Why I (Definitely) Don't Recommend Bringing Parents to Your Photo Session

Updated: May 31, 2019

Every once in a while, a couple will bring a friend, sibling, mom or dad (or both) to their engagement or bridal session. You may think it could be useful to have them there...or they've made up their mind to come on their own. My advice would be to tell them how much you love them and their support, but that your session is another step toward married life...and 3 (or more) is a crowd. lol.

Bailey Livingston Photography, Mesa Arizona Wedding Photographer

So, if you're wondering why in the world I would say such a thing, keep on reading and I'll let you know exactly why!

Their presence is most likely going to make you uncomfortable:

This is definitely the biggest reason I recommend bringing yourself and your significant other to your session...and leaving everyone else behind. Sure, you love your parents! And even though they may have loved you through every painful moment of your awkward pre-teen years that doesn't mean getting cozy and sneaking a few kisses with your fiance will be natural in front of them. My biggest goal at each and every session is to make sure my clients feel comfortable so that they can let loose and be themselves! When you're comfortable being affectionate and having a good time in front of the camera we'll be able to get the best photos! Having your parents or siblings watching your every move might kill the mood a little.

I've even had a few tag-along friends and family say things like "That is a fake smile!" or "Loosen up! You look so tense!" Hearing comments like that from onlookers while you're trying to get good photos...they're exactly what make your smile look fake and your pose look tense! So, loosen up, and get ready for a fun session! And, obviously, feel free to leave your friends and family behind!

Fixing the details is my job (and I love it!):

One of the major reasons brides like to bring their mom is to help with all of the details. Of course, having someone there to fix your veil, hair, train, flowers (and everything else) is helpful! And the good news is that I include that duty in my own job description! I absolutely love to make sure all of your details are looking their best for each and every shot, so don't worry about bringing another personal assistant. I've got you covered!

The right angle for me may not be the right angle for them:

Every once in a while, I may get you into the perfect pose because I have a specific shot in mind. And every pose looks different from different angles! While a pose may look odd from an angle on the right, it looks absolutely amazing from the left! I've heard comments from extra friends/family at sessions that went a little something like, "maybe you should move your arm, it looks so weird like that". But if I asked you to do it, it definitely looks good from the angle I'm getting! No other angle is going to matter, but that comment might make you uncomfortable and stiff...and then things could start to look less natural.

They may not love all of the choices you've made:

This can get awkward...if you bring a parent or friend that may not have chosen the same outfit or location that you did and they decide to say something, the mood gets tense! I've had brides start to feel uncomfortable at a shoot because mom didn't agree with the location choice, even though it was absolutely stunning! Everyone has different styles, and that's what makes each and every session unique and beautiful. But just because they have a different style, it doesn't mean your choices aren't going to create stunning images that fit you perfectly! So, make your choice, leave anyone that's going to kill your vibe at home, and we'll have a blast while getting beautiful images!

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