Family portrait sessions are probably the most stressful of any of the sessions I offer. For me, since they are usually outdoors, I worry about the weather, the light (cloudy or bright sun?), the distractions (on the beach there are way more interesting things that me for a 2-year old) and a number of other things. For the family (usually Mom) there's the worry that the kids won't behave, or that she'll look fat, or that they won't get any good shots. You know what? It usually all works out. Sure, sometimes the weather just won't cooperate and we have to postpone. And I need to come with a big bag of tricks to try and hold the kids' attention. The kids' behavior, well...kids will be kids! So they're a little wiggly; we'll keep moving. So they keep being distracted by people walking their dogs---I'll keep making noises to get them looking at me again! I once told a Mom "I don't need them to behave the whole time; I just need them to behave for a second." I've lost track of how many times the parents have viewed the portrait proofs and then said "these came out better than I thought they would!" Behold the magic! And really, what is a "perfect" family portrait? Everyone sitting and smiling perfectly? Or a "perfect" slice of reality? It can be a combination of the two! Here are a few examples of the posed and the more relaxed portraits, all purchased by the families.
So don't stress about the perfect family portrait! It will be perfect because it's YOUR family.