Preparing for your Family Photoshoot

If you have kids, one of your biggest worries might be how the kids behave during a family photoshoot!  We all try to get a great family photo on our phone and inevitably someone wont look at the camera, someone closes their eyes at the wrong time or a child gets distracted or starts crying!  So, when we’re paying someone else to take our photograph – we want to make sure that it’s perfect!

Firstly – let me clue you in on a little secret – no family is perfect!  No family is picture perfect! The best photos are when the true personality and character of your family shines through, and that doesn’t always mean that everyone needs to be smiling perfectly and looking straight at the camera.

So how do you best prepare your family (and your kids especially) for a photoshoot?  You should let them know that someone is going to take photos of them and the whole family and that the photoshoot will be heaps of fun.  I don’t recommend telling them that they HAVE to smile and that they HAVE to behave or over-stressing the importance of the photoshoot.  That puts a lot of pressure on a child and I find when parents have made a big deal about how much they want the child to behave because the photoshoot is ‘really important’, that’s when they play up.

What should we wear?  The biggest recommendation I can give with regards to outfit choices, is to choose clothes that are appropriate to the location and that you are comfortable in.  Your outfits don’t need to be ‘matchy-matchy’.  You don’t have to all wear the same colour shirts. 

BUT, I do recommend that you try and ‘coordinate’ your colours, so that you’re not all wearing clashing colours or clashing patterns.  One point to make though – the really fine pinstripe shirts that men sometimes wear are not the best for a photoshoot as the pattern can sometimes cause a lens distortion.

Make sure your kids are wearing clothes they are comfortable in, otherwise they will not be happy!  Also – I also wouldn’t recommend short skirts or short dresses (for women or girls) because it will limit the pose options we have available (we can’t sit you down if you’re wearing a short skirt). 

In terms of footwear – if you’re having a studio session, then don’t even worry about your shoes – I ask clients to take their shoes off in the studio.  If we’re outdoors, then just make sure you have appropriate footwear for the weather and location.

Don’t worry about getting children to practice their smile.  I have a range of ways I can get children to smile naturally.  Generally when you ask a child to ‘smile’ at the camera, what you get is a crazy-looking grimace!

Don’t rush.  On the day of your session, try and be organised and have everything you need ready.  You don’t need to be early for your session (your session time is based on the best time in relation to the sunset and ‘golden hour’) but try not to be late otherwise you’ll be rushed and stressed.