‘Tis the season for family portraiture! There was a time when I did not enjoy taking these pictures because even though a member or two of the family wants the photo shoot, I’ve found that more often than not, most members of the family wish to be anywhere else… Then along came the Wolthausen Family… It was nearly 10 years ago now, but I received the call in the morning asking if I was free that same afternoon. I learned it was the FIRST family portrait that included mom and dad (in their 60’s/70’s) and all of their grown children (because the kids had left the house, gotten married and moved, or been serving in the military…they just were never all together in front of the camera before). That fact alone, made the experience special… Unfortunately, two weeks later, dad had a stroke. We were able to deliver the framed enlargement of the family to him in the hospital in time to see him smile one last time. I have never looked at family portraiture the same since. Kids grow up so quickly and that moment in time captured just right is priceless!
In addition to sharing a few of the images taken this month, I’d love to pass on some reminders!
1 – For family portraits, plan early! If the goal is holiday cards, it’s easiest both on the family and the photographer to schedule that session before December.
2 – Be Flexible! Based on weather and lighting, sometimes moving the appointment around is best for the long run.
3 – Bring Props and Ideas! Between websites, blogs, Pinterest, magazines… some of the cutest pictures are when the client finds awesome ideas and props to try. 4 – Coordinate clothing– Long sleeved dark clothes are best for close up portraits. Logos, text and mismatched colors are most distracting
5 – Indoors or Outdoors? I find it easier to be more spontaneous and capture more ‘natural’ images outside. However, indoor studio sessions offer the advantages of photographing any time of the day, in any weather, easier for the elderly (pictured above…just kidding mom and dad).
6- Nap time – From the photographer side of things, the lighting outside is the most important aspect impacting the time of the photo shoot. However, if there are young children, remember to schedule around the normal time they would be napping, increasing the chances they’ll be happy and smiley! On a side note, for young babies, some fantastic images can be captured while the babies are sleeping!