How to get the most out of your Family Portrait Session – Rowan’s Tips
Family portrait sessions are fun! These sessions are not meant to be formal or overly posed, but should be relaxed, fun, candid, and enable the unique personalities of your children to come out. To get the most out of your family portrait session you need to have a plan, set realistic expectations and get the whole family on board. Follow our tips below to make your family session amazing.
• Plan ahead – there are several things to consider before booking your shoot.
• Where do you want the shoot to take place? There are advantages to having either a studio shoot or a shoot outside on location. Most photographers should be able to offer both. But think about the style and type of images you are after and which type of shoot would give you the look you desire. If in doubt talk to your chosen photographer and ask their advice.
• What time of day is best for everyone? As a general rule if your family shoot involves little ones a session earlier in the day is much better. You should plan for photographs to be done after nap and feeding times so your children are happy, cooperative and well rested. Trust me, you want to take your children along when they are at their best!
• To prop or not? Props can make a massive difference to the end result at a family portrait shoot. They can make the photographs more personal to you as a family if they include a musical instrument a child is learning, equipment from a child’s favourite sport or props from a hobby you as a family enjoy. The options are unlimited and most photographers rise to the challenge to accommodate even the most unusual of props. But if you just want to take along yourselves that’s fine too.
• Don’t prepare your children too much. We want your children to be natural on the day and that won’t happen if you’ve spent ages practicing your smiles! Talk to them casually about the shoot, not too much though, so they don’t get worked up about it. Then on the day tell them how much fun you’re all going to have and leave it at that. A good photographer will be highly skilled at putting children at ease and coaxing natural and charming expressions from them without the need for cheese!
• Be on time (or early). Before I even get my camera out in my studio I like to get to know your children a bit better. I spend a fair amount of time playing and joking with them so they get to feel comfortable and confident with me. This makes such a difference to how they will respond in the session, in fact it’s one of the most important parts of the whole shoot, so try not to be late.
• Coordinate your outfits. Thinking about what each member of the family will wear is vital preparation if you want your family photographs to look cohesive. We don’t mean everyone to come in matching outfits (that would be weird!) but coordinating colours and styles always looks good. Choose coordinating colours from the same colour palette that compliment each other. This is not something you do as a family every month so view it as special, make an effort with everyone’s appearance, hair and clothes and if you’re the mum get a bit dolled up (because you’re worth it!!!)
• Finally, relax and be yourselves. This will have a massive impact on not only how much you will all enjoy the session but how natural, modern and fresh your finished images will look. Bring your happiest mood with you and your children will naturally follow your lead. Natural smiles and having a real laugh at your session will shine through into photographs that you will treasure as a family forever.