that my husband has forbidden me from scheduling more than one per calendar year for the sake of our marriage's survival. I stress about the weather, our clothes, the light, and of course, about the biggest wildcard of all: how my family will behave. Unfortunately, I have control over one, maybe two of the things I’m worried about, and the rest cannot be controlled. So once I’ve finished all of the concrete steps for prepping my family before the session (clothing on, hair brushed, fake tattoos scrubbed/lasered off, prayers prayed to whatever deity cares about photo sessions), I move on to my favorite way to ready myself: I grab my wine juice box or adult sippy cup, hand the car keys to my husband and start a little one-woman party.
"Confession time: I’m such a hot mess before my own family’s photo sessions that my husband has forbidden me from scheduling more than one per calendar year."
I can relax and enjoy my wine to some extent because I have a “go bag” that I always pack for photo sessions which contains goodies to help with many if not all family photo session crises (other than all-out kid meltdowns in which case, like you, I’m left with nothing but my own (in)ability to negotiate with a hostile kid terrorist.) I’m going to share the contents of the bag with you next, but first I want to justify/explain why the wine is the most important item inside. Basically what it boils down to is this: slightly buzzed me is a relaxed and happy me, and happy people smile naturally, are able to chill enough to let their kids be themselves so the photographer can capture that, and feel friendly and loving towards their families. High-strung, sober me feels the need to control the kids, the husband, the photographer…. basically everything. Type A much? Me neither. Let's refer back to my earlier point: I cannot control all the elements of my photo session no matter how much I stress and try. So what's the point in trying and failing to control everything, when that is the only surefire way to make sure that no one enjoys being part of the photo session?
Thankfully, tipsy me trusts that I will treasure the photos my photographer captures because they will portray elements of my family that I love (maybe not the exact moments I want to micromanage into a photo, but possibly moments, emotions and expressions that are perfect and special in ways that may surprise even me). The wine whispers ever so sweetly in my ear, “you can’t control every detail of this photo session, but crazy as this may sound, it may just turn out okay, and by the way, this is just a photo session, so calm down!” I don’t know what brings you to your personal happy place; maybe it’s wine, maybe it’s yoga, maybe it’s cat videos on youtube (getting bored with cats? Try stoat videos; you’ll thank me later). But whatever it is that helps you mellow out, find it and embrace it before your photo session so that when you arrive for your session, you’ve already channeled your inner zen master and can let the session flow without wanting to strangle people. It’ll be the best and most enjoyable way to ensure that the session goes smoothly, and whoever regrets a glass of wine or watching a few (dozen) cat videos?
Finally, as promised, here are the contents of my photo session “go bag!" I like to make sure that I have a supply of remedies for following common sources of kid and/or husband grumpiness.
Good luck (and cheers!) as you prepare for your next photo session.
Origins Heirloom Artistry is a division of the award-winning Timorah Beales Photography. Origins specializes in sweet and timeless maternity, newborn, baby and family photography in Yorktown, VA and the surrounding Hampton Roads area. We would love to begin planning the perfect session for you.
Yorktown Newborn Photographer | Yorktown Family Photography | Yorktown Family Photographer | Williamsburg Baby Photographer | Williamsburg Newborn Photographer | Best Newborn Photographer Hampton Roads | Hampton Roads Baby Photographer | Virginia Newborn Photographer | Newport News Baby Photographer | Newport News Maternity Photography | Hampton Roads Maternity Photographer | Origins Heirloom Artistry