You have chosen your family photographer and have booked a family portrait session. You are excited but also maybe a little apprehensive. How will it go? Will my kids behave? Can they sit still long enough for the photographer to get the shot? Will I look ok with in outfit? After all you have invested money and are looking for the perfect photo of the family. In our last 5 tips blog we covered how to choose a family photographer. This month we will talk about how to get the most out of your children and family portrait sessions.
Most photographers talk about the golden hours. They are speaking about the time of day when the light is the best for photos. The golden hour is the time just after sunrise and just before sunset. Here in Scandinavia it is hard to schedule sessions in the summer at that time because the kids (and also this photographer) are usually in bed. While I don’t recommend shooting at noon unless we are in a deep forest, try and schedule the session for the time of day when your kids are happiest. That could be first thing in the morning, or after the morning nap. Beware of the wolf hour, when most young kids are a little grumpy.
A well fed and well quenched child is more apt to be happy and playful than one who is hungry. Simple and perhaps a little obvious, but don’t forget to bring some snacks to the session. Sometimes when one is running and climbing and playing and jumping one can get super hungry, super fast. Snacks may prevent a meltdown.
We all have parts of our body we aren’t totally happy with. But how should the photographer know unless you tell them? Talk with the photographer before the shoot and let them know if you don’t like your nose in profile, or your arms or your chin. By letting them know they can try and minimize those parts, or shoot from certain angles. But if they don’t know beforehand, you may be disappointed when you see the finished photos.
Refrain from forcing them to smile and look into the lens. “My kids are sweet, but they just won’t sit still!” I have heard this so many times. I have also experienced it with my own daughter. At one year old, she and has absolutely NO TIME to sit still and smile for mommy. I get it. There is so much to see and do and explore. Sometimes the kids are having a bad day and are a little grumpy. Sometimes they are shy. The worst thing you can do is try and force them into something they don’t want to do. However it is usually possible to distract, play and let the child choose the activity so they are comfortable and hopefully forget the camera is there. Your job is to keep smiling, (so you look good and relaxed in the photos) and let the child do what they want.
Family photos look best when everyone is playing, laughing, hugging, kissing. Not everyone has to be looking at the camera at the same time. Kids can also pick up on your emotions and if you are stressed, they get stressed. Playful and candid moments can make photos that surpass those where everyone is sitting still and smiling for the camera. So relax, trust in your photographer and enjoy the day with your family.
Our next 5 Tips blog will be about how to choose the perfect outfits for your family photo session.