‘Tis the Season for Family Portraits

Now that fall is officially here, it’s time to enjoy wonderful things like pumpkin spice lattes, cozy sweaters, and the start of the holiday season. It’s not even Halloween yet, you may be thinking. But if you want the best possible holiday family portrait, you should start planning now. Tribeca-based photographer Rebecca Yale has some tips for a successful photo session, so you can enjoy your portraits for decades to come.

My first tip is give some thought to location and pick somewhere you can have fun and your kids will feel comfortable to be themselves, run around, and have a good time! Especially when we start planning in advance, we can fully take advantage of the season—beautiful sessions in the foliage or chic city sessions bundled up in sweaters and boots on cobblestoned city streets. One of the joys of running a boutique portrait studio is that I have the luxury of time with my clients to create a beautiful and meaningful session with them.

I also recommend shooting at the beginning or end of the day, when the light is best, but you should always take into consideration what time of day is best for your child. If your son or daughter (or spouse) tends to be tired in the late afternoon, then it’s wise to shoot at some other time.

For the best pictures, kids should wear what they feel comfortable in and can have a good time in. I recommend laying out everyone’s outfits on the bed to see if they go together. You don’t want to be too matchy-matchy, but you don’t want to clash either. When I book new clients I always send out a welcome packet with some tips for what to wear to the session, and I also have a Pinterest board with suggestions for the whole family.

I always shoot real moments because those are what you want to remember. So many of us cringe (or laugh) when we look back at the embarrassing Sears portraits taken of us as children in horrible ’80s clothing with fake smiles plastered on our faces as we stare awkwardly into the distance. A photograph is part of your family history, and the whole process should be enjoyable and memorable. Whether you hire a professional or take photos yourselves, try to make it sound like a really fun event instead of informing your children they’re having their photo taken, which may sound new and scary to them. Instead, tell them you’re going on an adventure, a scavenger hunt, a stroll in the park—anything they like. When kids are told they must look nice in pictures, they can feel pressure to perform, which might result in anxiety and them getting upset, cranky and rebellious. The best photographs are taken when you forget the camera is there.

The biggest takeaway from these tips is to be yourself in your photos and let your kids do the same. That funny expression they make when you mention Cookie Monster or that fun new dance move they learned in class—those are the memories you want captured on film to remember for years to come.

Rebecca Yale Portraits is offering holiday family sessions now through early December. Book before October 10 and you will also receive a complimentary Halloween Mini Session of your child in his or her Halloween costume in either Tribeca or Central Park on October 20 (only four spots are left for this offer!). Mention Tribeca Citizen when booking and receive a free Organic Bloom Holiday Ornament Frame! Rebecca can be reached at 310-562-8377 or rebecca@rebeccayale.com.

Sponsored by Rebecca Yale Portraits


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