PREPARING FOR YOUR FAMILY SESSION
Family photography sessions can be a little daunting for some. You need to find a photographer that best suits your family’s personality, decide what to wear… maybe manage your unenthusiastic family member. There’s a bunch of things to think about, so I decided to write up a bit of a cheat sheet to help you out the next time you book in your family photos.
1. WHAT TO WEAR
Make sure that your outfit choices are comfortable, but look good. Dress everyone how you would if you were headed to a party? Neutral colours with soft, flowing fabrics and textures are great…. think creams, very soft pastels, oatmeals, light browns, tans, greys, and slate blues. Want a pop of colour and a bit of an edge to your look? Choose coordinating colours (but not matchy, matchy) with bold accent colours, such as hues of grey with yellow or bright red accents. Adding fun accessories like scarves, headbands, hats, etc. can add a bit of flare to the images.
2. GRAB A BITE
Be certain not to book in your family photography session around the kids’ nap or bedtime, or things could go downhill real quick. The best time for lighting is the two hours before sunset and after sunrise. If this is a bad time for the kids, let’s have a chat about alternatives. I can shoot at any time of day using open shade and still get a great result, but it can be a bit limiting as to where we can do it. Don’t show up to a photo shoot on an empty stomach. I meet many families who come to a photo session with dinner planned after. If this is your plan, be sure to grab a quick bite before the photo shoot.
3. DON’T LEAVE IT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE
If I had a dollar for every time a family arrived late for a family photography session I’d be a very rich man. It’s doesn’t worry me so much, but for you… Rushing around before a photo shoot, throwing clothes on the kids and screaming like a mad person can set the mood for your shoot. When a family shows up to a family photo session rushed and disorganised it can take a bit of the fun out of it for you. These are memories you’re making here, so you want them to be happy ones. Give yourself extra time so that you are ready before it’s time to head out that door.
4. HAVE FUN
Don’t be afraid to get close uncomfortably in the group photos. Show your family members how much you love and appreciate them for being there. Have fun, laugh, joke, hug it out, kiss, wrestle… Doing these things means I don’t need to ask you on the day and avoids it feeling more staged. It also allows me to capture your family as themselves however loving/chaotic they may be.
5. BRING SOMETHING TO DO
Some of the best sessions are the ones when the family do something they enjoy together. It’s not essential, but it gives you something to do with the kids and brings an authentic smile to your face. So if you like to kick the footy, soccer or the kids have a favourite toy… or maybe you love to picnic. Whatever it is, feel free to bring it along. When families are engaged in doing something that they love together, it gives me (the photographer) the opportunity to take some beautiful and authentic photographs.
6. THE BEST PHOTOS AREN’T POSED
The best photographs are often the ones where everyone is interacting with each other. Not every picture needs to have everyone looking at the camera and smiling at the same time. If you are just hanging out as a family and being affectionate with each other, your eyes will be on your family members and your smile will be natural. These are the photographs that you will love the most because the moments are real.
AS FAR AS WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM ME…
My sessions are pretty casual and relaxed, running about an hour. I will get a range of photos of you with your kids, the kids by themselves, and you and your partner or whatever the themes is maybe I am running shooting Grandparents' and single mothers' families. Then I pretty much let the kids go nuts. Nothing is forced, I’m very much go with flow because having kids myself I know it’s the only way they will let you go… and really, that’s when you get the best, most genuine (and chaotic) photos, and if you have any ideas you’d like to add in to the mix I’m happy to accommodate.