As a family and children’s photographer in the Denver area for the past ten years I have learned a lot about what works and does not work at a photo shoot. You learn all of the tips for taking your photo session from average to great. There are many things I do as a photographer that help you have a great family portrait session but here are a few things you can do to make sure your session is amazing!
#5 Coordinate, don’t match
Choosing your clothing can be one of the hardest parts of planning your session, the more people you need to dress the harder this gets. My best advice is to make sure your clothing coordinates, but is not matchy matchy. I recommend starting with your own clothing. What do you love the way you look in? Once you have found something you really love take a look at the colors in that clothing, if it has more than one color then you can use solids in those colors for the rest of the family. Make sure to mix it up so not everyone is in the same color. If it is a solid color what other colors look good with that color? When is doubt, email or text me a picture of your choices, I would love to help you figure it out!!
#4 Don’t stare at the camera
The best photo sessions are ones where there is a variety of poses and looks. My job is to pose in different positions and with different backgrounds to get great variety. You will often here me tell you things like “ok this time everyone look at mom” don’t be afraid to relax and look at one another. Laugh at your silly kid who is acting just a little bit crazy, its ok. 🙂
#3 Don’t say cheese
Unless of course you love photos with corny fake smiles…. Sometimes my biggest struggle is getting kids who have been trained to say cheese and smile to just relax and be themselves at the portrait sessions. The best smiles are those captured when someone was laughing, but sometimes the best portraits are captured when the subject isn’t smiling at all. So don’t feel you need to smile and say cheese in every portrait, or really at all. Have a little fun, laugh and give genuine smiles or when that fails pretend to laugh, I promise that the fake laugh will produce a better smile than saying cheese.
#2 Bring a favorite toy
I absolutely love incorporating a child’s favorite toy or stuffed animal into a photo session. Some of my favorite portraits of my daughter Grace are ones where she has one of her stuffed animals. It will always help me remember her at that time when that was her baby and she was my baby. Before you know it they will have outgrown that teddy bear or stuffed kitty and it will be shoved in a closet somewhere. Make sure to capture that moment while it lasts.
This is absolutely the most important tip of all of them. The biggest difference between an OK photo session and one with AMAZING portraits is how relaxed the subjects where. One of your kids put on the wrong shoes, its OK everyone can go barefoot. Your two year old doesn’t want to sit still, that’s fine lets have everyone get up, hold hands and walk together. Kids acting a little silly, that’s fine act silly and play with them. Kiss them, hug them and enjoy this moment with them. I promise you if you do you will love the joy captured in that moment way more than the perfect posed smiles.
Truth Photography is a full service Westminster Colorado based portrait company. Photographer Jennifer Tavera specializes in photographing fun families and children who want beautiful whimsical portraits. For more information on my sessions visit www.truth-photography.com