Fall is my favourite time of year. Pumpkin spice. Red, orange and yellow leaves. Families getting together for the holidays. It’s that time of year again for holiday photo sessions for families. My regular clients have already booked their Christmas photos shoots this year.

I’m sharing more professional family photos on my Facebook page these days, which is direct correlation to how busy it’s getting at Chickadee Photos. After those summer family vacations are over, the kids go back to school and the pumpkin pie is long gone, my phone starts ringing. Grandmothers, moms and everyone else must know. How much? When do we need to book?

While you can easily find my pricing on my website, it’s hard to book holiday photo sessions for families after November 15. You and I usually need about four weeks to book the session, choose the best images, complete final editing and deliver beautiful photos in hand to give as gifts, holiday cards and other family gift ideas by Hanukkah or Christmas. If your relatives are far away, you need enough time to mail these photos to them. I encourage all inquiring grandparents, parents and other family members to book by November 5 at the absolute latest.

Choosing a family photographer this time of year can be stressful, I know. You want to find someone with the artistic eye that appeals to you and your family. You need someone who can adapt to your needs, whether that be a preference for an outdoor photography session or an in-home mother-and-infant photo shoot. You must find someone good with kids. This sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many family photographers out there don’t know how to let kids be kids, follow them around and capture the absolute best candid moments without a fuss.

Location is important. As you may see in my online family photos portfolio, my clients and I enjoy getting outside. Fall colours and less intense sunlight combine to create the perfect opportunity for kids playing in the leaves, hand-in-hand walks by the duck pond and memorable time together on the playground. Imagine a photo session without roasting in the hot sun or having to stay up late for a sunset. We can easily meet at Queens Park or Deer Lake Park.

What should you and your kids wear for your holiday family photos? That’s a good question, and I’ve written a blog post all about choosing the best outfit for better holiday family photos. I strongly encourage you to choose something between white tops and busy Christmas seaters. Something neutral, complementary and coordinating is ideal. Bring an extra outfit for kids, because you never know what they might get into as we follow them through the meadow.

I prefer to do things a bit differently than many other photographers. I want holiday photo sessions for families to be as relaxed as possible. That’s how I capture those effortless-looking candid shots. Come with an open mind. Outdoor photo sessions with kids doesn’t have to be stressful. Relax, let go of preconceived notions about how everything should look and just let kids be kids. I’ll follow them with my lens. When kids are calm and the time is right, we’ll do group photos.

The most important takeaway from this blog post is this: please book by November 15!

I hope to see you soon. If I can’t, let’s book a spring photo shoot. In the meantime, bookmark my photography blog for tips and follow me on Facebook to support my work. Thank you.