Most of my family sessions are around 1 to 2 hours and many of my clients, especially with little ones, wonder if 2 hours is just going to be too much. I don't agree for 5 reasons:
1. A two hour session (at least my two hour sessions) are not all about standing and posing..
We do tons of walking, exploring, sometimes stopping at a jungle gym along the way, swinging and playing games. 2 hours of posing is simply out of the question, but two hours of fun it a totally different story!
2. 2hr sessions are perfect if you'd like different backgrounds.
During that time, we can make our way around the city or neighborhood on foot or via taxi. This way, your session is still cohesive but you get more locations! A little bonus is that travel time gives a little bit of down time where I can get more documentary style photos! Whether you're walking together across the street or you're laughing in the back of the taxi, it's a time where you don't have to be 'on' but we can still take advantage of.
3. 2hrs means more activities for sure and those activities can really add to your session.
How about having a picnic for the last half hour or heading over to a cafe? We can go to the kiddie amusement park or ride the carousel. All of this stuff takes time but makes for incredibly fun memories and real moments in front of the camera. If you're spending some of that time in your home what about a board game or jumping in the pool together? What about adventuring it and going for a hike together ? There are tons of activities that you can do that both take time, and make for great photos!
4. More time means more time for the kiddos to get comfortable.
Some kids are just plain shy. It's their nature and that is totally A OK. If your kids need a bit more time to be themselves then make sure you have it! We can start at the beginning of your session by doing fun activities like feeding ducks or running with Mom and Dad rather than expecting them to take smiley photos if they're not comfortable with me yet!
5. Your photo session should never be stressful.
Even with kids who are misbehaving, it's not a good idea to scold or make them feel bad in front of the camera. They'll just shut down. The best thing we can do is transition their silliness into a game where they'll feel like they can be happy, and goof around, but in a good way without just spoiling photos. If you have extra silly kids, you may need the time to show them that we can have fun, play games AND get great photos!
In the end though, regardless of my reasons, YOU KNOW YOUR KIDS. You know how they are and how much you guys can handle as a family. If two hours seems like too much, I also do 1.5 hr sessions and 1 hour sessions. Like I said before, photo sessions shouldn't be stressful! Enjoy!