Family Photography Ideas
As a family photographer, I’ve often struggled with the notions of trying to take the “perfect” family photo and the one that ‘best” captures a family. There are days I feel that a family requires perfection in their family images. Every kid is looking forward, smiling, on their best behaviour, dad is happy and mom is in her happy-place.
This is a total fairytale.
Just like every mom, I had visions of me looking like a supermodel, dad looking heroic and my child an angel for our family photo session with the amazing Danielle Bossert. Like most families, I’m a once every-two-years kind of photo girl. It’s enough that I can document changes in our family without totally annoying the child and the dad. And sometimes, as a mom, I get carried away with what I think should be the “perfect photo.” But you know what? That perfect photo isn’t want you want. The perfect photo is what your family is.
However, there are some things you can do in advance of your session to help guarantee success.
1) Location: If you have small children, it’s wise not to choose a location that has a jungle gym or something fun in eye-sight. You KNOW they are going to be making a beeline for that park every five-minutes. I work with every client to find a location that best suits them. I also need to think about lighting and the time of day for the best images.
2) Clothing: This is the most asked question I receive after someone books a session with me. My answer always is, choose something that makes you happy and comfortable. If you are happy and comfortable, the rest just falls into play. Don’t worry about matching (unless you want to).
3) Bribery: This falls into two categories….one for your children and one for your husband/partner. Bring snacks and water for your kids. It helps to keep them focused. In Nanton we have an amazing Candy Store and Ice Cream Shop. I always recommend a stop there after a family session. It’s a fun treat for everyone. Promise beer for your husband after the session 🙂
4) Your Photographer: Watch the blog or Facebook posts from your photographer to get an idea of what you love and don’t love about their family sessions. Let him/her know what inspires you about their work. This will help your photographer know your preferences.
5) Questionnaires: I send out a questionnaire to every single client after they book. I want to know the names of everyone at the shoot and any ages of children. I also want my clients to know that they can let me know about things to watch for during their session and for ideas to think about. I also want to engage my clients on location and logistics of their session. Information is key in starting a session off on the right foot.
6) Let it go: Finally, like the song says, Let It Go. You can plan everything down to the second, but a child not feeling well, weather, or just having a bad day can all affect your family photos. If your child just will not stay still, ask your photographer to switch to more of a lifestyle session where interaction and movement is key in the images. Sometimes, those are the best images anyway!
If you have any questions about family photography ideas, let me know!