Kids are big part of your family and most likely the reason you want these photos, so involve them in the entire experience. If they want to bring their favourite cuddly toy along to the session, let them. These are details that reflect their personality and mark this time in their life; you want those captured.
Get them excited about the shoot far in advance. Plan a surprise or a special treat like ice cream or mini golf after the shoot, so that they look forward to the entire day. You don’t want your kids to think of the photo shoot as something scary, or worse, a chore.
You are paying good money for these photos so don’t look as though you have just come home from the school run in the rain. You don’t have to look like you are off to the races, but look your best, smart or casual.
Don’t show up to a photo shoot on an empty stomach. I meet many families who come to a photo session with dinner or a picnic scheduled at the end. If this is your plan, great, but please be sure to give everyone a healthy snack before the photo shoot.
Photos aren’t something we normally have done once a month on a professional level...so make sure you’re adequately prepared for this special event. Buy a new outfit, do some extra styling with your child’s hair or incorporate fun props like hats or scarves.
For a photo that stands the test of time, opt for clothes that are classic rather than super trendy. Try to avoid large logos, bold patterns and styles that might be outdated in a year.
When picking out your clothes for the session, err on the side of comfort. You want to be confident in your clothing styles, but choose something flattering and timeless that will make you want to keep that family portrait up for years to come.
What do your dream family photos look like? If they are soft and elegant? Choose neutral colours with soft, flowing fabrics.... think creams, very soft pastels, oatmeal, light browns, tans, greys, and slate blues. We can even discuss a highly stylised shoot.
Coordinate your wardrobe, but not too much. There is a fine line between coordinating and too matchy matchy. Selecting complimentary patterns, or colours (think pastels or varying shades of the same colour) are a great way to go. You do not have to match. In fact, it looks better when you don’t.
Bring a change of clothes if you want more than one look, or in case your child has a potty accident, etc.
Photos of kids with bare feet look awesome, as do girls in cream or pastel coloured floaty dresses and boys in smart shorts, shirt and a waistcoat.
Idea: Pick a single colour tone to each member of the family to wear. This use of a single colour can be as small as adding a red hair band to a girl’s ponytail, or as large as a father wearing a similar colour shirt as his daughter’s hair band. Utilise the same or similar colour throughout the family. The acts to subconsciously strengthen their bond with the photo. Accessories, such as scarves, necklaces, over shirts, hairpieces, shoes, and hats are just a few of the ways to add an accent colour to a family member.
Most of all, bring your patience!
Letting go of expectations will take a little bit of the pressure off and help everyone to relax and just enjoy the time together as a family. Be realistic, the whole point of the session is to capture your family. You won’t look like the family in the department store adverts because they are not real!
The perfect family photo may not necessarily be the one you envision. Open your mind, relax, have fun with it & the photos will reflect a lovely memory of time spent together. If you are relaxed, your children will be too.
Step back, and allow me as photographer to naturally interact and talk with your children. This will result in natural, gorgeous smiles. Help me to capture the true essence of your child’s personality by talking with and coaxing out those smiles.
Always touching: be sure that you’re always touching someone. Whether it’s a hug or snuggle, or just a tender hand on the shoulder. Make contact with your family. This shows connections and love.
My studio is a beautiful log cabin in our garden. The address is rear of Blacksmith’s Cottage, 8 Waterloo Terrace, Foundry Road, Anna Valley, SP11 7LY. The house is diagonally opposite Greenfield Farm Shop and there is plenty of free on street parking outside our house, where I will be waiting to greet you. Find directions on my contact page.
Your photoshoot will not take more than an hour and could take as little as 20 minutes. This all depends on whether you have children with you and how they respond to being photographed. I am quietly confident that I will get genuine smiles and capture the personality of your family members, but some families take longer than others! I will do my best not to keep you longer than necessary and when working with very small children, I work fast as they get bored fast!
Around 3 weeks after your photoshoot, I will be in touch with details of how to book your viewing session, where you’ll come back to my studio to view and choose your photos. I have three print & digital packages to choose from, then you can add framed prints, albums and wall art if you wish. There is no obligation to buy any more than the basic package. If you have been given a gift voucher, a specific package or item may have been chosen for you, but you will have the option to add to this if you wish.
Any queries about any aspect of your photoshoot, please contact me. If you’d like to book a pre-shoot consultation via phone or Zoom, please let me know.
I look forward to seeing you at your photoshoot! Helen x