Family photo sessions are awesome and create portraits the family will treasure forever. These sessions provide an opportunity to spend time and have fun together as a family. However, working with a large group of family members can be tricky because you will be dealing with different characters. Children easily lose focus, and getting a perfect shot may be challenging. The session can quickly turn into a stressful situation, even for the photographer. Here is the top most helpful family photo session advice.
Tell the Family What to Do for Better Poses
If the family members are enjoying themselves, there is a higher probability that you will get beautiful family portraits. Some family members have photoshoot experiences and find it easy to find a perfect pose in front of a camera. However, posing doesn’t come naturally and may be uncomfortable to some. Worse, some may have camera phobia. This discomfort of fear may appear in the picture and make it look phony.
One of the best family photo session advice is to tell them what to do. But don’t order or direct them to pose. Instead, plan the thing they will do and organize the session. Find things that make them feel comfortable and natural, such as leaning on a wall, walking, dancing, running, hiding behind an obstacle, and peeking from the sides. Take natural photos while everybody is having fun. You will get beautiful images that will remind the family of their great time together.
Avoid Facing the Sun or Strong Light Sources
A vital family photo session advice is to avoid facing the sun or strong light sources because it may create unwanted shadows. You might presume that posing facing the sun provides more light, but the results can be undesirable. This may cause ugly shadows to be visible around their nose, neck, or eyebrows. Furthermore, direct sunlight is hard light, and it enhances small flaws causing the skin to appear less smooth or older.
Facing a shining light is not easy on the eyes and makes the family members appear annoyed. They will squint or close their eyes until the ordeal is over. It is always best to avoid facing the sun during photo sessions. Another good option is to have the photo session in soft lighting conditions. Find a time that is not too close to midday. Sunsets and mornings create perfect family photos. Alternatively, when it is a bit cloudy or in a shadier environment.
Communicate and Engage With the Family Members
Most families rarely pose for professional photos; thus, posing could feel weird. The best family photos are natural-looking, and the photographer should try to make the family members as comfortable as possible. One of the best family photo session advice for a photographer is to converse with the adults and engage the kids as much as possible. Play with the kids if you can.
Ask questions that will encourage the family to answer together but avoid subjects that could be potentially stressful such as work and politics. Talk about hobbies, traveling, and holidays. This is a great way to establish rapport and ease the tension. Make it clear that they don’t have to do something that they don’t like or feel strange about.
If they don’t like a certain pose, try something different. The family will be more comfortable knowing they are in control and won’t do anything they don’t like. Building trust is essential because a family photo session is all about sharing and showing intimate and personal feelings and moments. If a family is uncomfortable around a photographer, the photos will show.
Choose the Outfit Carefully
What the family members will wear for a photo session concerns everyone. The choice of clothes can convey a feeling of unity. Though this doesn’t mean wearing identical clothes, dressing in the same style of clothes would be ideal. For example, if some people wear official clothes, like suits and ties, while others dress casually, such as jeans and t-shirts, the photo may seem uncoordinated.
Another family photo session advice on outfits is to avoid bright colors. The person wearing colors that stand out will grab all the attention in the family portrait. It is always good to wear natural shades. It would be best to avoid t-shirts with big signs and prominent images. However, ensure that the clothes are attractive and comfortable.
Some family photo sessions have themes that significantly influence the choice of clothing. Soft-flowing fabrics with neutral colors would be the best option to appear elegant and soft. The various shades of cream, light browns, slate blues, grays, and tans perfectly showcase the theme. However, if you want to capture the spunky and fun side of the family, coordinating colors spruced with accessories such as headbands, hats, and scarves will do so perfectly.
Apart from being comfortable and attractive, you should wear weather-appropriate clothing. The photos will show you shivering if you try wearing summer clothes during winter. Another family photo session advice is to carry backup clothes. It doesn’t harm to carry an extra pair of outfits. In fact, it would be appropriate for a second look or may come in handy in case of a wardrobe mishap.
Photo Session Preparation: Skin, Hair, and Makeup
A family photo session is a perfect reason to look gorgeous. Make sure you look incredible, from the hair and face to the shoes, before you pose in front of the lens. Remember, the look may go away, but the photo will always be there as a remembrance. Let everyone practice facial care, and the family photo will look amazing.
Makeup and eyebrow tinting are perfect ways of enhancing your looks. You can add a little makeup to smoothen your face, and tinting will darken fine eyebrows. If you want to reduce facial wrinkles, botox injections are a perfect option. Apart from enhancing your facial appearance, these injections can also treat a few conditions, such as lazy eye, neck spasms, and excessive sweating, thus boosting your confidence during the session.
You should well prepare your skin for the photo session. If you have an irregular skin regime, prepare it in advance. Gently wash and rub it a few ways before to get rid of dead skin and moisturize well. You may also consider injectable fillers to restore lost volume, soften creases and ensure smooth skin lines. However, ensure you get botox injections or injectable fillers from a qualified physician.
Hair can make or break a family photo. When everyone fixes their face and skin, nobody should forget their hair. It only takes a single person with a bad hair day to ruin the entire photo session. Furthermore, a photographer can fix the skin or face during photo processing but cannot fix the hair. Also, ensure your hair fits the theme of the session.
Visit an Orthodontist
Everybody would love to go to a family photo session with a perfect smile. However, your teeth can deny you that perfect smile. One of the best family photo session advice is to go for a cosmetic dental service before the photoshoot. Apart from improving your smile, the dental visit will offer health benefits.
Your teeth may get discolored or darken over time due to several reasons. Poor dental hygiene, using tobacco, certain foods and drinks, age, diseases, and the environment can cause stains on your teeth. The best thing is that these stains are not permanent and should not deter you from smiling at a family photo session. Teeth whitening services will help restore your teeth and improve your smile.
If any family member suffers from dental conditions such as crooked or misaligned teeth, a family photoshoot will not motivate them to smile. However, teeth straightening sessions with the dentist inspire confidence in their appearance. Dentists can use clear aligners or braces to straighten teeth and improve a smile.
Prepare Your Pets
For most people, pets are part of the family and will always be included in the family photo. Just like kids, pets are physically demanding, get distracted easily, and lose interest or focus. Toys and treats are much needed. Though pets are the most stubborn, it is essential to take a series of photographs as they interact with family members. Ensure you capture the pets’ happiness and energy with the family. In fact, some of the most incredible photos are of kids and pets.
Just like people, pets need to be ready for photoshoots. Consider the services of a pet groomer who will ensure that the pet is bathed, brushed, and clipped. A pet groomer may also assist in styling a pet for the photoshoot. Onsite dog training will also ensure that a dog does not interrupt the session and, at the same time, keeps it safe and happy. It is also essential to consider your pet’s temperament before bringing it to a family photo session. A pet may not pose for a photo if it is rowdy in parks. Most importantly, remember to carry treats.
Ensure the Time Is Convenient for the Kids
Kids are the second most stubborn family members after pets. One of the best family photo session advice is to ensure that they are properly fed and well rested. Respecting the kids’ natural rhythm is helpful. Dealing with hungry, sleepy, or tired children is challenging. Making them look happy, pose, or even corporate will be impossible.
Arrange for the photo session at a time when the kids are most active. Mornings, just after breakfast, is a perfect time. Kids have a natural rhythm and rarely change the pattern until they reach a certain age. However, each family’s schedule differs, and some kids are most active after an afternoon nap. You can also bring snacks, provided they are quick and easy to eat. Don’t carry anything that will stick or stain your teeth.
Pay Attention to the Environment
So many things go into that perfect family portrait, and the surrounding is one of them. After confirming that every family member is feeling fine, check the composition and camera settings for proper exposure before taking the photo. It is easy to forget that the surrounding is as important as the family. A background can ruin a perfect pose.
For example, don’t request a person to move backward without checking if they will hit something. Similarly, a surprise wave may make or ruin a family photo at the beach. A good photographer always pays attention to the environment. Also, pay attention to other objects, such as trees and bushes, appearing in the picture.
However, don’t forget to draw focus to the subject matter, the family members. Consider the rule of thirds, which directs the viewer to an image’s main focal point. One trick to ensuring you get a perfect shot is ‘feel before you capture.’ The camera won’t change anything if a photo doesn’t inspire your eyes. Don’t think about your next photo. Please focus on the current one until it is perfect before you hit the shutter button.
Show the Family How to Pose
Taking a group photo can be tricky because some family members interpret posing instructions differently. The photo session may turn messy in such a case because each member poses differently. Simplify your instructions and, if possible, show them how to do it. Demonstrating poses makes them clear and avoids misinterpretation.
To make instructions clear, avoid referencing directions and instead use objects. Always remember that the photographer’s right will be the family’s left because they face each other. Telling them to look right or left will confuse them. Instead, use objects like a tree, street light, bush, or anything else.
In addition to creating memories, a photoshoot should be enjoyable. One of the most important family photo session advice is to have fun. Toss the kids in the air, play, giggle, joke, give your wife a peck on the cheek, and laugh. These fun activities will allow the photographer to see your family’s true beauty and emotions. Leave the ‘say cheese’ smiles because they appear forced and unnatural.