Top tips to get the most from your photo session

If you are planning a family portrait photo session on location, you should make sure you and your family are prepared to help the shoot go well. Here are my top tips…

Choose your clothing

Choosing the right clothing is importantMake sure you choose your clothing well in advance and make sure that your choice of outfits are not just comfortable and attractive, but also complement each other. When choosing your clothes, ask yourself if you want to show the fun side of your family, in which case choose coordinating colours with bold accents, or if you want a more relaxed look, then neutral colours such as creams, soft pastels, oatmeals, tans, greys and slate blues will be the order of the day.

Don’t be afraid to add accessories – scarves, headbands, hats etc can add that extra twist and can be easily added in or removed during the shoot.

Don’t turn up exhausted

If you have young children, avoid scheduling your photo session around their nap or bedtime. Ideally you should be looking at a time 2-3 hours before sunset or even after sunrise if you’re early birds! Don’t worry about this too much, these are my preferred times due to the lovely colour of the light, but if it has to be the middle of the day, then we’ll seek out shaded areas, especially as sunset during the summer can be very late!

…or hungry

Photo shoots can be exhausting, especially for the mums and dads chasing the kids! If your plan is to have dinner after the shoot, then make sure you give everyone a good snack beforehand to keep them going.

Leave plenty of time to get ready

Mums are often rushing around before any outing, making sure that their family is dressed and ready. You have taken the time to choose outfits, so why rush at this stage? Leave plenty of time to get everyone ready and what better reason for husbands to treat their wife to a professional makeover? Good preparation will lead to a fantastic photo session so leave plenty of time before you head out.

Dads are allowed to smile and have fun

Dads often dread photo sessions, perhaps because it’s not natural for them to be smiling and laughing on cue. At my sessions, I encourage interaction and play between all members of the family, so it doesn’t take long for dad to smile and have fun.

Cheese is off limits

I have one rule, and that is nobody is allowed to say ‘cheese’. It’s cheesy and produces fake unnatural smiles. Asking kids to say cheese, sausages or whatever is the word of the day, will encourage them to say that word for every photo which will only produce strained and unflattering photographs. During the session, I will ask your kids silly questions – feel free to ask or say something you know will evoke a gorgeous laugh or a smile.

Have fun with your family

Don’t be afraid to interact with your family – picking up children and throwing them in the air almost always elicits a response that shows joy. Give your wife a gentle kiss on her cheek. Have fun, laugh, giggle, joke, hug, snuggle, play! Show me who you really are.

Props, toys and pets welcome!

Bringing props and toys and even the dog, will get the whole family involved. This gives you all something to do that occupies your hands and feet, keeps little ones entertained and results in natural smiles. The activity need not be included in the photographs, it’s the natural responses and interactions that I am looking for. Don’t be afraid to bring a fun board game, cards, footballs or even your dog – the ideas are only limited only by your imagination.

Smiling is not compulsory

Ever watched a comedian and laughed so hard till it hurt, and smiled so much that your face ached? I want you to have fun but you don’t need a perma smile. Not everyone needs to be smiling or looking at the camera all of the time, some of my favourite photographs have kids looking away from the camera. Having fun and enjoying each other’s company ensures that you are focused on each other with natural expressions.

To book your session, send a message via Facebook or use the enquiry form.