Family portraits are something a lot of people are avoiding because it just seems so difficult to get everyone in the same place let alone produce some relaxed and fun images to cherish on your wall for the next 20 years. We all have childhood memories of our mums telling us how to smile when the photographer arrived but the only thing you were able to think about was the itchy wollen jumper she told you to wear. And mums remember how their children pulled funny faces and ruined the whole portrat.
Family portraits can be tricky but a little bit of preparation makes a big difference and you can make the whole experience so much more enjoyable for the entire family.
Plan ahead - there are several things to consider before the shoot:
Where do you want to take the photos? Indoors or outdoors? With little children make sure place is safe and easy to access. Around your home or on location? If you are an adveturer at heart, a little hike to your favourite place is not a bad thing. What ever you decide make sure it's something that suits your lifestyle.
What time of the day is good for everyone? Little children are usually at their best in the morning so sunset shoot might not be a good idea.
Props or no props? Consider if you want to use any props such as funny hats, sunglasses, balloons, etc.
Bring your happiest mood with you and relax - your kids will take your lead so if you are happy and positive about the shoot they will most likely do the same.
3. Don't tell your kids to smile
I know it's very intuitive but try to resist it. My son pulls the most ridiculous faces when I tell him to smile - it's funny but not very natural. Most photographers work really well with children and get the best out of the little ones without asking them to smile.
|Left image: asked to "smile" Right image: natural expression and contact|
4. Be yourself
Let's face it - most people hate to have their photo taken. Try to be yourself - no-one is expecting you to pose like a supermodel. Just be your wonderful normal self- that's all. However if you want to get your make-up and hair done please feel free to do that - I'm sure it will boost your confidence and make you feel beautiful.
Coordinate your outfits - maybe mum can choose her outfit first and then build others around her. Not matching but complimenting. You can add a bit of colour with scarves or accessories.
I like to show family chemistry in my images i.e. how each family member react to each other - to me it's beautiful, it's life. It's not about how you look but what connection you have with the other people in that image. You can see love and connection in an image straight away, you can't fake that.
So what are you waiting for - book your next family portrait session - it's so worth it!