What Time of the Year is Best for Family Photos?
When I photograph a family I try to capture each family member's personality. I love it when I have a session and everything just clicks (no pun intended)! When I arrived at their home we had planned to go to a nearby park but their front garden was perfect for the photo shoot. Even better when the boys decided to bring out their instruments that they love to play, it really helped capture who they are now. How adorable when they decided to play their instruments together!
After you've booked your session I work with you to find the best location for your family photo shoot. A place that you frequently visit where the children love to play to keep them occupied and have fun. I love finding new locations and this particular park, Fairfield Park & Boat House by the Yarra River was just gorgeous. Who would guess having lived in Melbourne all my life that there are still hidden gems to find!
With the warmer weather almost upon us, you’re probably thinking about organising a family photo shoot but it seems quite daunting to get your family enthused about the whole idea. Preparing for a family photo shoot should not bring on anxiety as I’m here to help you with any worries you might have.
Prior to the photo shoot I’ll send you my Welcome document that gives you information about how I work, what to expect, what to wear and how to help your family have the best experience, making it a fun day out.
I photograph Lifestyle, a natural form of photography that aims to capture the interactions you have with each other. If the photo shoot is in your home don’t worry about having a perfect, spotless house. This isn’t life…..I’m yet to go to a home that doesn’t feel lived in as this doesn’t tell a story about who your family really is. I’m a Mum myself with 2 dogs and I hear you when I say it’s virtually impossible to have a pristine house. Lifestyle photography gives you the freedom to relax and let go of perfection, no forced camera smiles and no forced poses! I try to capture the essence of your children, that they’re perfect just the way they are.
Make it more about the destination and experience than about the actual photo shoot. In other words we can do this ??, do that ?? and we’ll also have a friend come along to take some photos of us to remember the day. What child doesn’t love having their photo taken if they’re having a fun time?
Don’t fuss too much with the kids about what to wear. If your kids are too dressed up they won’t relax and enjoy themselves and you’ll be anxious throughout the shoot that their clothes will get dirty. If kids are having fun their clothes will get dirty but I work around this.
Hungry kids aren’t always cooperative so it’s a good idea to have them fed and rested before the shoot. Otherwise bring snacks with you to the shoot if the kids get hungry, biscuits, cheese, fruit, etc.
If all else fails, having a reward or special treat can work wonders. I know we don’t want to pump our kids with sugar but the idea that they might receive an icecream or lolly afterwards can give us a bit more time to get those photos you're after.
Remember it's about capturing who your family is now, imperfection and all.
I thought I'd write a post about how I pose or not pose family photography. My aim is to create an environment in which families can connect and interact, not so much posing but natural, real moments.
I do though have some "go to" poses that I use to help guide families so they relax in front of the camera and not feel at a loss as to what to do. They can include walking and holding hands, kids on shoulders, looking at each other, tickling each other, whispering secrets in their Mum or Dad's ear, sitting as close as can be together, laying down, Mum or Dad looking at their child up in the air, cheek to cheek, Mum with the kids, Dad with the kids, siblings playing, individual shots of the children.
So as you can see there are a number of different 'poses' that don't involve the 'say cheese' shots looking at the camera. The photos that you'll cherish are the ones where you are not concerned about the camera but the interaction and love you have for one another.
My friend's daughter always jumps at the chance to have a photo session with me and now that Spring has arrived we thought we'd show you how Spring is such a glorious time for family photography!
When preparing for your session wear layers - t-shirt, cardigan, scarf, etc. so each family member can peel off, or add, as they see fit and remain comfortable throughout the shoot. Spring is a bit finicky where the weather can change especially here in Melbourne.
I will liaise with you about a great location, maybe your local park (all those buds popping up from the ground), beach or anywhere that's special to your family.
Time is right. Book in now or you may miss out on those Spring buds.
Oh that red baseball cap
I snuck it
It fitted right on my head
Something about a red baseball cap
But Dad said I had to give it back!!!!
So this is a subject that I've been putting off writing about but I feel it's time as I get a lot of enquiries asking about price, etc. and asking why professional photographers charge so much.
With the advent of digital photography everyone seems to be a photographer these days. Professional photographers have a lot of training and experience. It takes years of hard work and education to hone their photography skills. A professional photographer understands composition, white balance, exposure, light and shadow, Photoshop, Lightroom, etc. and is always educating themselves to take the most beautiful photos for their clients that they will treasure for a lifetime. A smart digital camera does not an accomplished artist make. You wouldn't go and purchase a great pair of scissors to cut your child's hair and expect the same result a hairdresser could do?
You hire a professional photographer for their ability to make you and your family look awesome, using their artistic and technical talent. You hire them for their expertise in being able to bring to life your vision for your photos of your family. The time they spend working and getting to know you to really bring out your individual personalities and to capture memories in time.
Not only should you be in the photos with your family but you'll find that most children are more likely to be cooperative with a professional photographer than you directing them. Photographers have learnt through experience how to get children to give those natural smiles.
The actual photo shoot is only a small portion of what the photographer actually does. After the shoot the photos have to be culled and edited individually to give them their own unique look that fits with the Photographer's style. This is where the main work happens. They are then loaded to an online photography gallery for you to choose your images.
When you pay for a professional photographer you are investing money into pieces of artwork, high quality images that will be displayed on your walls and not left on your computer hard drive or in boxes packed away. They have the knowledge of quality printing for your photos and have their own specialist printers that they use. A high quality photo deserves to be printed on beautiful art paper that will withstand the years.
What am I paying a professional for?
When you pay a professional photographer to shoot for you, you are generally paying for the following things:
- The photographer will work closely with you in choosing your outfits, ideal location and time of day to get the most beautiful lighting, etc. All of these minor details can make a huge difference in your final photographs.
- Time and talent
- Knowledge of cameras, lenses and purchasing of equipment in order to achieve high quality images for you. Professional photographers have a great depth of knowledge about what types of equipment and what camera settings you need to produce a certain image. That beautiful bokeh (blurry background) and halo lighting cannot be reproduced in 'Auto' mode.
- Post production creating and editing each individual photo. This is a lengthy process where your photos are worked on individually to give them a polished, artistic and professional look.
- Printing and social media rights for usage of your photos.
I hope this helps you understand what you pay for by hiring a professional photographer. Life happens so quickly and photographs are timeless memories of who you and your family were that will be passed down through generations.
"When you look at your life, the greatest happiness is family happiness." Dr Joyce Brothers
Oh I love it when previous clients welcome me back to photograph their growing family. This is the most beautiful family....hope you enjoy the preview!
What man doesn't remember making model cars and painting them when they were a boy?
Oh the light ..... Spring has sprung! A beautiful time to have your family photos taken.