Family photo shoots are full of fun and smiles, and creating conversation starters at dinner parties. However, they still need planning. You’re dealing with different personalities in a photoshoot and as much as you think there won’t be hiccups, there often are a few.
Here are a few tips to help you prepare your unit for a great day of family photography fun in the studio. It’s where you get to go crazy without judgement and love every minute of it. That’s certainly one way to sell it to the children.
Prepare the kids
Kids need to be prepared for a family photoshoot. Get them excited about the many things they can do to make it memorable. Start a few days in advance and promise (if you like) a treat after the shoot. It’s also a known fact that hungry kids are not exactly amenable to orders, and like to let you know how they feel. Nip this is in the bud by ensuring they arrive with full bellies after a good night’s rest. Feed dad or mom too please.
Choose the right clothes
Sit down with your family and their different dress styles and decide on the type of photo shoot you would like and what you all will wear. Clothes can do so much more than just cover bodies.
Maybe you want neutral but stylish clothes that add a classic and sophisticated edge to your photoshoot. Or perhaps the kids want to wear their latest Goth wigs to show off in the family portrait above the fireplace. You will need to come to an understanding of what you want to achieve and the look you want. Themes are great but they do date, and the last thing you want is an album documenting your family’s history of bad clothing choices. Take extra clothes, just to be on the safe side.
Ditch the cheese
Many people get stage fright and stare at the camera like it’s going to swallow them whole or pass judgement – luckily, it’ll do neither. So, everyone thinks the “cheese” line is going to make them smile, it’s not. In fact, that line is loathed by photographers across the world. Photographers don’t want to capture the moment you tell a joke, they are looking for the reactions to that joke, which is the natural element of any smile. “Cheese” is never going to achieve that natural look you are after.
Make it unique
Is there anything you and your family like to do together? Maybe you have an activity that you all enjoy; something that showcases the joy and special bond you share. Kids love hanging off dad’s legs; daddy’s girl likes to dance while standing on his feet; maybe dad and brother play poker and can pull off their best poker faces. There is plenty scope for fun and silliness, which you can achieve by incorporating your family activities.
Tell your family that they don’t need to stare straight into the lens; the best pictures are of their natural interactions. Remind them that this is not a regimented line up, and while some pictures may call for looking at the lens, many are taken while people are unaware.
Like anything, once people are prepared they don’t feel trapped in front of the camera. Create some common ground to settle your family so they know exactly what they’re walking into.