I often get asked by my clients how to prepare for their family photo shoot. Popular questions include:
”What should I wear?!” ”What should we bring?!”
”What if the children don't do what they are meant to?”
So I thought I would pop together a post giving some tips and advice on how to prepare for your family photo shoot.
Ok, so this is the most popular question I get asked. 'What should I wear'. It's a very valid question. I would never suggest you head off on a shopping spree but I do think that clothing/styling is important. At the end of the day you want to look at these photos and not have any wardrobe regret. I know styles change but this is why I suggest a simple, subtle clothing choice. I always say avoid character clothing, football tops, all black and all white. Choose neutral colours with soft, flowing fabrics…. think creams, very soft pastels, beige, light browns, tans, greys, and slate blues.
This is a great colour palette from Kat Berries.
2. Have fun.
This is so important. I want to capture you as a family. I want to see real smiles, and most importantly I do not want you to feel uncomfortable. So bring some of your favourite things along to the session. Does your little one have a favourite teddy bear, a favourite book? These types of things help little ones relax, they don't want me shouting 'move your arm, stand still' etc and I find the best smiles are captured when they aren't forced.
I usually have a bag of tricks if smaller children are struggling, such as bubbles, flashy lights and if all else fails, kids seem to love watching me fall over, so that is my party trick if needed! (reserved for very special clients!?!)
I try my hardest to schedule shoots for the most favourable time of day. This is due to the light and the position of the sun. The best time is usually first thing in the morning or early evening (depending on the time of year) BUT if a time doesn't suit then we will work around it.
Get Dads Involved.
99% of the clients that book a family shoot are female. Occasionally it takes Dad a little longer to get involved. I think it's important that they are just as up for it as you. I suggest perhaps getting them involved in the decisions, picking outfits (maybe lol) , location etc. These photo's are to be treasured for years to come, I keep things low key, and have a go with the flow approach, to make it as natural as possible.
Ok, so how do I get smiles. Firstly I avoid the 'say cheese' pose. I personally find kids grit their teeth and look very uncomfortable when parents shout cheese behind them. I know it's a natural reaction to trying to get kids to look happy. I find sitting with the kids, telling stories, telling jokes is a lovely way to get natural happy faces. Talking about things that make us happy, makes us look happy and 'click' thats how I do it. Everyone doesn't have to be looking at the camera, to get a beautiful family photo.
Probably avoid bringing a fish tank, but dogs, bring them along. They are part of the family and I love photographing dogs. Sometimes it's better if they aren't there for the whole session (depends on the length and how well behaved the dog is).
If you have any other questions please let me know. I am always here to answer questions about your session.