Wednesday, October 14, 2015

WWLW: Photoshoot Planning

It's that time y'all. Most of you are smack dab in the middle of photo shoot planning and execution. And we are here to help you. Because we really don't want you looking/feeling like this...

So, we've taken the best of our best (or so we think) to put all in one place for you today for the... 

One to Two Months Before:

1. Decide on Clothes, Shoes and Accessories - You want a winning wardrobe!

Start shopping, whether you are closet shopping, on-line shopping or mall shopping - start. Find one thing to start with - maybe a scarf for Momma or a bow tie for your baby boy - and work to find the items to coordinate with it.
2. Props - If you are going to use any props - cool couchballoonsover sized letterstricycles, or a wagon - start your search now.

Two Weeks Before:

1. Location - Because you know what look/feel/theme you are going for (see above) you probably also know a few spots to take these types of photos (or you have consulted with your photographer), so now is the time to do drive byes to check on things like height of grass in a park or field, hours of operation, payment (if applicable). Also, there are some locations that must be reserved, don't forget to check.
2. Hair & Makeup - I have to admit, I have never had my hair or make up done for a photo shoot, but I think I might! If you want these types of services, book them now. (I do admit, I do get my eyebrows a couple of days before photo shoots...I'm so fancy like that! ;))

One Week Before:

1. Try on clothes - Kids grow fast and sometimes things just look lots different go ahead and do a quick dress rehearsal. This is also a good time to iron. I swear, my ironing board only comes out for photo shoots!
2. Touch base with your photographer - Give your photographer a call or email to reconfirm times and location.
3. Talk it up! - Start talking to the kiddos (and maybe the significant other) about the photo shoot. Remind them how fun it will be to be a model and discuss expectations. We talk about listening to the photographer,  doing what we ask when we ask and reminding them that if they do well, they will get a treat! Hey, we are all about bribery here! And treats can be candy, stickers, drive around the neighborhood with the windows down listening to Frozen T. Swift...whatever works!
4. Double check your picks! - We always send texts to each other with our various wardrobe options for one final round of feedback.

Day Before:

1. Set out clothes and accessories -I set out everything, and I do mean everything (including unmentionables...don't get caught with a black bra and white shirt! EEK!). It will make the next day go smoother and if you forgot something you will have a little while to run to Target.
2. Pack
     a. Clothes - You may have all the clothes on your body and this step isn't necessary...but you may have a wardrobe change or a scarf or something, so go ahead pack it. {And, just maybe I made the girls ride to a photo shoot in their unmentionables because I didn't want the picture clothes wrinkled...just maybe. I can't say for sure, but maybe! ;))
     b. Props - Go ahead and load the car. Remember, you want tomorrow to be STRESS free. We recently did Millicent's 3 year (tear) pictures and the car was full of pumpkins.
     c. Goodies - Get the treats ready! Stickers, lollipops, whatever.  Have it ready to reward that great behavior. Also, pack water, snacks and wipes. Hungry kids (and adults) do not take good pictures!
     d. Toiletries - Don't forget the hair brushes, makeup and tissues.

Day of:

1. Be on time! Y'all nothing stresses me out more than being late. I hate it. So I make it a point to be early to photo shoots. Photographers are busy, lighting matters and a stressed face is not pretty, so be on time.
2. Be reasonable - Remember that all parties involved - kids, mom, dad, photographer, etc - are people and we all have good and bad days and we all have things we are capable of doing. (Don't expect a 2 year old to do a 3 hour shoot or take pics during nap time.)
3. HAVE FUN! Seriously, have fun. Laugh. Enjoy being in the moment! HAVE FUN!
4. Be prepared... which leads us to...

What to bring:

We have several general items that we bring to every single photo shoot:

Image sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

1. Safety pins - you never know what's going to need fixing. Sometimes kids are at an in between size and you need to tighten up some pants, a dress, or shirt. 
2. Lip gloss - This is pretty self-explanatory and not unusual but I like to keep it in my bag, not just for me but for the girls, too. It's the perfect bribe!
3.  Extra hair flair (bobby pins, rosettes, headbands, clips) - You never know when the weather is going to change, fly-aways are going to occur, or kids are going to hate what you picked out. Be prepared and bring EXTRA.
4. Lint brush - You know, because of lint.
5. Bug spray - Especially in Texas. Especially in summer. Who am I kidding - ALL STINKING YEAR. #wehatemosquitoes
6. Flip flops/extra shoes - You won't be in every picture and you may have to trek through some interesting land to get to your space - don't ruin your good shoes, just bring extras!

We also have some items specifically for our small kiddos...

 Image sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 

1. Baby wipes - It never fails that someone plays in dirt, picks up trash, or finds a piece of melted chocolate. Have baby wipes. They also serve as a great distraction when needed. Just let Tommy pull every single wipe from the bag - you can always put them back in and use them (especially on third kids). ;)
2. Candy (also known as bribes) - Grab some hard candy. If your photographer is good (and smart) he/she will have this covered. Make sure it's not chocolate or anything that will melt/run in their hands. We like smarties, jelly beans or fruit chews. As noted above, lip gloss is an excellent bribe for tiny girls. 
3. Books/toys - Have something anything that will keep them occupied when they aren't in the picture. We've found books and toys helpful, but so is your phone or iPod. 
4. Happy spray  -  Neither of the Mommas have actually tried this, but we have heard that it works. Just bring a small spray bottle full of water (and maybe even glitter) (I said maybe(#wehateglitter) and tell the kiddos it's magic happy spray. Sounds silly, but hey #whateverworks. 

And soon enough, our kids will become tweens/teens and we imagine that they may have a different set of "must haves"...

1 / 2 /  3

1. Special drink - We don't give our kids much besides water or milk and I don't anticipate Starbucks becoming a regular occurrence. It may be fun to drive through pre-photo shoot to get the older kids something before pictures begin. (or as a incentive for after the shoot). #havewementionedwelikebribes
2. Phone/Music - Not many of us ever travel without our phones these days, but make sure you have it especially if there are portions where kids aren't involved in pictures. This is a great way to keep them happy. 
3. Hairspray - Yes, I did just post a picture of Aqua Net. It's the best. Says my MaMaw. Fly aways, happen. Wind happens. Wardrobe changes mess up hair. Just bring hair spray. 

So there you have it. Our crazy is exposed. And if we thought a little longer, I'm sure we could come up with more items that you always need to bring - the ones we listed were no brainers!! We love this stuff y'all - and if you are stressing out... don't. Email us, comment below and let us know what's stressing you out and maybe we can help!

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  1. No stress here - I took your advice and already had pictures made! :) Oh, and I used bribes - and that was just the hubby! ;) just kidding #kindof

    1. The husbands can be the hardest ones to deal with! Ha! :)


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