3 Tips To Surviving A Family Photoshoot
Are you one of those people who dread when someone in the family mentions Family Portraits? Funny to say, I used to be one of them. However, over the years of shooting Family Portraits for my clients, there are a few things I have learned to make these sessions go a lot smoother, and a lot more fun. So before someone says "we need to update our Family Photos", here are a few tips to surviving your Family Portraits.
1. Hire a Professional Photographer. This should pretty much be a given, however with money being tight (trust me its tough for my family to hire a professional as well, but we make sure to budget for it). When you hire a professional, you are not only assuring yourself of lasting quality photos, but you are also assuring yourself and family of a photographer you know can handle a larger group of people, posing, and the most important... has a connection. Newer photographers are still working on perfecting their art and getting the basics of their photography down, this is why they do sessions so cheap. Professionals have already done this, they have a set style and look to their work, and... they can be personal. They automatically know how to set their camera and gear and shoot the way they need, so they are able to spend their time making the session fun and relating to you and your family.
2. Mix it up. In the past I have had clients do Family Portraits in the same location year after year. This is great with older children, however with younger children (and some older ones - husbands included) they get bored quickly. So ditch that normal scenery and mix it up a little. Try a tree farm, inner city near graffiti, a carnival or theme park. And if going different locations doesn't work. Try something else, like a paint war. Have everyone where a old pair of jeans and white shirt and have fun with paint balloons (water balloons filled with paint). It may not be the fully posed look, but you are certain to have fun and your family will look forward to their next Family Portrait Session for sure.
3. Be comfortable. The biggest thing I see time and time again is Families dressed to the nines for their Family Portraits. Kids are grumpy and usually so are the husbands because they are uncomfortable and hate their clothes. Remember, as much as you want nice family portraits, if your kids and hubs are miserable, it will be harder to get true smiles. Capture your family as they are, how you see them. Not how others expect to see them. My husband wears cut off sleeves and shorts year round. So when we do Family portraits I have to barter with him. I allow shorts and tell him he has to wear a nice button up. Or he has to wear long pants, but can wear his cut off shirt. In the end I make sure he is comfortable and then he is much happier during photos. Plus, if anyone saw him with long pants and sleeves, they wouldn't recognize him, lol. Children are the same way. COMFORT is KEY.