Five Steps for Perfect Family Photos
Updated: Apr 29, 2020
If you are reading this then there's a chance you are doing a family photoshoot (and hopefully you are doing it with me as your photographer!). You might be feeling stressed at the prospect of getting your family together and making everyone look their best, but no need to worry, I will be doing the heavy lifting the entire time! It is my job as a photographer to put you at ease and make sure everyone is having fun. That being said, if you'd like to read ahead so you know what to expect, I've put together five key components to getting beautiful family portraits.
Usually, when we see a camera pointed at us we tend to stop what we're doing, freeze, and look directly into the lens. We won't do this! Instead, I will prompt you to spin around, have a dance party, and hug it out throughout our session. Even when I do tell you to hold a pose don't be afraid to make slight adjustments with every click! You can move your chin down slightly, touch your head against your partners, and just keep it moving. When we freeze we tend to look unnatural and tense. We want to convey feelings of joy, love, and happiness, and we can do this if everyone is moving around and having fun.
Whether it means having your arms wrapped around one another or being physically close, you need to be showing love through touch. If you don't feel comfortable being affectionate in front of the camera, try and think of some special memories before the shoot. Think about when you exchanged your vows on your wedding day, and when you held your child for the first time. Reminisce about these meaningful times during the photoshoot to feel genuine connection and love, and forget about me and my camera.
Photoshoots, especially with young children, can be stressful. You're running around thinking did we pack the right clothes, snacks, toys, and wait why does my hair look like that? Plan ahead so you have ten minutes to relax with your family in the car before the shoot. Tell your kids how much fun they're going to have, and tell each other how great you look. Don't forget to take care of snacks, bathroom needs, stray hairs, and eye boogers. If you are excited your kids will feel the same way. I suggest overpacking for your session and having a back up change of clothes for each child and an extra top for the adults and teens.
4. Direction - (For Big Groups and Extended Family)
If there are multiple adults in the session make sure you appoint a leader if it isn't already obvious. The leader should be responsible for making sure everyone has dressed appropriately. You don't want to get to the session and realize your uncle wore his Crocs and your cousin is in basketball shorts. I will do my best to manage everyone's needs and wants, but you understand your family dynamic best, so I will count on having some backup. Remember to be positive and set the tone of the day!
5. Have Fun!
I know I just gave you a bunch of things to think about, but if there is one thing you take from this it is to have fun. I understand how hectic it can be to get the family together, and I know you might be worried about how your photos will turn out, but leave that to me. A big part of my job is making sure you feel comfortable in front of the camera, and I'll make sure you look your best. Photos are best when you are genuinely enjoying yourself, so relax and have fun! It's not every day we take a moment to capture the beauty of our families, and you should enjoy and cherish this time together.