Family portrait: my approach!
Shooting a family portrait can be a really fun thing to do. Most especially if the photographer has a good rapport with the family. Personally, of all things, photography, shooting family portrait is among the ones I love the most. Working with the kids and other members of a family is never a dull moment. Family portraiture is generally more flexible and offers me the opportunity to showcase my creativity.
Sometimes, I’ve taken clients to my sessions just to give them a feel of what it’s like in one of my family portrait session and what to expect when we finally work on Thiers’. Hence, I decided to write this piece to give a snippet of how a memorable family story comes about.
Building trust and interest: from the first contact I have with the client, I make sure I build trust and keep in touch afterward. Constant communication is the key to building trust. I try to respond to all inquiries from the client promptly and keep Clients informed on developments. Funny as it may seem, it is possible for the client to forget the date and location for the shoot. After all, it’s not like it is their wedding day. So reminding them is not out of place.
Settling on a location: most of the times, the clients already have a preferred location for the shoot, which I appreciate a lot and encourage them to give their opinions. But I try not to let them have the final say. Not that I don’t take their recommendations seriously, but the location might not be suitable for the idea or story we’re trying to tell with the photo shoot. An open place is a very good choice for me, like a local park, or a natural environment with nice trees and landscape – spacious enough for the kids to play around.
What to wear: some of my clients might ask for suggestions on this one. Wardrobe selection is really their But I advise them to wear something that they are comfortable and confident in, and one that matches their personality. Their outfit doesn’t necessarily have to match. I usually ask them to come with two sets of attire, one casual, and one classic. Transitioning from classic to casual as they become more comfortable with my presence and the session less formal.
Family portrait ideas: now the interesting part. Sessions with Families I have been able to know more about their background are usually more fun and productive. I believe the reason why someone would hire a photographer is to preserve the family’s personality in pictures. Something to commit their best moments in memory. Ideally, the most natural photo one can ever take is of someone oblivious of the photographer’s presence with a camera – a perfect picture with a natural story. This scenario can’t give such opportunity so it is left to the photographer to make the family as natural and comfortable as possible.
Sure, the standard group photos have more to do with the photographer’s management and arrangement of the group, with everybody smiling and focused. Coupled with the photographer’s technique and style, but all family portrait is not meant to evoke the same emotions. I consider those types the more formal and the ones you see hanging in the sitting rooms of the family’s residence.
The other types of family portrait photography are the more casual and inventive – such that evoke laughter and joy. You only get such by incorporating the family’s likes, hobbies, and interests into the photo session. If they like going to the beach, then off the beach we go with some comics and novels to keep everyone busy. I once had the mom and dad play Scrabble with the kids watching while I took multiple candid shots – it was truly epic!
Basically, I try to put families in their comfort zones where everything is natural and not staged. That way, the pictures come across as a reflection of their everyday lives and I avoid the common portrait photographer mistakes. I’m a Las Vegas native so as a Las Vegas family photographer I can offer lots of insights regarding locations, time of year (it gets really hot here), and what to wear.
Look at a photographers portfolio to find the ideal portrait photographer for your family.