10 things you can do to prepare for your Family Photo Shoot

 

1. Send in some pictures of the walls you are thinking about hanging your portraits on. We will give you the exact details on how to do this, and the measurements we need , but doing this allows us to bring your pictures into our software system so that we can show you your images from the shoot, in various combinations, on your walls , to scale, so that all the guess work about what will fit and what will look good is taken away.
2. Tell the kids what we are doing and tell them what a great time you all are going to have. Don’t tell them they have to be good, and certainly don’t tell them they have to smile (That clenched teeth grimace is not what we are looking for! ) You can tell them I'm a nice guy and if they have something that interests them that they can tell me about that. It helps get the conversation started.
 
 
3. Remind yourself that when I am trying to make conversation with  the children, trying to help us by answering for them, or telling them to smile doesn’t really help. As hard as it might be, I need to get a conversation going with each member of your family, and when we finally find a topic that interests them, I will start to get the reactions, expressions, and smiles that we are after.
 
4. As most of my portraits are in black and white, the colour of your clothes is not as important as the tone - whether they are light or dark. I am looking for clothes that can’t be dated, and that work together within the group without making one person stand out. This is what would happen if, for example 6 people in the group were wearing dark clothes and the seventh was in light clothes.
 
5. Still with clothes, stripes, big patterns and big logos should be avoided, and if your are going to wear Hawaiian shirts or lumberjack flannel shirts, then it is all in or none!
 
6. If you end up with a 2 year old who insists on wearing his Thomas the Tank Engine shirt, let him! bring the one you want him to wear with you, and we will make it his idea to change ( He is 2! ) what I don’t want is to get to the shoot to find Mum and the 2 year old crying because they have spent the last 45 minutes fighting about which shirt to wear.
 
 
7. If you are bringing your dog to the shoot, the worst thing you can do is get there a bit early so that you can throw a stick or a ball  to wear him out. This elevates their energy levels, makes their tongue hang out, and increase the chance that we will all be covered in slobber! A much better strategy is to take them for a long walk in the morning before the shoot, and then keep the energy as low as possible. treats can often be useful, but don’t bring them out unless we ask you to.
 8. If the weather is unstable, we will generally talk to you before the shoot, overcast skies are no problem at all, in fact it is probably our favourite condition. If it is actually raining, there are a number of options, going indoors, postponing or getting gumboots and umbrellas and finding some puddles to splash in!
 9. Bring some snacks! big kid and little kid snacks so that everyone is happy and relaxed. setting up a little picnic is a great way to get everyone settled, and give people who are not being photographed something to do while they are waiting.  A bottle of wine or a few beers also work, as long as you have a designated driver ( and its not a 9 am shoot! )
 
10.The main thing is that it is a nice relaxed session, so that  in a few years time, when you are looking at your portraits hanging on your wall, they bring back happy memories of a time when your whole family was together and enjoying each others company.
 
BONUS TIP: As a last , extra thing, if there is some combination of people that you would like in a photograph make sure you let your photographer know. Sometimes its hard to know all the subtle relationships that exist, plus it can get quite hectic wrangling a group of people together, so if there is something special that you are after make sure you let us know.
 
 
 
 If you'd like to organise your own family portrait session, head over to our 5 steps to make it happen page to learn what the next steps are.
How much retouching is appropriate for my age?
 

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Monday, 13 July 2020

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