So you are ready to have some professional family portraits done? Here are a few things you should know!
In my opinion there are two distinct styles of family portraits, the classic style, and the modern style. Classic as you may guess involves posed group photos of everyone together looking at the camera, this is your typical living room mantle shot. Modern family photography tends to incorporate more artistic and unique poses, and uses some candid looking shots to capture fun moments. I can shoot either, or both, but know that there are options and come prepared!
Kids will be kids, and that is ok! Bring an activity they can do to keep them busy and happy, or even better something you can all do together! Sometimes nature gives us some natural distractions like leaves or a puddle, but if not bubbles, a ball, hula hoops and many other outdoor toys that anyone in the family can enjoy make not only a great distraction, but turn into pictures of genuinely happy looking people.
Dress for the weather, please! If its winter, don't dress in summer clothes. If you have a super cute outfit that you really need to wear for your photos, I encourage you to wait and do them on a day where the season is right. If its raining, bring your rubber coats, your rain boots and hats, and your umbrellas. If you embrace the weather your photos will reflect a natural fun energy. If you and your family are cold, hot, or uncomfortable in your photos it will show as much as you try to hide it.
Please consider the time of day that is going to get the most flattering photos. Its normal to want to plan photos in the middle of the day. However, outdoor photos in mid day sun create harsh unflattering glare and shadows. Group shots especially are difficult in harsh light because it can be difficult to find patches of shade large enough to accommodate a group. If you want to get the best results for your time and money plan to do your shoot within the first 2 to 3 hours after sunrise or in the last 2 hours before sunset.
And finally, have fun! Maybe this wasn't your first choice of activity and you would rather be somewhere else. I understand that not every family member is excited to get their picture taken. But please don't look at it like you are being held hostage, take the opportunity to enjoy the time you have with your family and know that no matter what else you could be doing you are truly lucky to spend an hour together having fun with your family.