Family photos can seem a bit of a catch 22 situation – you know you don’t want studio portraits but if you’re not doing your photos in a studio, then where do you start?
Well, fear not family, I’ve got you some ideas!
1 // Why do you want these photos?
Take a minute to daydream, imagine your final photos … Are they framed on the bookshelf or your desk?
Are they for adoring grandparents or modern walls?
Do you want to create a story book that gives a deeper insight into your daily life?
Have you considered a day-in-the-life shoot? (The photographer joins you for anything from a long afternoon to a full 12 hours playing fly on the wall to your beautiful family as you do your thing.)
There are no right or wrong answers here, it’s good to give it some thought before you go for it.
2 // Where do you want to take the photos?
You have a few options here, you can go for somewhere that’s well-known to you and your family that you can completely relax in and know how to navigate or you can think about somewhere you haven’t been for a while that will inspire you to explore.
It doesn’t really matter where the shoot happens, what’s important is that you feel comfortable – this may be the location and also the time of day. Timing your shoot for quieter times means you’ll feel less self-conscious if there are people around and you can play a little more. Maybe you’d like to go to a place that has a particular sentimental value to you as a couple or as a family. Orrr, maybe you’re a little stuck and you could do with consulting your photographer – that’s often a good idea too, bounce around some ideas.
If you’re considering a day-in-the-life, some of that will happen in your home and you’ll probably also want to think about a little outing that you can take to break things up.
3 // What to wear?
These photos are about you, and who you are when you’re with each other, the people you love. What you wear is important in that you need to be comfortable.
Try to avoid distracting prints, colours which clash and large logos. Think about it this way – you should all be dressed as if you’re going to the same place or event together.
Keep it informal and relaxed and don’t be afraid of some pops of bright colours!
4 // Snacks + Props
Being in front of a camera for more than 2 minutes is hard work, if you haven’t done it before, just you wait and see. Bring some snacks with you to avoid the hanger and to break up the session a bit, taking a break and getting the sugar levels back up if the mood is flagging is definitely a good idea.
Also, if you feel some props (or pets) would help to tell your story even better, please bring them along!
5 // A helping hand
If your children are in that in-between stage where they’re too active to sit for long but not old enough to take care of themselves for 10 minutes, consider bringing along a friend or family member to help out (and maybe even join in). It means that you can take the time to do some individual and couple portraits without having to keep one eye on the littles.
Those are my top tips for planning a family photo shoot. Let me know if you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear from you.