Upcoming family photoshoot!?
It doesn't matter if there are three of you or seven of you, we'll make sure you understand the ins and outs of preparing for your family shoot! This blog post will cover outfits, posing, and other tips so you're comfortable in front of the camera! We're going to break it down into three topics! Let's dive in.
First and foremost, there's no photoshoot without a location! So, let's start there. There are the options of doing them in your home, at the beach, in the woods, or anywhere else you can think of! To keep it simple, we'll break it down into the differences between at-home and outdoor/location photoshoots.
I loooveeeeeee an in-home shoot! These don't always have to be indoors, either. You might have a scenic backyard, or a cozy porch, or you might even want a family-fun photoshoot in your pool! These can be as traditional or non-traditional as you'd like.
If you're thinking you'd like them in your home (which I LOVE!), we really have an opportunity to use your space and make the photos really personal. Sometimes, kiddos love these because they feel comfortable and they're more likely to interact with the camera! One important thing to consider when hosting a photoshoot in your home is natural light. Naturally lit images are all the rage right now! If you don't know what that means, it simply means that we want to bring in as much light from the outdoors (via windows/glass doors/etc) as possible, to avoid artificial light that can fudge with your skin-tone! In front of or beside windows/glass doors often work best! Also, remember that sometimes in-home photos create some tighter shots due to space limitations.
Your photographer can take a look around and help find places that will create the images you envisioned! I'll say it again - don't be afraid to think outside of the box! The photo ideas can be as simple as a couch snuggle, or as interactive as baking together in the kitchen! Another reminder, sometimes the most beautiful photos are the ones that are the most mundane. Mom giving the little ones a bath, or dad tying their shoes. Human moments can be so beautiful!
Want to head out and find the perfect location for you and your family? A location for a photoshoot could be a playground, a lake, out on a boat, or just an open field! When we're outside, we can get creative with spacing and often get some wider shots. We don't need to worry about enough light, because we're outside! And we have plenty of room to capture whatever shots we can dream up!
Location shoots can also allow for unique types of interaction such as splashing in the water, jumping in puddles, picking flowers, playing tag...and the list goes on! One thing to consider on location is time of day / harsh lighting. If you are being photographed in an open space without any shade, it's often best to time your shoot in the early morning or evening when the sun isn't directly overhead. Of course, this can't always be done, but it's a great thing to consider. If it's a mid-day shoot, finding a shaded area can be great (unless it's a gloomy, shady day!).
2) Outfit choices
Following the "where to photograph" question, outfit questions are just as popular! First and foremost, repeat after me: matching outfits are not the answer. Usually. When I say "matching outfits," I mean the entire family in white tops and khaki bottoms like you probably took with your family on vacation at the beach once. If you didn't take them (my family didn't, actually), I bet you know a friend who did! While these photos can be lovely, they don't create any contrast.
Firstly, I often cue my clients to dress to match their background, but that doesn't always have to be the case, either. Your personal style really matters here! I often stray away from bright colors and gravitate more towards neutrals, but I will give an example of a couple bright & bold options that worked perfectly. When it comes to colors, I encourage you to pick a palette, rather than just one color. It can be fun to pick one person's outfit, then build everyone else's around them. In the example below, you can see the woman in the floral dress, then every one else is wearing a color that you can find in her dress! They were brighter options, but they were perfect!
You'll also see below, a little guy in a striped shirt that has gold, white, and blue. Mom went with gold and white, dad went with blue, and it is the most lovely color palette that compliments the nature scenery perfect, and doesn't look too matchy-matchy! In a phrase: choose a palette, and don't be afraid of a print.
Another tip is for at least one person to have an outfit that can be played with/moveable. A swishy dress, pockets, a hat. Clothes that can be moved make for beautiful, emotion-filled movements.
3) Posing / Getting the shot
Okay, we have a location. You know what to wear. Lastly - we need to get the shot(s)! When we're working with a family, especially with small children, a lot of parents are worried about their child's behavior. Are they energetic? Are we afraid they'll cry? Let's try to be armed with solutions before the problems arise!
I always like to ask my families if they're cool with bribes / rewards / treats? If so, they tend to be the ticket to getting little ones to participate and cooperate. I also like to know if there's a youtube video or song I could play on my phone during the shoot to keep kiddos happy and less distracted by other things. If we're dealing with babies, bring a toy or two that 1) the photographer can hold to grab attention and 2) the little one can play with as needed!
Luckily, photos with movement are beautiful and tend to look honest and filled with emotion, so encouraging playing, splashing, tickling, running, etc. make for great photos and can help keep the kids entertained! Organized chaos is the name of the game, aside for those shots we HAVE to get with all of you looking at the camera. That's when music and toys and my dancing around like a goof help get the attention to the camera.
Remember, posing is a loose word. In most shoots, your photographer will encourage you to walk, play, & move. Just be ready to have fun! Don't put a ton of pressure on yourself to capture the "perfect" photo. We want the photos to look like you.