May 31, 2020
As a family portrait photographer in Vancouver Washington, I have been able to photograph many families over the years. There are a few things I want families that hire me to know prior to having their family portraits taken. I guide families from the moment they book their session all the way to the delivery of their photos and ordering prints. I’m sharing 5 do’s and don’ts for your family portrait photography session to make your upcoming session go smoothly so everyone can have fun during your shoot!
The style of family portrait photography I offer is about the connection between the family members. There is nothing wrong with matching outfits for your family photos if that is your style & their are many photographers that offer that. However, coordinating instead of matching during the family portrait sessions I offer work well because the focus is on how your family connects with one another during the shoot over what you might be wearing. For example, I love to encourage play with kids while we are shooting. If everyone were in jeans and white t-shirts that would be the focus of the photo, not how incredibly beautiful your family connection was at that moment. Check out more about what to wear here and follow me on Pinterest for wardrobe inspiration!
When you are prepared for your family portrait session, you will feel at ease about it when the day of your shoot arrives. I love using my blog and newsletters to answer questions for families that are looking into hiring me. I rarely have families ask a lot of questions before their session because they are well informed on what to expect and how to prepare for the day of their family shoot. I am always available for questions from families and love helping them while building a friendly relationship.
You want all of your family members to feel comfortable about where they are being photographed. I am an introvert and sometimes I get shy around crowds. I would not feel completely confident and relaxed in the middle of the city with people around. If you are a family who loves that, choose a city/urban location, if you are a more reserved family I love taking families to a quiet park or beautiful field. There are so many incredible locations in the pacific northwest to choose from, there is a location for every family! Learn more about some incredible Pacific northwest locations by downloading my free guide!
It’s ok if your kids want to run and play, I encourage it. The more you want a kid to sit still the more they want to move, am I right? I know that is how my 3 year old is! I let kids warm up to me and we all get to know each other better at the beginning of the family portrait session. My first task is to win over your kids, then they know I am fun and this experience will be easy. I cannot stress this enough-your kids are perfect the way they are. I want you to look back at your photographs and remember the feeling of them being silly, fun, and just themselves. It is the way people are most beautiful in front of the camera.
You all might have awkward smiles and expressions if you are overly worried about them smiling or looking at the camera. Although I don’t focus on this for most of the session, I do my best to capture of few photos of kids looking at me and smiling and of all family members looking at me with a natural smile. I always encourage parents to let me take the reins for them and just have a great time! After all, that is why you hired a photographer-let them do the work for you and just have fun with your family.