How to prepare for your family photo session.
A great portrait is a collaboration between photographer and subject. With these simple ideas in mind, you will get the best of your photo session.
It is our aim that this will not be a stressful process for couples or whole families. If stress must be, then keep it to before the session, choosing clothes, finding the address, but once we get started just have fun and show each other love and affection! Always try to pick a date and time, clothes, location that will work in your lives.
We are flexible, and so it helps to keep in mind that kids will be kids - and sometimes men will be kids too ;). We'll try something for a while, if it isn't working we'll try something else, we just go with the flow.
The session will be fun, so set that expectation with your family or partner - and try avoid bribes before we get together.
(If you're comfortable with it, we may bring along little treats or similar that we can use to win your kids over or get that last smile at the end of a session - let us know if you'd rather we didn't.)
Consider also, do you have a style you like? Have you got a Pinterest board you can share with us? What locations or background will suit your family? (Plain black or white, natural, urban, etc.)
Be careful to not set yourselves up for unnecessary difficulty by asking the kids to do things that make them uncomfortable. Ideally, pick a time where the children will be well rested and fed. Always have the children try on their outfit before the session. Also, during the session we can take a break if children just need a drink or a snack, to burn energy, or whatever...
If we're going to have a newborn along, it can be a really good idea for the older siblings to practice holding, sitting with, kissing / cuddling the newborn. For some this comes naturally, and others... not so much, so it's helpful to know what to expect on the day.
Looking your best
You can honestly wear whatever you like, and we've seen it all! Matching sweaters can be humerous, but consider what you'd like hanging on your wall for years to come. Simple outfits can often be more timeless (if that is going to be a consideration). We often suggest avoiding overly detailed patterns (they rarely show up like you hope).
Dare I say it, make sure nails are trimmed and clean, and facial hair trimmed intentionally - we recognise that unshaven is a look too ;)
Try not to get your hair cut 48 hours before the session (aim for 2 weeks prior if necessary).
Note that you whole outfit (head to tow) will be visible in some shots.
Stripes, big stripes are distracting and fine stripes don’t always come out right.
Primary colors in block form (that bright red shirt), usually aren't great, darker colors are often quite slimming though.
Hair and Make-up
From the full hair-and-face treatment to a quick touch up - we can arrange excellent stylists and make-up artists to suit your needs. In our experience, having make-up done professionally gives a real boost to confidence as well as look. That said, simple hairstyles and natural make-up work wonderfully too, so please do not feel pressure about this.
From subtle cosmetic 'touch ups' to adding missing family to a group photo, we can certainly accommodate your needs. Just let us know in advance.
Timing - Depending on what we've agreed upon, the below is a good guide.
Setup - 15 mins
Hair & Make-up (if desired) - Allow 30-60 mins per person, but this is quite variable.
Sessions can go for different lengths of time depending on your desires. We usually aim for about 2 hours together.
Pack Up - 15 mins
Locations - Anything can work if it tells the story of you and your partner or family (the style you're looking for would be a consideration too). If you need ideas, we can suggest some locations. It may be that your home is ideal, or we could head out to a natural or urban area. Natural areas are open fields, tree lined landscapes, rose gardens and so on. These work nicely just before sunset. Urban can be funky alleyways, historical buildings, graffiti lined walls, and these can work almost any time of day.