Once my holidays cards go out some of the questions I often get asked by friends and family is how I was able to set up the shoot? How I got the kids to cooperate? And how I am able to get everything to look so cohesive and seamless. To be quite honest, my answer is usually quite simple, preplanning! Preplanning is extremely vital to ensure a successful family photoshoot. Now aside from planning, there are some essential steps I do take to make sure the shoot goes as flawlessly and with as little melt downs as possible. Here are 5 easy family photo ideas that will have you slaying your next family photoshoot!
Plan As i said before, preplanning is everything! I can not say it enough. Plan, plan, plan. Plan your outfits, plan your day’s schedule, plan your shots. Planning ensures that you will have all the prep and have most if not all your basis covered.
Eat & snack & bribe Okay, so this may be contrary to how you would run a regular day but this is not an ordinary day right? So forgo the rules. Trust me you will thank me later. Make sure everyone is fed especially the kids but please do not forget the hubby. Grown ups are people too and having to perform on an empty stomach is never fun. So make sure to have a hearty meal planned to feed the fam before hand. Aside, from eating beforehand, it is always a good idea to have snacks and plenty of water at the ready. Now, for the big one. Bribe! Have that piece of candy, toy, trip to the park, mall, whatever, as a bargaining tool. This year we shot our Family photos the week after Halloween. I promised the kids candy from their Halloween buckets as soon as we got back to the car if they gave me an hour of “good listening ears”. Did it work? Mostly which is where the next tip comes into play.
Allow for spontaneity and be flexible Yup, no matter how much you plan, shooting with kids is pretty unpredictable. If you start stressing over small things they may feel that and start feeding off of it. My advice would be to trust the prep work you’ve already done and just go with the flow. For example, Aleksandar wanted to play at a playground we passed on the way to the shoot location. That darn playground stayed on the back of his mind the whole time we shot! At one point he didn’t want to smile or participate because all he wanted was to “play in the playground”. So we took the opportunity to shoot Mikaela on her own at this time while he pouted. Once she was done with her shots he decided he wanted to join in and “be silly”. Those shots were the cutest! His personality really shines through and our families loved it! So in the end, although that was not part of the original plan, it worked out for the best.
Coordinated Outfits Coordinated but not exact outfits is what seems to work the best for family shoots. In order to accomplish this, I’d suggest choosing a theme or color palette and have everyone wear those similar colors but in different ways. A good example of this would be as you see here. We chose a red and black theme. Dad can wear a white dress shirt, black sweater and a red tie. Son wears a red and black plaid button down, and black vest. Daughter wears a red and black plaid dress, with black tights. And mom wears black pants, black top, and a red blazer. There’s cohesiveness within the outfits but no one outfit is exactly the same.
Plan your shots So you’ve scoured Pinterest and have found some really beautiful shots to try with your family. I’d suggest pinning those shots to a separate board and adding your photographer to that board. This way he or she can start to visualize what you are visualizing. It just helps get everyone on the same page. This also helps to prep whatever props or whatever light may be needed to accomplish such shots. Your photographer will then be able to better decide what shots should get done first and how the remainder of the time should get allocated.
My last piece of advice goes without saying. Have fun with it! Enjoy your time with one another. Be silly, talk, hug, kiss, run around, be a kid with your kids. The best shots are the most natural ones that come from just being yourselves.
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