Here’s a little preview from our family photo session, take one of two…
We spent this weekend and last trying to capture a perfect family photo. Good thing I hired a photographer who was willing to do re-dos. In fact, she offered…
A few weeks ago, I shared my tips for finding a great family photographer. Well, I found her. Now, here are my tips for making sure she is able to produce those fantastic photos:
1. Timing is Everything
Pick a time of day when your kids normally have the most energy and are full-bellied and happy. Early mornings, right after breakfast, are best for our kids. This also tends to offer the best outdoor lighting possible– natural, but diffuse light.
If you’re shooting outdoors, the worst lighting is harsh, direct sunlight as seen at noon or early afternoon. It also tends to cause weird shadows on faces and bring out double chins. Not that I would know anything about that… ahem!
2. Scheduling Buffer Time
When I set up our family photos, I plan for them to take the entire morning even though I really don’t expect my kids to last anywhere near that long. The idea is to make sure we have plenty of time for the kids to warm up to the photographer, and for the photographer to get our vibe.
It also keeps me from scheduling anything immediately before or after our session, thereby leaving plenty of time to go with the flow. We can take as many shots as we need and not feel rushed.
3. Colorless Snacks
This is a continuation of my first tip of making sure the kids are full-bellied. I take along baggies of Joe O’s to snack on mid-session. They are dry, filling, and… most important, colorless!
There’s nothing more tedious than having to Photoshop blue M&M stain off my kids’ hands, face, and clothes.
4. Plan Outfits Ahead
If I see one more photo of a family in white and khaki on a beach…
Okay, I’m kidding… sort of. I’m not a fan of the matchy-matchy family photo, but if that’s your style… Go for it! Your family pictures should reflect who YOU are. Stylish? Casual? Sports fans? Plan your entire family’s outfits ahead of time to make sure you have a cohesive look… whatever it may be.
When I plan our family photos, I start with one item. In this case, it was the plaid from Lou’s dress (see above). I styled the entire family around these colors by finding a sweater vest with the same colors for Scout, a blouse in one of the colors for me, etc. I stick with solid colors in neutral tones and avoid anything too distracting or busy. I very much want the focus to be on US and not what were are wearing.
5. Forget “Perfect”
Although I obsess over getting ”frame-able” family photos year after year, my favorite photos have always been the ones of us just being real– wide-mouth guffaws over a corny joke, helping Lou walk on a brick wall or Scout climb a tree. These are the tiny moments that “tell our story” or capture a memory.