Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom posted today about preparing for their December photo shoot. She has an amazing vision for such things, but I couldn’t help but think that most families don’t have the same level of energy and budget for photography. As a former photographer, here are some quick, basic tips for making the most of your family photoshoot.
(1) Think “coordinating” over matching when planning your outfits. I love how my friend Dolly outfitted her family for a quick mini-shoot I did of them a few years ago.
She used several colors and lots of different shades and textures. Everyone looks like themselves and they go together. Don’t they look fantastic?
(2) Think about what the location can add to your photos. Sometimes this is determined by the photographer (for example, if you are getting a mini-session deal) but if you have a choice, pick a place that is meaningful to you right now, like the front stoop of your house, your backyard, the park you play at all the time. Let the location tell part of your story. Even if you could find a prettier spot, it’s more meaningful if its personal. If you are in a more generic space, make sure that your family will look recognizable to you twenty years in the future by utilizing styles you wear regularly.
(3) Be realistic. If you have small children, they are going to tire easily and even if you have 90 minutes with the photographer, you may only get a small window of cooperation. Prioritize what you’d like and start there. If your heart is set on a formal family picture for your mantel, tell the photographer and start there. One of the nice things about being at home is that if all falls apart, you can change outfits and get some “lifestyle” shots of your children playing and doing what they normally do. Or throw on pajamas and jump on the bed. Those may be the pictures you end up cherishing the most.
(4) Communicate with your photographer beforehand about anything that’s really important to you. Get your expectations out there and clear up any questions you have. If you have a vision for your shoot, it would be really helpful to know that beforehand so they have everything they need to help you pull it off.
Don’t worry if things don’t go just like you want them to for your photoshoot. With the advent of digital cameras and now cell phone photography, our children are bound to have far more pictures of themselves than they will ever have time to look through. A few good ones is all you really need anyway.