4 Tips from a Professional Photographer for the perfect Family Photo Shoot

Let's face it, we've all been there. You book up your family photo session and you seem to be the only one excited by the idea. You spend lots of energy bribing the kids and convincing your spouse and it's just hard work instead of a fun filled time making memories together with an end product you love. 

1. DO NOT BRING A PINTEREST LIST
Do your research when looking for your photographer and spend time browsing through their family portfolio to ensure you love their style of shooting and editing. It is much better to choose a photographer whose work you already love and admire than to pick a photographer who might be slightly cheaper or closer and tell yourself you can just give them a list of photo ideas for them to re-create. 

Please do not hear me wrong it is lovely to come with one or two photo inspirations but there is nothing worse as a photographer than being booked and then turning up to a list of images to copy cat. This prevents unique images with true emotions and connections which is what we love to capture for you and what creates lasting images. It also curbs the photographers natural flare, experimentation ability and enthusiasm. 

 

2. FOCUS ON ENJOYING THE MOMENT, NOT THE KIDS SMILES
So many times when shooting a family session the tendency is for the parents to get too caught up with telling the children to 'look at the camera', 'smile', 'put your hands down' and so forth that they themselves forget to smile and relax. I'll find that actually the child will eventually look the right way with a beautiful smile meanwhile its the parents not looking or smiling which ruins the shot. 
Trust that your photographer knows what they are doing and that they can capture your children's attention when necessary to capture those beautiful expressions. If you remain in the moment having fun, playing with the kids/spouse, and just enjoying the session you will find the kids have fun too and you will have the most incredible images to treasure. 

3. SHOOT FOR THE GOLDEN HOURS
In the photography world there is a beautiful time of day that most ideal for shooting outdoors and we call it the Golden Hour. This is typically 1 hour after sunrise and 1 hour before sunset. 
As photographers one of our biggest grievances is midday, harsh sunlight. 
When you think of your session day you hope and pray for beautiful sunshine but we are praying for cloud cover to diffuse the light or lovely open shaded areas to photograph in where the sun sometimes peeps through.
So do not be surprised if your photographer requests an early morning/late evening session time. I know this can sometimes be an inconvenience to your family as often it requires waking the children up early but it is for the enjoyment of your families lasting photographs. When you are investing money in your session why sabotage it with less then great shooting conditions for your photographer.  

4. ALLOW THE PHOTOS TO SHOW YOUR UNIQUENESS
The wardrobe for family photography is very much down to the individual families however if I may...try not to match too much. Often you see the family shots with every member of the family in identical clothing such as blue jeans and white shirts. I personally love my family sessions to reflect the family as they are on a daily basis, their personalities and quirks. So whilst it is a great idea to have some type of theme to blend well together such as pastels, plaid or jeans try to steer clear of identical outfits. It makes the images very generic and impersonal. 
My second wardrobe tip would be to consider the location you have chosen for the shoot and ensure the outfits blend with that environment. For example if you are down a graffiti alley it not ideal to be dressed in posh frocks but instead jeans, jackets and hats. The autumn forests allow for beautiful earthy tones in your clothing. 
However overall my #1 tip for clothing is making sure everyone feels extremely comfortable in what they are wearing. You don't want to spend your time constantly adjusting this, that and the other taking away from the natural flow of the session. 

ENJOY YOUR NEXT FAMILY SHOOT WITH CONFIDENCE :)