I take pictures of a lot of families. I really enjoy these photo shoots, as I love watching the dynamics in a family and how that plays out in a picture. The kids are most fun to work with. Being a mum of three myself I know how hard it is to get a great photo of the kids all together all looking fairly happy! The amount of times that I have managed to get a great happy photo of my three kids and people comment with "what a great photo, your kids must be so good in front of the camera". Little do they know that three seconds before the shutter went my youngest was in a strop because I didn't let her hold the remote to the camera, my son (who is autistic and very difficult to get in front of any camera!) has had enough and keeps wanting to move away, and my eldest keeps asking when she can be in a shot all by herself instead of with the two annoying little siblings. So most definitely not calmness before I take the picture!! As parents we are all in the same boat, whether you are a great photographer or not :-)
When I meet families I tend to address the kids first, for the simple reason that if the kids are happy the parents are happy! Parents relax, as the can see the kids are feeling relaxed.To me having a relaxed relationship and interaction with the kids means I can get more creative with the shots. Often the kids get into it so much that they come up with posing ideas!
So here's a few tips to getting "that" picture of your kids:
- make sure they are not hungry or thirsty! I know, basic and makes such a difference to them that they feel content!
- talk to them about how much fun this will be, make it into a game
- don't use the word "smile!", often when you say that you will get the fake school picture smile, so it's your job to make them laugh instead
- make sure they wear block coloured clothes. Clothes with too much pattern often distracts the eye away from the actual picture
- let the kids have a say!
- give the kids a little break if you feel they are getting restless or bored
- mix it up so they do not get bored over the photo shoot
- And then relax! The more relaxed you are the more relaxed they will be
- have some wipes ready, there's always a snotty nose or mucky hands at some point during photo shoot
- check out your surroundings before you go, to make sure its safe an suitable for a family/kid photo shoot
- and last but not least, have fun with it, it always takes a little longer than you think to get "that" photo
The picture above was taken on a very rainy day! We had planned an outdoor photo shoot session all day and the rain just poured down! So we found this bridge and it worked out very well!