5 Tips on Family Photo Shoots
It’s that time of year where I go a little bit crazy (crazier than usual). I spend hours looking through my family photographs searching for the perfect one to put in our annual Christmas/New Year’s Card. Although there are so many photos that I dearly love, finding one where we all look decent is tough. Then there’s the whole question of whether the dog should be included. In my opinion, yes, he’s part of my family too. This usually complicates matters.
After all the searching, I get to the point where I try to take one myself, or hire a professional to do so. At this time of year with our early snowfalls, days of Chinooks and seriously frigid temperatures it’s hard to find a moment that is just right. So, if you get my card this year and it’s a photo I took, it may not be perfect. I will tell you it will include all the members of my family and it will be real.
If you’re working on your next family photograph, here are a few things I’ve learned in my quest for that perfect family photograph.
Choose Wisely, young grasshopper
You want a professional, choose a photographer whose style you admire. Ask them to see a whole portfolio of images from one shoot. Anyone can pull one 1-2 amazing shots. At the end of day if you’re going to pay a fair price tag for photography, you need more than 1-2 good ones. You need photographs you’re proud to hang on your wall.
When I chose my wedding photographers, we actually interviewed quite a few. Many of them failed in their first few minutes of our conversation when my finance was there. They failed to include him in the conversation off the get go. I’m looking to hire an individual who will get a few extra minutes to get to know my family, their names and find out a little about them. Photographers who take the time to do this, or tell a little knock knock joke are worth their weight in gold.
Time it right
You’re hiring this person, and the timeframe has to work for your family. Don’t schedule a session in the middle of nap time. Pick a time of day where your children will be at their best. If you need to hit the park before you get to the session in order to burn off energy, that’s okay too. Leave yourself plenty of time to get the very best.
You don’t have to match….
…Although you need to coordinate. If you’re like me you will have organized absolutely everyone’s wardrobe except your own. Lay out the outfits you’re thinking of on your bed, and see how they go together. Choose colours that compliment each other.
One of the family portraits that my siblings and I took a long time ago, we chose to all wear neutral colours. I chose white, my sister chose grey, my youngest brother chose black. My other brother chose orange. It could have been better. We have since educated him on what neutral means.
Pick a place that makes sense
For active young kids, trying to get them to pose on the side of a mountain is not a stress-free experience. Pick a place that is relatively safe, like a nearby park, trail, or even in a room in your house that gets great light. Think about the favourite places you like to go with your family, and see if any of them would provide a unique backdrop.
In your eyes, Mom, there will be always something wrong with the picture. The kid who split her lip right before it got taken. The fact that you’re not as skinny as you want to be. Or maybe not everyone was looking at the camera. You captured a moment in time – and that in itself is worthwhile. I bet you find it hanging on your relatives fridge. I know I did.
What have you discovered during your family photo shoots?
a passionate recreation coordinator by day, crazy farm mama of two by night. i live outdoors: growing my own food, camping and hiking with my border collie with two active kids in tow. when I’m not writing, I’m experimenting with recipes, and crafts – or anything else that might keep the monkeys entertained.