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Let's talk time.

A family session is a beautiful thing and to someone who's excited to participate, the session could even feel short. To a less willing participant, they may feel like it lasted forever. But how long does a session really take?

Sessions with me, usually last about one hour. Some professionals may take a little longer, some may be shorter. The time doesn't reflect in the quality of the image from a technical standpoint, but I've found that taking some extra time helps loosen up all the family members so everyone is eventually on the same level.

Chances are you may be thinking of a stubborn husband or a shy child... but ANYONE in a family can be unsure and that is OKAY! My job as a professional is to enable you to relax in a natural way no matter where we are so I can capture genuine emotions and feelings through poses and prompts.

So how long does that take?

I don't often check my watch in a session, but going back through photo timestamps you can break it down this way:

0-5 minutes: Introductions which is mostly me trying to remember how to pronounce everyones names correctly. It's a fantastic ice breaker explaining how the photographer with great image memory has a terrible time with names.

5-15 minutes: Basic posed shots... think about a photo you'd take after a wedding ceremony or when someone holds a cell phone to you at a family event. I used to work in veterinary medicine so to me this is to prove "I mean no harm" or "No you wont break my camera... see?"

15-30 minutes: The fun stuff! Group prompts and small group prompts. "Mom can you hold up the baby and do nose to nose kisses?" or "Everybody walk toward me... we are going to play a game!". Some recent families have experienced the airplane but I won't spoil that here.

30-45 minutes: Focus on the individuals. Are you here for family photos? Yes. Do you deserve individual photos of each member of the family? Also YES.

That's only 45 minutes, Keely?! Yes, it is because the time in between that is for candids and movement between poses or locations. You must account for many other variables too... late arrivals, impromptu shoe changes, boo boos, hugs and kisses that last too long because you've been focused so much on life and the kids you haven't kissed your husband enough much less had a couples photo.

So now that you have the long answer, the short answer is... One hour. That's it. As long as a Yellowstone episode, or morning cartoons on the weekend. Longer than most commutes but certainly shorter than any Avatar movie.

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