How to Plan for the Perfect Family Portrait Session
By Julie Atlas, owner of Julie Atlas Photogeraphy
Almost everyone gets nervous planning for a family portrait session, whether it is inside the studio or on location there is so much to think about so that you are ready. The good news is that it is not as complicated as you are probably thinking.
1. Find the right photographer!
Not all photographers are the same. We each have our own styles, our own ways of working with our clients, and we each have our own personalities. If you don't love the images on the website for your photographer, then you should choose a different photographer. That is not to say that you can't request certain poses or themes if you don't see them, but that you will get the photographers best work if they are photographing in a style that is comfortable to them. I for example love landscapes! I love putting families in locations that relaxes them and enhances the peacefulness in their pictures. I also prefer clean crisp images over hazy ones, so if you work with me, it is not usually my style to crop the images too closely to the subjects. If you love nature, I am the photographer for you! I also love children, my first occupational love was teaching, it shows in how I interact with children of all ages. It also shows in the projects that I like to get involved with, such as the Heart Gallery and several different foster to adopt agencies in the greater Richmond, Va area.
2. The outfits!
First of all choose clothing that you are comfortable in, outfits where you feel your best always photograph better than an outfit that you are unsure of. Also there is no hard and fast rule that everyone in the session should be dressed the same. Choose a color theme that work with how you decorate your home, you are more likely to hang your gorgeous portraits on the wall if they compliment the color themes in your home. Last, choose non-busy patterns, simple is always better! Avoid busy stripes and patterns, as they can be very distracting in the images. Also darker colors can be very thinning. One last thing to remember, especially for the ladies that may be a little more self conscious, don't be afraid to wear tighter fitting clothes, they are thinning, baggy clothes can add pounds to waistline.
3. Young Children
Bribery sometimes work, threats seldom work. Try to choose a time when your child is well rested and well fed. For infants come to the session a little early and feed them right before the session starts. Also, remember that we are on kid time, not adult time when we are doing a family session. Try to stay relaxed and let the photographer build a relationship with your child, it will help your child relax and give some real smiles. Don't worry if it is not an instantaneous process, just be patient it will happen about 99% of the time.
Teenagers are often more tricky than young children. Don't stress! If your photographer asks you to step away for a few minutes to build rapport with your teen, don't worry and trust the process! Usually teens are more attitudy for their parents than they are for the photographer!
5. Have fun!
If you don't remember anything else. Remember photography sessions can be great bonding time with the family! Have fun and relax!