Family photos are not only a wonderful way to capture memories that last a lifetime, but they're also an opportunity to showcase your family's unique personality and style. However, prepping for a family photoshoot can be stressful and overwhelming. From choosing outfits and selecting a location to coordinating schedules and poses, there are so many things to consider before the big day. But don't worry, this ultimate guide has got you covered!
In this post, I'll give you tips and tricks on how to prepare for your family photoshoot, including what to wear, how to select the perfect location, and how to pose for the camera. So, grab a cuppa, and let's get started!
1. Why family photo shoots are important - Family photo shoots are not only a great way to capture memories, but they are also a fantastic opportunity to spend time with your family. The photos can be passed down from generation to generation, providing a family history for future family members to cherish. They provide a perfect opportunity to update your family photos for your socials but most importantly, your walls!
2. Choosing a photographer that fits your style - Choosing the right photographer for your family photoshoot is essential. It's important to find someone who not only has technical skills and experience but also fits your style and budget. Photographers have a vast price range, finding the right one for you can be a task! Start by researching local photographers online and on social media. Look through their portfolios to get an idea of their photography style and whether it aligns with yours. Some photographers specialise in natural light photography, while others prefer using studio lighting. Some photographers may have a more traditional approach, while others are more creative and experimental. You want to work with someone who is easy to communicate with and who understands your vision for the shoot, along with your comfort levels of what you are happy to do. Inquire about pricing, availability, and any additional services they offer, such as retouching or printing. Ultimately, choosing the right photographer for your family photoshoot is about finding someone who can capture your family's unique personality and style. Take the time to find the right one for you!
3. Deciding on the perfect location Deciding on the perfect location for your family photoshoot can be a challenging task, but it's also one of the most exciting parts of the process. The location sets the tone and backdrop for your photos, so it's important to choose a spot that represents your family's personality and style. It could be a location that holds special meaning to your family, such as a favourite park or beach, or a location that reflects your interests or hobbies. If you're a family that loves the outdoors, a forest or simply a local walk could be the perfect location for your shoot. Alternatively, if you're a family that doesn’t want to be ‘on show’ a studio or indoor setting may be perfect. When deciding on a location, it's also important to consider practical aspects such as accessibility, lighting, and weather conditions. If you have young children or elderly family members, you may want to choose a location that is easily accessible and has minimal walking or climbing involved. The time of day and weather can also affect the lighting and overall mood of the photos, so it's important to choose a time and location that will provide the best lighting and weather conditions for your shoot. If unsure your photographer should be able to assist in guiding you. Ultimately, the perfect location for your family photoshoot is your choice, don't be afraid to get creative and try something new. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you're sure to find the perfect location for your family photoshoot.
4. Coordinating outfits for the whole family Coordinating outfits for the whole family can be a daunting task, but it's essential to create a cohesive look in your family photos. Start by choosing a colour scheme that works for everyone. You don't have to wear matching outfits, in fact try not to! but make sure the colours complement each other. For example, if you choose navy blue as your primary colour, you can pair it with white, grey, or beige for a classic look. Consider the location of the photoshoot when selecting outfits. If your photoshoot is at the beach, you may want to opt for light and airy fabrics, such as linen or cotton. On the other hand, if you're taking photos in a park during Autumn, warmer tones like burgundy or mustard will look great. When it comes to patterns, keep them to a minimum as too many can clash and look very busy. Instead, consider opting for solid colours or subtle prints that won't compete with each other. Lastly, make sure everyone feels comfortable in their outfits. Avoid clothes that are too tight or restrictive, as well as shoes that are uncomfortable to walk in. Remember, the goal is to capture happy memories, so make sure everyone can relax and be themselves in their outfits.
5. Preparing your children for the photo shoot Preparing your children for a photo shoot can be a bit of a challenge, but with the right approach, it can be a fun and exciting experience for them. It's important to talk to your children beforehand and explain what will happen during the photo shoot. Let them know that there will be a photographer, and they will be taking pictures of the family. A great tip is to bring along some of your children's favourite toys or props like bubbles. This can not only make the photo shoot more fun for them but can also help them to relax and feel more comfortable. Having some snacks or treats on hand can also be a good idea, especially for younger children. It's important to remember that kids can be unpredictable, so it's important to be patient and flexible during the photo shoot. If your child is feeling overwhelmed or upset, take a break, and try again later. With a little preparation and some patience, you can help your children to have a great time during the photo shoot, and you'll end up with some beautiful family photos that you'll treasure for years to come. The right photographer will be completely at ease with children’s unpredictability and shouldn’t add to your stress.
6. Posing tips for a natural and relaxed look - Posing can make the most confident person feel awkward, one of the main reasons you need a good working relationship with your photographer is so you feel at ease during the session. The number 1 question I get asked is, “what do I do with my hands?” If you have a seasoned photographer, they will guide you through how to stand, the arrangement of your family, head and hand placement, whether to look at the camera or opt for a relaxed candid shot. I like to use prompts and funny questions to get natural smiles while you are in the moment. Try not to over think it, relaxed but good posture is all you need to bring!
7. Pets Our fur babies are a part of our family and when they are part of a shoot they become a timestamp in our lives, we can pinpoint at any point in the future, when the image was taken. A dog or pet in general can be a very positive distraction from the camera, the focus becomes the pet and natural smiles are captured while you all fuss over them. Make sure you speak to your photographer before the session if you are wanting to fetch your pet as some studios and locations don’t allow animals.
8. Time & Legalities - I for one know how tricky it can be getting everyone out the house dressed and looking the part on time, especially with little ones. However if you can try to arrive a little early or on time to make sure you have enough time to get ready and settle in before the session starts, it can be the making of your session. It will avoid any stress or rushing that can affect the mood of the shoot. Depending on the photographers schedule; Some may cut the shoot time if you are late. However, we are all human – If you can, make contact with your photographer as soon as you know you may run over time, so they can amend their plan.
Make sure you have a contract in place – the photographer should have this covered, the contract will cover things such as payment, liability, edit times, and model release, make sure you read it. If you don’t want your images online and you have signed to say they can be, things may get tricky depending on your photographer, so make sure you read the small print and chat to them about anything you are unsure of.
9. Relax and have fun: Remember that the goal of the session is to capture your family's personalities and relationships. Don't be afraid to be silly or show affection towards each other. The more relaxed and comfortable you are, the better the photos will turn out. If you are unhappy with the result, speak to them - Most photographers are happy to help where they can.
10. Trust your photographer: They are professionals and know how to capture the best moments. Let them guide you through the shoot and don't be afraid to ask for any advice or suggestions. By following these tips, you can make the most of your family photoshoot and create lasting memories to cherish. Lastly, you will always win brownie points for tagging your photographer on social media!