Family photo shoots Leicester. How to have a fun photo shoot.
Do you want to know how I ensure that your photo shoot is relaxed and stress free? Do you want to know how to have a fun photo shoot and get great photographs that you will love forever?
Firstly it’s about having an open mind and allowing your photographer to do what they do best. It’s about listening to the advice given to you before your professional photo shoot. I have been a professional photographer for almost 11 years now and I have probably jumped over almost every hurdle you can think of when it comes to photographing weddings and portraits.
So what’s my experience taught me? How do I ensure that all my clients feel relaxed in front of the camera? How do I tackle each of my portrait sessions whether they take place here at my studio at the Atkins Building in Hinckley, or at your home in your garden or on location at your favourite park, woods or special place where you enjoy family time.
I always ensure that my clients have received my photo shoot guidelines before their photo shoot. These are basic guidelines so that you get the best out of your photo session. It’s important that I prepare you for your photo shoot – what’s going to happen and how to ensure it’s stress free and enjoyable. If my clients are relaxed and at ease, believe it or not, my job is 50% done.
For family sessions at my photography my top tips are:
- Try to arrive a little early for the photography session so that you and your family can have a short time to take a breath, check hair and make up and clothing and to familiarise yourself with the studio. Often I won’t begin the photoshoot for at least 10-15 minutes, instead I will chat to you and your family and ensure that nobody feels uneasy before I begin taking photographs. I can usually spot the shy members of the family almost straight away. Ten years of studio photo shoots and I think I have nailed it now 🙂
- Always wear casual clothing. If you are too dressed up in smart suits, dresses and high heels and this is not our usual way of dressing it will be more difficult to relax, because you won’t feel like ‘you’ at all.
- I recommend for larger family groups that all those taking part in the photo shoot wear very similar tones of clothing. Avoid stripes, distracting patterns and logos (logos will date your photographs very quickly). Instead go for a similar colour palette for all. If dad is wearing a striped shirt and mum is wearing a patterned blouse, and kids are in logo sweat tops it makes for a very ‘busy’ photograph. Plain, muted colours of a similar tones always look so much better for larger groups. I have no problems if parents wish to bring a change of clothing for children for when we have completed the group photographs and move on to portraits of the children. Again, you will not be rushed. This is about patience and understanding and a very big sense of humour.
- The photo shoot is NEVER rushed. I often have to manage different personalities and energetic children so although I usually tell clients that the photography session will last from around 40 minutes up to an hour, I have often carried on with the session if I have felt that I haven’t quite got those relaxed poses and smiles. However, throughout the session I will do my upmost to ensure that I don’t take myself too seriously.
- If you arrive with a positive outlook and ready to have a little bit of fun you will enjoy the session and I won’t have to tell you off all the time. 🙂
For baby photography sessions either at my studio or at your home my top tips are:
- Ensure that your baby has been fed and had a nap before the photo shoot. Baby photo shoot sessions are usually a lot shorter than the average photo shoot because they often get tired out fairly quickly.
- If you wish to bring along a snack for them it is best to bring along a plain biscuit and water so we don’t end up with messy fingers and dirty faces.
- If your baby isn’t settled straight away – guess what? Yes – you guessed correct. Patience is the key. And I have lots of patience. Most babies don’t settle straight away so I am happy not to commence the photo shoot until everyone is happy. This is where parents need to relax and be patient too because babies can sense if parents are in any way anxious or uncomfortable.
- You may have to be on hand at all times during the photo shoot especially if your baby is only just sitting up or recently started crawling. The perfect age for an older baby photo shoot is at the sitting up stage, but before they begin to crawl. At the sitting up stage babies are inquisitive, smiley and easy to entertain. Once they are crawling, there is often far too much going on to entice your baby to stay in one place. But your help is important during the photo shoot. You may be asked to be very close to your baby at all times for safety purposes. It’s always such a help if one of the parents is always keeping an eye on baby to avoid any little bumps if they are still a bit wobbly or can crawl away at 50 miles an hour!
- A favourite small toy is always a lovely prop in the photo shoot and I must emphasise the word small. Gigantic teddy bears and toys are often a hindrance rather than a help at the photography session.
- If your baby is being photographed at home I will often ask if I can look around your home to choose a space / room with the best light and uncluttered backdrop. Often baby’s nurseries are beautifully lit and have some gorgeous pockets of light and are so personal to your baby, or parents bedrooms are sometimes one of the nicest rooms to photograph in.
For newborn photography sessions my top tips are:
- The perfect age to photograph your new baby is around 5 days up to 14 days old. This is the perfect timeframe to get the beautiful sleepy poses and milky smiles that you will adore. I cannot stress enough how amazingly wonderful newborn photo shoots are. They will grow and change so quickly it really is wonderful to have beautiful newborn photographs as a record of this early stage of their life.
- The newborn photoshoots cannot be rushed and these sessions take a minimum of 2 hours, sometimes up to 4 hours if your baby does not settle straight away. I have often not managed to take a single photograph of a newborn baby for the first hour or so of the photo shoot. I don’t become impatient at any point in time. I sit, have a cuppa and chat to parents whilst we wait for the magic moments. Again, this is where my patience and understanding skills are being utilised to the full.
- I always recommend that newborn babies are fed before leaving the home and if possible kept awake (not always possible I know). But during the session, again, patience is key and I will work around your new baby’s needs, stopping for feeding, changing and cuddling. The newborn photo shoots require the most patience and understanding. But if you are happy to relax, drink cappuccino and snuggle up on my sofa in the studio, it really is a lovely photo shoot. I’ve had new parents take a sneaky nap whilst I’ve posed and photographed their baby. This is the ultimate compliment for me as I know that parents have been very comfortable if they drop off for 40 winks… Often if I have a newborn photograph session booked, I won’t book in another session that day because I know that new babies require patience and lots of time.
For photo shoots with small children my top tips are:
- Surprise, surprise. Patience and a sense of humour. The sense of humour bit is very important. Little children are unpredictable and energetic. You will need to be patient and avoid getting stressed at the photo shoot because young children will pick up on this. On occasions I have even asked parents to step out of the studio just for a moment or two if I sense that children are perhaps playing up a little. Guess what? It works… Often I will recommend a location portrait photo shoot for children aged around 2-4 years old if parents feel that their children may not be comfortable in a confined studio space, and I will treat this almost like a play date and take the emphasis away from taking photographs. Small children love to run around and have fun and this is where my zoom lens is my best friend. Let them go, let them run free and I can photograph them fairly unnoticed whilst they have fun and explore their environment.
- If you would prefer a studio photo shoot for your small children this is fine too. I have my tricks and plans in my head if your little one doesn’t want to play ball. I understand I may have to win them over first and not take any photographs immediately. Once again – patience and understanding! I know – sorry, I keep going on about it 🙂 but it’s my best weapon when working with toddlers…
- Plain, casual clothing is especially important for photo shoots with young children. They need to feel comfortable in clothing that they would usually wear on a regular day. But again, fairly plain clothing is important. Logos and busy patterns are always best avoided so your photographs are about your beautiful children and there are no distracting elements in your images. If it’s a location portrait photo shoot I do love a pair of wellies and a hat! Always super cute and the more colourful the better.
So – that’s it really. I hope I have covered off areas that may concern you when thinking of booking a professional photo shoot. It really can be something fun, informal and relaxed if you are prepared and have had good advice up front.
Family photo shoots Leicester. How to have a fun photo shoot. It’s really quite easy. Let me take control and ensure you enjoy your time in front of the camera. 🙂