For any parent, preparing for a family photoshoot can be made that much more difficult by the addition of children to the equation. When the children are young in particular, it can be difficult to know how to get them ready. You need to think about your own clothes, hair, and so on, but before you even get to that point you have to sort the children out! Here’s how to get started quickly and easily, giving you the best chance of getting the best possible results.
For starters, you should pick out an outfit ahead of time. Some parents prefer to have their children looking as smart as possible, while others will go the more casual route. Either approach is fine, but you should plan ahead to minimise disruption on the day. As we know, kids are experts are making a mess, so a back up outfit should also be packed with you just in case!
Next is all about how you keep them entertained and picture perfect when you arrive. The old cliche is to have a favourite toy somewhere just behind the camera to get them smiling, and for babies or toddlers, this may just be the best option. Having another family member along who can smile and wave at them can also help. Mum or Dad can always hop over while we are taking some portraits of the child on their own too!
For an older child, it’s all about making sure that they feel comfortable and relaxed. A lot of this can come from Mum and Dad too - so long as everyone is laughing together and having a good time, the child will pick up on this and be all smiles as well. There is no need to put too much pressure on the child (or on yourself), so just take it easy. Try not to get snappy or frustrated, even if things don’t go to plan! Sometimes the best portraits happen just when you think everything has gone wrong.
As for teens, these can actually be the trickiest customers. When they are just at that awkward age and don’t feel it is “cool” to have a family portrait, they need a bit of convincing to loosen up. You can help ease this through by allowing them to pick out their own clothes, having a more relaxed style of shoot rather than the overly formal look, and relaxing as much as possible on the day. Again, getting stressed out or having a big family argument right before the shoot is not going to help anyone! You can always offer an incentive, such as going out for dinner afterwards, if you feel as though they need that extra push.
Most important of all is that you do not let yourself get too worked up about the shoot. You need to stay relaxed and trust your photographer - they will know how to keep the situation under control for the most part. Make sure that you have thought about your own clothes and that you are ready in all ways before you get started - there’s nothing worse than having a perfect shot of your children, only to realise that you yourself do not look your best!
If you need more advice or have more questions, it’s always fine to get in touch with your photographer before the shoot. It’s better to ask the question and know the answer than to keep wondering on your own!
To receive future blog updates right to your inbox, click here.