When I first started on my photography journey I quickly became obsessed with learning compositional techniques. (Thank you Clickin Moms!!) One of my favorite techniques that I learned was how to utilize Negative Space.
Family photos are truly timeless and such a great keepsake for future generations. Getting the family together to take those perfect portraits can turn into chaos if not approached correctly. There is usually a lot more to consider when it comes to a family photoshoot since there are members of all ages, which means that there is some extra coordination involved.
Below are some family photoshoot ideas and tips to keep you and your loved ones calm and smiling the whole way through.
1. Timing is everything.
If you have younger children involved in the shoot, try and arrange the photoshoot at a time when they would be well rested. A rested child makes for happy photos. On that note, make sure that all family members have gotten enough sleep the night before as this helps with the fun and relaxation aspects of the session.
2. Dos and don’ts of bribery.
Get your family excited about the photoshoot instead of offering a reward in return for their cooperation. This tends to lead to forced smiles and an irritated bunch of people. If you do have small children coming along it’s not a bad idea to give the photographer some bribery options in the form of toys or small food items to make those difficult moments a little easier
3. Relinquish control.
As much as you’ll want to direct your children on where to stand and how to pose, it’s best to leave that to the photographer as they know what works best. Not having this pressure will also make you feel more relaxed.
4. It’s not just about the posing.
The best photos happen when you’re having fun so joke and play with your children, hold your partner’s hand and just let the moments happen.
5. Plan ahead.
Discuss all of your requirements with your photographer beforehand so that the family photo session can just flow. Let your photographer know if you want specific pictures taken.
6. Keep those sugar levels up.
If everyone is well fed, the photoshoot will also run a lot smoother. It’s also not a bad idea to take a few snacks and some water along for those who might need it
Enjoy capturing your memories.
Have you ever thought about adding props to your photo sessions? Props can add interest, depth and an extra flair to your pictures. Get your children to hold coordinating flowers for a spring or summer shoot. Love sports? Then use baseball bats in your next family photo to bring out your passion. Here are a few tips for ways to incorporate props in your next photo session.
1. Avoid trends.
While you might have recently seen a few photos that incorporate a specific prop, try not to use something that will not look really dated in 20 years’ time. Classic is definitely better and there are many fun options to choose from.
2. Be realistic.
It’s easy to go wild when thinking of a theme for your photo session. You should decide on one that you can actually find props for. For example, if you want to use seasonal props, try and source them in that season as they’ll be easier to find and before you decide to remake your favorite movie scene, think twice about whether you’ll be able to find suitable outfits for everyone in the photo.
3. Size matters.
There are some larger props that work really well in photo sessions such as using your grandpa's farm tractor as a background piece. However, there are some larger props that can take away from the beauty of the photograph altogether. Make sure that your prop enhances the photo and doesn't detract from it.
4. Make it meaningful.
If your child has a favorite stuffed animal or if you have a musical instrument that you treasure, try and incorporate it into your photos. This way your pictures will have more meaning to you and your family.
5. Use what you have.
Make the current season work to your advantage by using what’s available. Leaves in the fall make for amazing props in photos and don’t cost a thing.
I am home a lot ( being that I homeschool 8 kids) So, naturally I get a lot of practice in Lifestyle/ Documentary work and so number 5 here is huge for me. I am constantly just using what I have available to me in my images. Remember, using props can be the perfect addition to your photos but make sure that they don’t become the main focus.
Choosing a photo shoot location might seem like a big deal but it really doesn't have to be difficult. A location usually drives some of the other decisions you will need to make about your shoot so it’s important to choose the right place. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you decide on a location:
1. What kind of theme do I want?
If a particular building or natural backdrop would work well with your theme, look around your area for spots that meet your requirements. If you don't know what kind of backdrop you want, take an afternoon drive around your city for inspiration. It's easy to overlook beautiful spots that are practically in your backyard. Ask family, friends or your photographer for ideas too.
2. Are you allowed to take pictures there?
Make sure that you can legally take pictures at the location that you have in mind. If it's not public property or available to the public you will need to get permission first.
3. Is it accessible?
Consider that not all outdoor locations may be available all year round or you might not be able to get to them at all. Your safety is also an important aspect to think about before you decide on a location. Taking pictures on a mountain ledge may look neat but it’s best not to put yourself in harm’s way.
4. How do you get to your location?
Will it be easy to walk to the session location and if not, are you able to change your clothing and touch up your hair and makeup before the shoot? You should also find out whether there is a restroom that’s close enough in case you need it.
5. Will the photo session be in a public place?
If the location you have chosen has a lot of foot traffic, you need to ask yourself whether you are comfortable being photographed in front of others. If not, you might want to rethink your choice in location
Make sure that your location doesn’t become a distraction and that there is shelter nearby if you need it. Your location tells a story so it’s worthwhile to choose a meaningful spot.
How do you guys Location Scout? Any tips? I'd love to know, so comment below!
I Happy New Year!!! What are your goals for your business this year? I for one, am really hoping to get going in taking clients on, and creating a succesful photgraphy business this year. Every where I research I read about how blogging is THE way to grow your business and really get recognized and ranked in Google. I absolutely HATED writing in school and as you can see.... am not very good at it, BUT I LOVE photography and will do anything to really grow my business!
I am so excited to be a part of this monthly educational blog circle with my fellow storytelling photographers! Take a look at my storytelling image and read about my thoughts behind it and then click on to the next amazing artist and so on... follow around until you have completed the loop! I hope you enjoy!
"So, what is a storytelling image?" You may ask. Well, that is a great question! Just as with reading a book that has a main subject and supporting elements, so does a storytelling image. You will usually have a main subject ( or two) along with an supporting enviornment and extra objects in the shot that help to tell you who they are, what they are doing and what they see. I love storytelling in my imagery, especially when documenting my family ( which is what I am doing most of the time) I always make sure to keep my camera in a central location so that I can be ready asap when I spot just the right moment.
The image that I chose this month is of my son drawing on our family room windows. It's such a typical childhood thing to do and I knew I wanted to capture forever this nostalgic image. I knew right away that I wanted to convert it to bnw with all that light/shadow and texture that was present, so it was really just a matter of setting up how I wanted the composition. and I really loved how the window sill was a leading line straight to him.
My biggest advice to you when making storytelling images is to really make sure you choose the right angles and perspectives so that you can accurately capture and portray your subject.... remember to think, who is the subject? What are they doing? What elements around me can help to support the subject and tell the story accurately?
I am so excited to see what your favorite storytelling images are. Comment below with your link! Remember to follow this circle on to the next amazing artist for some great tips on how they shoot their storytelling images! Next up is the amazingly talented Jen Lucas