Best Well-Worn Advice For A Family Shoot :
There are two kinds of family shoots: your nuclear family and a big gathering that includes relatives from out of town, your siblings’ significant others who work, and possibly elderly family members who can’t do a massive amount of hiking and toddlers who you haven’t seen in 9 months.
The remedy is no different than planning a session with kids: be prepared with a plan, but prepare to let the plan go.
If it’s just your nuclear family we can coordinate a shoot that revolves just around your kids’ and your own work schedules, not mention the freedom to get much more creative with locations, outfit changes and more. Tell me your photo wishes: do you want me to document a day in the life at your house, a romp at the beach, stage a session at a Seaside Amusement Park, shoot the family at the stables on their horses? Ask, you would be surprised what we can do when it’s just your family and your whimsy.
For a big family reunion , we’re not going to be as flexible and the leg work on your end is very important.
I need best info on a day when everyone is free and a possible rain date. When people are flying-in or driving hours to do this, we need to make sure everyone is in a good state of mind, doesn’t have to go far to meet and that we pick a location that is easy on the oldest and youngest members of the group. These sessions are mainly outdoors so a rain date is pretty key. If you overbook your visiting time then call me , we may have one shot to get all 15 + members of the family together and in their various breakdowns. Make sure everyone knows it’s a picture day so no one is scheduled to work that day.
Bring bribe treats, cold water, wipes, extra clothes for the kids (they have a habit of inventing grass and mud stains out of thin air and this is the one day everyone is together!), bring a folding seat for older family members in case we’re not near a bench or hardscaped seating area. Bring your biggest stroller or a cart with everything so no one has to run back to the car in the middle of the shoot.
Look at where everyone is staying and we’ll work out the most stress-free satisfying location available. If anyone has a large home, consider it a back-up in the case of bad weather and talk to me about the space in advance.
What To Wear….What To Wear….
I realize there’s always a trend for everyone to be wearing matching clothing styles. In some cases this can look very chic and styled. Let’s talk about what you want to do. What I’d really love to avoid is everyone wearing white Polo shirts and khakis or blue dress shirts and jeans. There are much more unique and creative and less cliche ways to tie everyone together.
The most gorgeous and memorable feature of our time together is not going to be identical jeans but how real and close you all look in the end and how much feeling is conveyed. How can you feel like yourself when you’re in a fake uniform and are uncomfortable. Personality and and relationships should come through. Ease and love.
For Lovers Only
Since we’re dealing with just the TWO of you, we can really shoot for the stars.
Have you considered doing your session at night under dusky stars? Wearing formal outfits while standing outside your favorite neon-festooned pub? Did you meet while training for a mud-run? Let’s shoot you guys in battle gear covered in mud. Let’s try and do more than just take a photo of starry eyes. Let’s tell more of your story. Capture who you are now, before kids and time and your first house takes you on new and different paths.
This is a time to think of extra special locations: odd streets in old historic towns, a colorful music store, an amusement park, a baseball field at sunset, a waterfall, there is no such thing as a bad idea, just unspoken ones!