WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER BASED IN SOMERSET
Documentary Wedding Photography
5 TIPS FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS SHOOTING A FAMILY SESSION
Here in the U.K. "Half-Term" falls around the same time as Halloween is celebrated, therefore making “Pumpkin Picking” the perfect seasonal Half-Term activity for the children (and adults)!
I wrote a blog post last year on what to bring to one of these Sessions, (see here) from a Client’s point of view and thought I’d mix it up a little! I am often asked by Photographers, “What would be your top tips for Photographing families?” or “Where do I start with a Family Mini Shoot?!” so, I thought I’d do a one-eighty on whom I usually aim my blog posts at, and instead, write one for all you fellow "Togs" out there...
So, here’s my “5 Photography Tips for Shooting a Family Session” …
Visuals – Ask your family to really think about this one. Get them to plan for the weather or if they’ve asked for your artistic opinion, work out what you would like to see in your own work. Choose coordinating and complimentary colours but going for a matchy-matchy look, really isn’t necessary. Picking neutral tones, soft pastels or one or two bold accent colours can work really well. Adding accessories can showcase your clients’ individuality and help them to feel more comfortable posing for you, giving them something to do and adding fluidity to your images! You’ll also want to check that they can move in their outfits, (e.g. no super tight jeans) you don’t want them to feel restricted or tense!
Lighting/Timing – Allow yourself extra time and fit in with your client, for example, if their child needs to nap. Lighting wise, it is usually most spectacular around 2-4pm at this time of year in the U.K. (or two hours before the sun sets! You can check this online too. Make sure to be utilizing the shade if it is not possible to shoot at this time, as nobody wants harsh/strong lighting, from the midday sun, in their Photographs. Bonus Tip: Try to make sure everyone, yourself included, is well-fed, watered and has slept well. It’ll make a massive difference.
Faces – These photos will be cherished for years to come, remind your Clients that they don’t necessarily need to even look at you and that "cheese is for crackers" – they can leave it at home! Natural interactions with your Clients and their children will help ease them into it and coax out their personalities.
Fun – Everyone involved, i.e. yourself and your subjects, should be having fun! Encourage interactions between family members, tickles, jokes, snuggles, tossing the kids in the air - are all good examples of this. It’ll make for beautiful images that capture the pure love a family has between them.
The Extras – My most successful Family Sessions have usually incorporated a prop or two, (not always for the whole shoot, but definitely within it!). Props are something to keep the little hands busy or to interact with as a family. Ask your family to think about something they love doing together or something that has sentimental meaning to them, and if not, think Seasonal, a brolly, a chalk board, presents – we as Photographers can get creative too! This will make for authentic and unique Photographs that are so individual and personal to your families that they’ll be begging to book you again!
It is always an absolute joy to capture the kid’s excitement when picking their own pumpkin and I can’t wait for next year’s Pumpkin Sessions!