Family photoshoots are really fun, but they can also be extremely stressful. There is so much to think about, I often don’t know where to start. But after a few failed photo sessions, and a handful of incredible ones, I’ve come up with a list that helps me prepare my family for a fun and memorable experience.
Plan Ahead. This is by far the most important step! Communicate your vision with your photographer prior to your session. Know what type of poses you’d like, where in your venue you’d want to shoot and what time of day works best. Start with the entire family first. I always find the best pictures are usually the ones taken in the beginning. Kids start to lose interest and get frustrated quickly, so save the candid pictures for last.
Timing Is Everything. In order to have a successful photoshoot (outside) lighting is crucial. In my opinion, the best time to take photos is either at dusk or dawn. In the afternoon the sun is usually really bright, which will cast a shadow on your subject.
Timing is also important when photographing kids. I always try to aim for a time when I know they’re not sleepy and have a full belly. For my children this is usually before a morning nap, or post afternoon nap.
Location. Location. Location. When picking a location, try to find a spot that offers many background options. Such as a lake, a bridge, or a vacant road. We enjoy being outdoors, so anything that represents our family is always a good choice. Some of the best pictures are those taken when you’re in your own element, having a great time.
The Million Dollar Question. What to wear? This is always the one thing I stress about the most. I want everyone to blend well, without looking identical. We all individually have our own sense of style and I want that to reflect in our photo, while still remaining cohesive.
I try to stay away from too many patterns, as this can be distracting. Also, add a pop of color. This can be done through accessorizing with hats, scarves, boots or mittens.
Don’t Stress. This should be a fun and exciting experience. Don’t worry about capturing the perfect photo, it’s about documenting your family bond. If the kids start to get cranky, play! Give lots of kisses, tickle until they laugh and remember, have fun.
What are some of your tips and tricks for a successful family photoshoot?