When it comes to family photography; you will either have visions of your little ones holding hands, sitting pretty and smiling the whole way through OR you’ve actually attempted it before and you remember the reality isn’t always as pretty as the expectation. We love our kids, our little bundles of joy and never ending balls of energy, but let’s face it; as soon as you try to coordinate even two or more people into a photo, things can easily get hectic.
Having photos of your family in different stages of life where you are all together (someone isn’t missing due to being acting photographer) and dressed nicely in reality doesn’t happen very often. But to look back and catch a glimpse of what life was like when kids were a certain age, you had a particular haircut, someone had facial hair or not quite facial hair is priceless and worth booking a family photography session for.
There may be a some stress involved, but down the road your heart will swell when you take a look back at these photos. Children are very much like the weather, you can think to predict what it will be like, everything could be going well and then Bam!, snow in May. That’s why we are getting creative with a few suggestions to keep everyone smiling while having a family photography session.
And after a year like this one, we think this is the perfect time have some photo evidence. Most likely you and your family have never experienced a year like this, and although it has been hard, you are making it through together, and that’s something worth remembering.
1. Get Everyone Moving – Play a Game
Now instead of trying to suppress all that childhood energy, use it to your advantage. (By the end of your session you might even have a quiet ride home, if you’re shooting outside of your home). We love choosing outdoor locations with lots of running room when we can, for this reason. The sights and sounds, lots of space to move around in, plus mother nature is the best.
Even when we shoot grown-ups, everyone can definitely get nervous or a little awkward. But when you make the main focus a game, everyone can focus on that while we the photographers are busy snapping away at the genuine fun and laughs before us.
Try playing freeze tag, where you have to freeze when you’ve been tapped, or freeze dance, where once the music stops everyone else does too. A variation of ‘Simon says’ works wonders, “Simon says, hold hands,” or “Simon says, big smiles”. Here’s where you can get creative. Red Light, Green light, where you have the family move toward the photographer(s) can be lots of fun too!
2. Let them Fly, Sky High
Think back to when you were a kid, someone probably hoisted you up well above their heads and gently lifted you higher than you had ever been before. For a tiny person it’s the most fun they can have. It may mean that for you parents you might be a little sore but it will be worth it to have your kiddies soar.
When their patience is running lowing and they are getting bored and maybe a bit troublesome, this is where you can include some gentle tosses. We can usually get three authentic and fun photos during the take-off, in the air and then touch-down, where your child is looking at your with the sweetest look in their eyes.
3. Everyone stay calm – don’t stress
This one is for everyone over 4ft tall, for you parents, your older children and any other family members like grandparents, aunts and uncles joining you for your family photography session, stay calm! It’s simple, but it works.
Families are raw, they are real, and that’s what you want to capture, authentic moments with everyone together. That’s what’s important. So if you can, prepare yourself by not having any specific expectations. Expect to laugh, to have sweet moments with your family and we will take care of the rest to provide you with pictures you couldn’t even imagine.
The little ones can feel out the general mood of everyone else. So keep it easy and breezy. Don’t spend too much time fussing. Breathe in and breathe out, take your time and enjoy yourselves.
We’ve had so much fun with many families over the years; we invite you to take a look at our Portfolio where you can see for yourself how we capture those special moments that you don’t want to forget.