The leaves on the trees are starting to change color which means my favorite season to take photographs is here! The arrival of Fall also starts my busiest schedule because families, seniors, and couples are hoping to knock out a quick photo session while the weather is perfect and the holiday rush is a few months away. Today I want to provide my clients a few photography tips to help them prepare for their family photo shoot.
Tip# 1: What to Wear?
By far, the most common question I have about my family sessions is “What type of clothing should we wear for our family photo?” My suggestion is for everyone to wear some color while also keeping the tones of the colors similar. Clothing color often makes a photo look vibrant and alive. For example, adding a statement jewelry, an interesting hat, a funky belt, stylish shoes, or even a few scarfs for the kids will not only make your photos more vibrant but they will also make your images more personalized. I recommend coordinating color tones that vary slightly instead of simply having everyone wear the exact same color our outfit which can sometimes look dull and goofy. A warm color palette is usually made up of reds, browns, oranges, yellows, and light greens. If you decide to go towards a cooler color palette, you might want to all wear light blues, grays, whites, dark greens, or purples.
I strongly suggest everyone go shopping for a new outfit just for their family photo. Wearing something new always makes everyone feel confident and it also guarantees everyone will look current with the latest trends. Confidence is key and if you feel comfortable chances are you are going to look more natural and relaxed in your family photo. Something else I have noticed is you can use multiple layers of clothing to add your own personal touch while also making the photo more visually interesting.
Remember to try to make everyone as comfortable as possible including the children. If you are uncomfortable, you naturally won’t be in your best mood, and this will not only show in your facial expressions but also in your overall emotion and appearance.
This is a great example of a family wearing COOL tones:
This is an example of a couple wearing WARM tones:
Tip #2: Make sure and be well RESTED and well FED.
Try not to schedule your photo session during your child’s normal nap time or bedtime. Also, try not to show up to your photo shoot with an empty stomach. The last thing anyone wants in their family photo is everyone having dull faces and thinking about food. If your plan is to have dinner after the shoot, make sure and bring everyone a healthy snack and something to drink.
While we are talking about schedules, you are probably asking yourself “What is the best time to take photos?” In my experience, the best time of day to take photos is usually one or two hours after sunrise or one or two hours before sunset. Of course, you can create beautiful photos at any time of day but these two “golden hours” usually create the most flattering light on both the surrounding landscape and everyone in the photo.
Tip #3: Be sure and leave plenty of time to get ready.
Moms, I can sympathize with you when it comes to how difficult it can be trying to get everyone ready for a family shoot. Sometimes it might be wise to hire a hair and makeup artist to visit the home where everyone is staying to help remove some stress that comes along with a family photo shoot (this it totally optionally). I’ve found that when mom feels happy, refreshed, and beautiful, everyone in the family tends to be happier as well. And after all, capturing the entire family in the best possible light is the ultimate goal of any family photo session. Make sure to leave plenty of time for showers, baths, dressing, and grooming. Typically when people show up rushed to a family photo session, it sets the tone for an unorganized session and frustrated family members. Give yourself plenty of time so you are not feeling rushed when it is time head out to the shooting location.
Tip #4: What to Bring?
Let’s face it, like it or not, our kids typically run the show. We want to see happy faces for pictures and the best way I have found to achieve that is to let them be. In most cases, if we force our children to pose when they are not feeling ready they will resist us even more which can be frustrating. If a child wants to run around in the field, sometimes it is best to give them their freedom instead of letting them throw a fit. Don’t worry though, I can follow them around and capture candid photos of them playing and acting like themselves while we take a break from the entire family session.
If they want to sit, you can read to them or play with them too (BRING BOOKS AND TOYS). If they feel like exploring the area, let them. I want to capture them being themselves. Usually, once they have done everything they want to do they are more likely to sit next to mommy and daddy. You may also need to bring those tickling fingers out to help them smile and laugh.
I have seen plenty of meltdowns (children AND parents) and crying fits, so PLEASE don’t feel embarrassed by your child’s behavior. Patience is a virtue, and I have learned going with the flow can make a world of difference during a shoot. I have no doubt we can all have an enjoyable experience if we try to keep everyone as happy as possible while maintaining a very stress-free environment.
Your smiles and positive attitude! Have fun with your family.
Bring an activity that you enjoy doing together as a family. This gives you something to do with your hands and feet. It engages the little ones and brings a genuine smile. If you love to read together bring books. Have a favorite board game you like? Is your favorite dessert ice cream (like me)? Then bring ice cream bars or drumsticks or hire an ice cream truck to come to your session! Other examples may be a football, piggyback rides, picnics, singing, hiking, the ideas are endless.
Snacks and drinks for the kids in case they start getting hungry.
If you have a baby bring their favorite toy, stuffed animal or blanket. Maybe some extra pair of clothes if he spits up or gets really dirty.
Well, that’s it! I hope you find these tips helpful during your next family session.
If you are interested in booking Lynnet Perez Photography for your family session please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you!