Mom breastfeeding toddler girl on a rock in Austin, Texas.


Five Mistakes to Avoid for Your Austin Family Photo Session

I get it, photography is a HUGE investment! Not only is it expensive to hire a photographer, but family photos are also a huge emotional investment, too. Sometimes they require families to time off work or school, as well as additional financial investments for wardrobe as well as hair/makeup. To make the most out of your time, here are five mistakes to avoid for your Austin family photo session to make sure everyone shows up as their best!

Family of four in West Austin by Jessica Rockowitz Photography

Mistake #1: Don’t Bring Your Kids Hungry

Even if your Austin family photo session is during dinner time, you always want to make sure that your kids are full and happy before arrival…even if that means spoiling dinner. Trust me; hungry kids are cranky kids! I have had parents make this mistake even after my warning, and most of the session was spent with their child begging and whining for food. We even had to waste time and light eating snacks. It also sours the moods of young kids who can’t yet convey emotions and instead of explaining their hunger reasonably, they often scream and cry. Avoid this mistake and give your kids a snack rich in protein and healthy fats right before photos.

Mom in a pink dress with her husband and two kids in Austin, Texas.

Mistake #2: Don’t Get Dressed Until You Arrive

This mostly applies to parents of littles, but as a mom of three kids, I can assure you that you do not want to chance any sort of bodily functions happening on the car ride to photos. This means diaper blowouts, car sickness vomit, snack crumbs, drool, or anything else you can think of. Trust me, it happens often. To avoid this, just have your kids’ clothes ready to go to get dressed in the car prior to the shoot. Allow yourself extra time for this, though – you don’t want it to eat into your shoot time!

Mom kissing her toddler girl at sunset.
Mom breastfeeding toddler girl on a rock in Austin, Texas.

Mistake #3: Don’t Book at the Wrong Time of Year

This also applies more to parents of young kids, but most photographers only shoot about an hour before sunset. Sunset times range HUGELY depending on the time of year! For example, November shoots will be at 430PM while summer shoots will be as late as 745PM! This is a huge difference when it comes to bedtime. If your child is the type who needs a really strict bedtime and you know deviating from it will cause a meltdown, then it’s priority for you to book at a time of year where you can stretch his or her bedtime. Even though your heart might long for a summer session, photos won’t be great if there are tantrums and meltdowns. Make sure you’re booking at the right time of year!

Mom in a pink dress with son and daughter in the sand in Austin, Texas.

Mistake #4: Don’t Wear the Wrong Clothes

It’s imperative to work with your photographer and chat about colors, textures, and styles that photograph well. Trust me when I say that this is *not* something you want to do alone. Again, you are investing so much financially and emotionally into this process; you should want it to go smoothly! What looks good to our eyes doesn’t necessarily translate well to camera. I advise women to wear maxi dresses for flow and movement and to make sure kids wear clothing that fits them well and isn’t too loose. Family photos are not the time to wear that sized up hand-me-down. Keep in mind the style you’re going for, too! If mom is in a flowy boho dress but Dad is wearing a polo, that’s going to be a style mismatch.

Toddler girl holding her dad's hand and mom kissing her son.

Mistake #5: Don’t Use Screens or Snacks

I know it’s tempting to bribe with a YouTube video or a jelly bean during your family photo session, but this is a huge mistake. Once kids get a taste of screens, they might tantrum when you go to put it away. Instead, put on a favorite song! This is something that can serve as a distraction but not interfere directly with the shoot. Likewise, a lot of kids snacks are messy; think crumbs, drool, etc. This means that they can also get on clothes, as well as hands and faces. Kids might also keep wanting more, and that means the snacks and snack bags might also be in your photos. This is why it’s important to make sure your kids are fed beforehand; then they won’t need snacks!

Family of four snuggling in the water in Austin by Jessica Rockowitz Photography.
Mom, Dad, little boy and little girl in the sunset.

What do you think? Have you ever made one of these mistakes?

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