Prepping and planning for a family shoot
When you work with families as a professional photographer, it’s important to set your expectations up front. The more you can prepare a family for the day of the photo shoot and for what they can expect, then they can focus on just being themselves. Provide your families with wardrobe ideas and share your posing strategies before you begin to get the most out of your time spent together. I always talk about how the shoots going to go before we begin. Based on how they’re dressed and immediate interactions and personalities, I know what I can and cannot get away with. Most of that last part comes with experience. The planning of the shoot is more important, in my opinion, than the actual shoot itself. Being a Scottsdale family photographer for over 10 years has provided an immense amount of insight. Servicing Arizona as a whole has been an incredible experience as you can imagine with the amount of destinations the state has to offer.
Complimentary Clothing For Family Photo Shoots
The clothing a family wears for a photo shoot can have a big impact on the overall success of your images. While some families will want to wear outfits that are exactly the same, this should always be discouraged. The outfits should be complementary colors, which will make it easier to pose the family together. Outfits that match perfectly will make the images appear awkward. I always encourage my families to look at previous shoots I have done on my website or to jump on Pinterest to look for inspiration.
Set the Expectations Before the Photo Shoot
Let the parents know that you are responsible for getting the children to smile. Many parents will be so worried that their children aren’t going to smile in the images that they will continually try to get their kids to laugh or smile. This generally gets the kid to look great, while mom or dad are not looking at the camera at all. If you know how long the session is going to last, share this in the beginning. Let everyone know that you will pose them in various arrangements and not to worry about posing on their own. The goal is to guide the family but make the images feel natural. Family dynamics should kick in at some point to where they laugh at each other while you are snapping away.
When you take control of the photo shoot, your families will know what to expect. Be clear about your pricing, file size delivery, and editing process. Let your families know how many final images will be received. When you are specific about what you offer, your clients won’t have as many questions.
See our updated post Family Photo Shoot Tips – Updated for 2021-22