WHY SHOULD I BOOK A FAMILY PHOTOSHOOT?
Our family’s a group of people that we’ll go to ends of the earth to please. We buy them extravagant gifts each year at Christmas, bake them a cake on their birthday and put in the extra hours just so we can give them a spontaneous surprise. Why?
Because the bond we share is one of the strongest we’ve ever known; our family are more than just ‘a group of people’, they’re precious. They’re also forever changing, be it through age, size or the strength of the bond binding them together.
So as the old saying goes, time is precious. All of which makes capturing this bond naturally through some family photography, a rather nifty idea. Do so and not only will you be able to cherish it for years to come, but you’ll also be able to pass down its magic through the generations. Yes, that’s right, family photography is in fact a time capsule in disguise.
WHAT HAPPENS ON A FAMILY PHOTOSHOOT?
A fair bit, however how it goes all depends on what type of shoot you choose; a studio shoot will be substantially different to one that’s shot on location.
A family photoshoot in the studio typically has us going down the more posed route, as let’s face it, it’s hard to act natural when you’ve got bright lights and a camera pointing at you, especially if you’re a young child. With this type of family photography you’ll have chance to switch up the background, lighting and your poses.
Opt to shoot your family photos on location and your options become slightly more varied. While you lose some control over lighting and may have to keep a keen eye on the weather, the possibilities really do multiply.
By taking your family photoshoot on location we can achieve…
- Interesting angles – I can catch you from further away, down low, up high to compose more unique images. You can achieve so many more angles on location.
- Large group photos – Big families have more space to spread out. On location a shot with twenty plus family members would not be a problem.
- Natural images – Because you’re less so in the spotlight, I can back off slightly and catch you being you. Shots taken on location tend to have more character and personality to them.
- Varied backgrounds – On location your background choices are considerably more varied. Plus, we only have to walk a couple of feet to change it.
WHEN SHOULD I BOOK FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY?
Family photography is probably one of the hardest shoots to arrange, so here’s what I’ve found to be the best strategy that involves the least to-ing and fro-ing…
- Reach out to me – Let me know more about what style of family photos you’re after and I’ll reveal the dates left in my diary. I get busy, particularly in the summer, so contacting me first is a must.
- Consult the family – Now you’ve got my availability, run it past your family and see if there’s a date that works for all generations.
Whether there is or there isn’t, do get back to me. My calendar changes regularly, so dates can be booked or become available pretty quickly.
Booking 12 weeks in advance is my usual advice, especially if you’re after a certain date or time. But that’s not to say that last minute bookings are impossible – in some cases they can fit in rather well. Only I wouldn’t rely on this being the case as I don’t like to disappoint.
FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY: YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
How should I dress for a family photoshoot?
While how you should dress for a family photoshoot is completely up to you, here’s some of the secrets behind the best family photographs…
If your shoot is outdoors, dress weather appropriate. Shirts are great for the summer and cotton jumpers are perfect for the winter – for a bit of pizzazz, why not try a turtleneck? If the weather’s moist a pair of wellingtons teamed with some winter socks usually adds a nice touch.
Avoid overpowering patterns when possible. Stripes are a ‘no go’, especially if they go horizontally, and polka-dots are something I’d say away from too. I know it sounds a bit ‘vanilla’, but for family photoshoots plain and simple is the best strategy.
Dial down on the bling. As much as we all love a bit of sparkle, with family photography excessive jewellery isn’t something I’d advise – a simplistic necklace or ring is usually all that’s needed. Don’t get me wrong, if heavy jewellery is your thing then I’d usually say ‘go for it’, only with family photos it can put focus on you and take it away from the wider group.
*If you have twins, don’t overthink their outfits. Quite often the same outfit works really well for both of them.
What is the best colour for family pictures?
I wouldn’t say there’s a best colour for family pictures as that all depends on you and your fashion, but what I’d suggest is opting for a muted colour palette. By muted I mean no bold colours and only a few heavy dark shades. So that’d be something like your cremes and light blues, maybe teamed with a mid tone of brown, a burgundy or a deep shade of green.
The reason why I’d encourage you to stay away from bold colours, particularly with family photography, is that there’s a high likelihood of a colour clash. Colour clashes themselves can offset the balance of an entire shoot, so please leave your Hawaiian shirts and neon tracksuits at home. If you’re unsure about a colour choice, I’d advise bringing a second outfit just in case and laying out everyone’s outfits before the shoot to see how they work together.
*The only exception I’ve come across is if you choose to do your family photoshoot in Christmas jumpers.
How would you advise doing hair and makeup for a family photoshoot?
With your hair and makeup I’d always advise opting for the ‘natural look’. A family photoshoot where one person’s got their hair extravagantly shampoo & set or is wearing neon eye shadow, can look a tad peculiar especially if everyone else’s hair and makeup is coordinated.
*Ladies, if you want to make sure your makeup across the board is consistent, all use the same products or draft in a pro.
The sky’s turning grey. Will my family photoshoot be cut short?
Possibly, which is why I always do the majority of the group shots first before moving onto couples and singulars, as for these types of shots, a light shower could work in your favour.
I’m yet to meet a little person who doesn’t have a fetish for splashing around in puddles and getting messy. So, if they’ve got a rain suit and some wellies, bring them with you and if the weather does take an unexpected turn, we can capture them stomping, splashing and getting all mudded up. But rain doesn’t just work with your little ones.
A shot of a young couple kissing can add a real romantic twist to your images. If you’ve seen the film the The Notebook, you’ll know exactly what I mean. When love is so strong not even a torrential downpour can put a damper on it, that’s when you know it’s real.
But saying that, if you’re creasing your face just thinking of shots like these, then don’t worry – we can always rearrange.
For us the word ‘family’ includes pets - can we bring them?
You can certainly bring a pet your family photoshoot – in fact I’d encourage you to do so.
It’s worth remembering that we get the majority of a family pictures on holiday, be it sunbathing in the south of France, getting lost in New York or sipping a cappuccino in Milan. All experiences that our pets are often exempt from. Holiday for them is a stay at the in laws or having a trip to the kennel.
*If you’re after an indoor shoot but in a pet friendly location, your home may be the perfect backdrop. The only thing I’d ask if you do choose to incorporate your pet into your family photoshoot, is to let me know in advance.
I hate having my photo taken. Is family photography still for me?
Yes, if you’re new to being a model having your picture taken can be daunting, but don’t let this put you off – family photography is one of the easiest ways to break this habit. Why?
Because unlike singular or couple photography, with family pictures you’re less so in the spotlight. You see, with family photography you’re more part of the picture rather than the focal point, which makes it one of the least daunting ways to gain confidence in front of the camera.
What does a family picture represent?
Not only does a family picture represent a very specific period in your lives, but if photographed well, it also captures that unbreakable bond, which binds you together as a family. Powerful family pictures are rich in emotion and feeling, which personally I don’t think you get as much of with singular shots. There’s more people in them too, which makes them significant to a broader audience. Long story short, family pictures represent a lot, far more than we realise – that’s until we have them done.