I know the standard fare of family photography is everyone gets dressed up and warned or bribed…whatever works for you…to behave. Then you all get in the car and go to some studio where you stand against a pale background or sometimes you take your own stuff and lie on the floor. My memory of it is that it’s neither a fun or relaxing experience and worst of all the pictures you get back never really represent you or your family.
Why not change it? Why not have a laugh? Go somewhere fun. Do something you will all enjoy, so that when you look at the pictures they don’t remind you of something that caused you stress, but of a great day out. It doesn’t have to be far. It could just be your garden or if the weather is abysmal…it has been known to happen…get them done in the house. You’d be amazed what can be achieved with a bit of netting and an inventive photographer. It’s also great for little ones as they have all their stuff so that if they need cheering up or even just a 5 minute play they can have it and come back.
So finally, what are the top tips…
1. LOCATION Get out of the studio and try to choose a location that makes your family feel comfortable. By working with the photographer and choosing somewhere that is special for your family, you can make your shoot a relaxed and positive experience.
2. TIMING Try and pick a time when are your kids at their happiest and talk to the photographer about combining that with the best light opportunities for outdoor shoots.
3. CLOTHES In the end it’s completely up to you but the basics are to try to avoid branding and patterns, as too many intricate patterns detracts from faces. Coordinate from the same colour palette…google ‘weird family photos’ if you want to see looks you‘d probably rather avoid.
4. ATMOSPHERE Keep it relaxed. The best photos are the ones where you’re having fun together, so keep it casual, especially with little ones. Don’t worry if they get a little dirty. Kids will be kids and that’s what Photoshop is for.
5. PERSON Hire a photographer whose work you like and who makes you feel comfortable. Ask friends and family for suggestions or have a look at the information online. Nowadays you can get a pretty good idea from Twitter, Facebook, blogs and websites of how photographers work.
Then get them printed and framed and they’ll look something like this…