There are lots of topics to cover when planning for a family photo shoot. What will I wear? Where will we take the photos at? What will the weather be like? What if the kids don’t cooperate? What if none of the photos turn out? A simple event that started as a sweet, innocent idea suddenly has been turned into a ball of anxiety. From a photographer’s standpoint, these thoughts can be fixed by covering some basics. Here are 5 ways to give yourself peace of mind before your family photo shoot:
1. Know the Use.
A simple base question to ask yourself when beginning the family portrait journey. What will these photographs’ use be? Will they have multiple uses? Think about if you want them for holiday cards, your home decor, or simply social media use.
Know the Use
2. Plan Your Colors.
Think about what these photos are being used for – the holidays, your home, or for your personal Facebook profile picture? If you are having family portraits done for the holidays and Christmas cards think about the feeling you want to evoke for your holiday greeting. What color theme will help you achieve this goal? The holidays are warm, welcoming, and friendly so start with looking at rich, warm colors. Also keep in mind the number of people in the portraits. If you want a rich purple and toned yellow color palette, make sure not everyone has the same colored shirt as it will mash everyone into one. Don’t be afraid to introduce patterns and have fun individualizing each outfit!
Plan Your Colors
3. Talk About Location.
You are having Christmas portraits done with rich, warm colors, but you are posed sitting in sleek stainless-steel chairs and a harsh studio setting. A nice color scheme is wasted when your family photos feel out of place, cold, and unfriendly. Location can make or break a photo shoot. A spot that may not look like much to someone may be the dream location for a photographer. Talk to the photographer about the feel of the shoot you are hoping for to confirm a spot that will work correctly to match your vision. One thing I like to do is to brainstorm places with clients that may have a significance or meaningful history with their family that may be an opportunity to capture as well.
Talk About Location
4. Let Kids Be Themselves.
Photo shoots are a strange and unfamiliar atmosphere for kids. Put yourself in their shoes - some stranger has shiny alien-looking equipment and is trying to make you smile. It may take a while for them to feel comfortable. Often the worry of the parents shows through in their expressions because they are embarrassed at the response of their children or disappointed in how they believe the portrait session is going along. When parents relax, the kids can sense this. I take a different approach to portraits and allow families to just be themselves. When individuals are thinking about how they look, it shows. When the individual is just showing what they feel with the group of people around them, that is not just seen but felt by the viewer. I allow plenty of time for kids to get comfortable with the setting and show their true selves. So take a deep breath, think about those you love around you during a session and it will be evident through your portraits.
Let Kids Be Themselves
5. Trust the Photographer.
When you invest in a professional photographer’s services, trust their skills while at the shoot. As a client, you should not be worried about how everyone is posed or what the background looks like. Leave these concerns to the photographer. With my clients, I review prior to the session any type of specific shots they may be looking for. But, I am always aware that “the shot” they are looking for may happen a half-second after they think the shot has been taken. When guards are taken down, a true masterpiece can be captured. Another important note to make is to be communicative with your photographer from the beginning. Let them know any reservations with the shoot you may have and they will be able to help you through the entire process.
Trust the Photographer
Live by faith & share through fotos.