Monday, July 1, 2013

Family Photos: 4 Tips for a Great Session

I know many people may stress at the last minute when they get together to take a professional family photo. Even though I’m a photographer, I  also stress before a session. I thought I’d share some things that are helpful for me when we take family photos. (A very special thanks goes to Terah Pliley Photography & Chera25 Photography for the images in this post!)

one…
Make it a point to actually take a family portrait at least once a year! Even if you set your phone’s timer function to snap an image, then do it. Go use a coupon for a cheap portrait studio if you must. But sincerely TRY to find a local photographer to take your photos. Take advantage of their mini sessions. Usually, they are a fraction of the cost (usually less than $100) and you will end up with at least 1 really great image that will be more than worth that investment. This image…I’ve dreamed of this image since before I had my girls. I can’t tell you what it means to me to have it. It may not be other people’s preference, but this single moment is intimate to me. It is special. It is my girls and I, them sharing their vulnerability, and she captured a rare tender moment. I still get choked up with I see it.
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two…
For us, I’ve discovered that our girls don’t do well in a studio. Something about confined places just makes them want to go bananas. Outdoor shots yield fabulous lighting and allows for them to run off their energy. This also helps them to relax and really let out their little personalities. Clearly, mine are used to being in front of the camera, even the Sugarbaby has the hand on the hip pose working. The Sugarbean already knows about shifting weight to the back leg, too.
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three…
Plan your wardrobe. You don’t have to be all matchy-match, but it is nice to have colors that will POP with the venue. Since we frequently do outdoor images, I try to consider the climate and what will be around us. Recently, we did photos in the sunflower field. I drew out the color wheel and totally came up with blue as the complementary color. Let me tell you, I jump at the opportunity to wear blue because it makes my husband’s eyes pop, plus the colors look great on my daughters skin! The other session in this post’s example, I went with a floral theme. Yes, there were stripes and polka dots, in my girls’ dresses, but we all had a type of flower. I went neutral with a black and white dress, and giving color to them.  I wanted them to be the central focus in my images and our photographer captured it exactly.  Also, let your children help plan what they will wear. I may pick out the clothes, but often I will say wear a dress and together they will come back to me with their ideas. This happened when I said blue dress. They each chose to wear their matching blue dresses given to them by their aunt. My eldest always chooses her hair style and accessories. I let them choose their own shoes, too. Again, it goes back to comfort of the child.
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four…
Relax. It is easy  for me to say this. But here’s the thing. I’ve been using Chera25 photography now for nearly 3 years. We are comfortable with her. My girls know her, and they aren’t at all uncomfortable in front of a camera. You know what else? I’M not uncomfortable with them capturing me. Terah and I have been friends for a few years. I met her through her mother. I’ve always admired her eye and images. I chose her to do our mommy/daughter session because I knew I could trust her. Other photographers would’ve captured a photo for me, but I don’t think our personalities would’ve come out quite like I wanted. And you know what? That’s a big thing for me. It is an investment in money, yes, but also in time. I see all time as precious and wrangling our littles together takes time. Doing my hair, doing their hair, ironing clothes, soothing the girls, planning out around naps, checking teeth…all that, takes time. Likewise, it takes time for the photographer. Both of the photographers we use are mothers of daughters. They understand this about us and are so very understanding during our sessions. Having a personal relationship with them allows for us to relax and show our best face. It also helps me to not have absolutely ANY hesitation when booking them! You know what else helps with relaxing…knowing these intimate moments are captured, too. They remind me of so long ago when I first fell in love with him.
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So don’t delay any longer! Get your family together and book a photographer that you have long admired and trust that the images will capture a point in time that you will never see again.

1 comment:

Kristen, pajama mama said...

great photos, bianca! i love tip #1 and will take it to heart (we've been slacking on making photographic memories...).

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