So let me start this post off and say that I am making a sweeping generalization here. Dads get a bad rap when it comes to their enthusiasm surrounding a lifestyle photo session. Most of the time, I find that dads are just as, if not more motivated than their partners to participate. I think this is because of the nature of lifestyle photo sessions at their core; it’s about having fun and being playful, which I find dads are overall great at.
That disclaimer out of the way; while I do observe dads enjoying my lifestyle photo sessions; I know (using my own partner as an example) that sometimes the thought of doing one can have them feeling a bit meh. Society tends to put a lot of unnecessary pressure on men to be high performers; so putting them in a situation where they feel they have to do that for not only their partner but the photographer too; it can be uncomfortable. When we remove that expectation and allow them to do just what they’re good at…playing with their kids and loving on their partner; it’s amazing to watch the moments that unfold.
Here are 5 things you can do to help your partner feel prepared and excited for your upcoming lifestyle photo session.
1) Don’t just tell him, show him what a lifestyle photo session looks like.
I know for even myself, having background information along with a visual of what is expected can be so helpful in understanding new situations. If dad isn’t the one initiating all the details of the shoot; be sure to key him in by sharing all the good educational info I send your way prior to our session. Pair that with either a link to my portfolio or even a search for something like ‘dads lifestyle photo session’ on Pinterest; you’ll find plenty of examples that showcase the fun, and candid nature of these sessions, and help give him a boost of confidence.
2) Find a location he loves.
Does he love to hike? Unwind on the beach? Or just hang at home? Taking into consideration a location that he feels comfortable in; and possibly as a bonus, holds special significance to your family. This can contribute to more ease at your lifestyle photo session because it will ensure he feels relaxed and that will be evident in your photos.
3) Have him choose a comfortable outfit.
I believe that lifestyle photo sessions are a celebration which should be reflected in the clothing you choose to accentuate it. That said, it doesn’t mean that the clothing you choose needs to be uncomfortable. (You can find more info about what to wear in my style guide) Be sure to take advantage of the styling assistance I provide as well, I know I can find something that he’ll love to wear AND that will photograph well. I want to also note that especially for outdoor sessions that comfort is key as we want dad to be able to get up and down, roam around, and play with the kids.
4) Allow time to rest pre-session.
If you read my previous post – 5 Simple Ways To Plan A Carefree In Home Photo Session With Your New Baby– you understand that your mood can do wonders to set the tone for a session. I highly recommend keeping the day of a lifestyle photo session completely open. This way you both can have time to relax and get in the right headspace. Give each other a couple hours each to do something you enjoy. Find extra support if you need to. Prioritizing his (and your) emotional needs pre-session means that you’ll both have more bandwidth available to weather the unexpected moments that inevitably always come up.
5) Let the focus of your lifestyle photo session be on his love for your family.
The best thing about lifestyle photo sessions for dads or people who otherwise feel uncomfortable in front of the camera is that when we don’t push traditional ‘look at the camera’ poses they have the opportunity to relax and just be themselves. I will be sure to pose you in ways that allow for natural moments to unfold. That means, no requirements of having to stand still for minutes at a time or cheesing til your faces hurt. My goal for every photo shoot is to capture interactive images that tell the story of your family; I find the best way to do that is when we put the focus on you all just having fun together.
Ready to book a laid-back, and enjoyable lifestyle photo session that dad can get on board with?