I love seeing how families grow and change. Here is a family who comes every year, and we always have a great time together. Sometimes the children can be a little shy at first, but that's typical with family sessions in general.
While I am setting up backdrops and seating, this gives the family a chance to look around and get comfortable in the studio. I start to direct a little but also let the kids have some choices about seating and props. This helps us interact a bit. I try to be careful about making them feel "on the spot" too much or for long periods. We break things up by choosing different backgrounds, seating, and props.
I also like to mix up who will be in the shots. Eventually, the kids catch on to how it works through repetition, and by the end, we are getting some more relaxed expressions and easy smiles from everyone. Sometimes we end the sessions with treats!
I like to get the session edited and online within a week or two. At this point, the parents can order from their online gallery or schedule an ordering appointment with me. This family ordered what they wanted at the end of their session.