How to get the best from your family photoshoot
So you’ve decided you want to have a family photoshoot and you’re raring to go, how do you ensure you are going to the best family photographer?
TIMING IS CRUCIAL
We’re open Monday through to and including Sunday, so there’s bound to be a slot that works well. Have a look at our online diary to see what appointments we have that will work for you. Think when would be the best time of day for your family to have pictures taken, this usually depends on the children’s ages. If you have children under two, it’s best to avoid nap times as smiles will be harder to come by. Really you want to be coming in the morning and the earlier the better!
For children at primary school I’d recommend avoiding the later slots in the day but more importantly, avoid filling the day before you come for pictures. Swimming or children’s parties before a family photoshoot are not a good mix. Swimming is great exercise and a lovely, fun family thing to do, but it does really tire children out and they’re much more likely to run out of juice whilst having pictures taken. We see this play out in the studio as kids getting hyper, then crashing and getting teary as their sugar levels drop.
If you usually go swimming on a Saturday morning, I’d recommend booking for a photoshoot on Sunday so there’s recovery time. You could always extend the trip and go to Cobbs Farm Shop or Cobbs Play Barn for tea and cakes afterwards and as a reward for everyone putting on their best smiles.
Same goes for parties really, try to come before, rather than after a children’s party. No doubt given the opportunity, all children will hoover up copious amounts of cake, sweets and Coca-cola and get super excited doing activities with their friends. Place those children in a studio and instead of the loving little angels you may be used to, they’re exchanged for mini Tasmanian devils and every action and expression is set to extreme. It feels like you’re trying to photograph Jim Carey in ‘The Mask’.
Teenagers and grown up kids usually prefer a later time rather than first thing, best to let them catch up on their sleep. Hangovers tend to make people blink more in the studio which can cause havoc for us editing the preview shows.
Lastly, if you’d like to go for an outdoor photoshoot the light tends to be best near sunrise and sunset, so depending on the time of year may dictate the best time to come. If it’s Summer and blue sky days, try to avoid the middle of the day when the sun is right above us.
If it’s early Autumn you can sometimes catch the sun going down over the forest in the background which gives a radiant, glowing light. If the sun has dipped beneath the tree line of the forest looking out towards the Grand Avenue, there won’t be enough light for family pictures any more.
PLAN THE OUTFITS
We recommend wearing a mixture of casual & smart casual clothes you feel comfortable in.
Match colours together tonally, similar hues of the same colour sing together, or colours close on a palette create an eye pleasing vision.
If you’d like to, bring a change. Perhaps one look for inside and one look for outside. If it’s been wet or a cold time of year, wellies, gloves and hats look cute and can prolong how long kids will last for in lower temperatures before their noses go blue and they start complaining.
Footwear matters – as we take a variety of styles and setups, we will see your feet in some of the pictures (unless you want them cropped out!)
Please keep makeup simple, a subtle, natural look photographs so much better.
Black clothes are slimming when viewed in the two dimensions of a photograph, white has the opposite effect.
If you’d like to look your slimmest self for your family photoshoot, wear black. We want to show you pictures you’ll adore, quite often I’m told ‘the camera doesn’t like me’. Well let a professional use their craft and I promise you’ll be delighted with the results. We carefully consider the lighting, camera angle, focal length and body position whilst composing each look in the studio.
Try to avoid large brand names and sportswear for the main outfit, it’s usually teenage boys guilty of this. These pictures will be looked at for a lifetime, so it’s important to be proud of what everyone’s wearing.
Please don’t all wear faded blue jeans and white t-shirts like an episode from Friends in the 90’s. It’s 2020, that ship has sailed!
A MOMENTS RESEARCH
Have a look through our family photography portfolio and on Pinterest for some ideas of things you like or are not so keen on, you can always make a mood board to show your photographer if you are feeling creative.
Sometimes an idea you like might not pull off, if that’s the case, we roll with it and keep going till something does. I love it when families come for their viewings and are delighted and surprised at what we’ve captured when they thought it wasn’t quite going to plan. Sometimes the silliest ideas give the greatest reactions.
TELLING YOUR STORY
Bringing along things to use in the pictures gets the photographers buzzing and makes your pictures totally unique to you. This is your chance to be creative too so don’t waste it! The props won’t take over the whole session, they just add a little magic. We’re thinking big and colourful stuff.
For babies it’s things like pram blankets, large cuddly toys, hats, and colourful toys that get a good reaction.
Toddlers love action, so if they’ve got a ride on toy or music they dance to that can work a treat.
For school age children maybe bring along dressing up outfits, sports strips, dance ribbons or their favourite toys.
Teenagers think about bikes, skateboards, leather jackets and musical instruments.
There’s room for big boys toys, so the even grown ups can bring along their motorbike or surfboard.
GET EVERYONE ON BOARD
It’s not uncommon for some members of the family to dread having their pictures taken, maybe it goes back to pressurised school pictures, maybe it’s not liking time in the spot light, maybe everyone would just rather be watching the football / drinking wine. I know before you get here it probably feels like a trip to the dentist.
Try to get encourage them that it will be great! This is your family time, these pictures will be on the wall for years and every time you look at them, there’ll be that warm glow as you remember the fun from the day. As a new Dad, having an hour booked in with the sole purpose of playing with my son and making him smile sounds like heaven.
Like Ferris Beuller said:
‘Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop to take a look around once in a while, you could miss it.’
It’s in these happy silly moments of a family photoshoot that capture and preserve what it means to be a parent, to know and show the boundless love for your little ones.
Here’s my boy.
With younger children it’s worth having a drink and snack to give them at the end of the photoshoot to keep them going. Sometimes if toddlers need a little encouragement, parents have bribed them with chocolate buttons. I’d always recommend telling them the treats are in the car and they’ll get them afterwards, rather than handing them over straight away. It’s not unheard of to promise teenagers a trip to McDonalds after the session if they’ve been good!
Well behaved household pets are welcome to join in your photoshoot, we love meeting all breeds, shapes and sizes of dogs, cats and other more exotic animals at Imagine. To make them feel at home it’s worth remembering the dog lead, treats, favourite toy and a blanket for them.
FANCY A CHAT WITH OUR PHOTOGRAPHERS
You can always call before you come over if you’d like to discuss any details or ask any questions of your photographer. We’re on 01672870333. To buy a family photoshoot package at Imagine Photography Studio see our online shop for the photography experiences available.