Tips for a Successful Family Portrait Experience

Tips for successful family portraitTo ensure you have a successful family portrait experience there are a number of ways that you can prepare in advance whilst getting ready. Planning ahead helps the session to go smoothly, and results in a much better chance to capture some truly timeless photos.

Happy Babies

Have your baby dressed in neutral clothes, and then just before the photographer arrives, wrap them in a blanket and a bib for a quick feed. This helps your baby to feel calm and settled when the photographer starts to take your family portrait shots. Make sure you have their favourite toys or comforting blanket close by, and use it throughout the shoot if needed. A good family photographer will be used to working with babies, and understands that a nappy change or feed may be needed during the shoot. It’s important to remember to relax and enjoy the shoot, as your baby will be picking up on your mood!

Young Children

The most important thing to remember when getting younger children ready for a family portrait is to create an atmosphere of happy and relaxed fun. Have a calm day before the shoot, and make sure your kids are well rested and have had enough to eat. If they are a little nervous or shy, take some time to play their favourite games and make the atmosphere one that is warm and welcoming. Threatening punishment or getting annoyed to make them ‘smile’ for the camera is highly counterproductive, and usually leads to poor behaviour.

School Aged Children

The older your children get, the easier it is to help them understand the portrait process. School aged kids usually really enjoy the family portrait experience, and you won’t have to worry so much about them misbehaving. Just make sure you don’t have anything scheduled for after the shoot, so you can all just relax and enjoy the time you are spending together. Make sure your children have had something to eat so they don’t get hungry throughout the shoot.

Successful Family Portrait Experience – Teenagers

Some parents feel a bit apprehensive when it comes to how to coordinate their teenager for the family portrait. A great start is to pick a nice and casual jeans and t-shirt style look, this way your teen can dress to suit their style without looking too individual in relation to the rest of the family. Let them style their hair however they like, trying to make them ‘conform’ simply puts unnecessary pressure on the experience and this will show through in the photos. Keep in mind that teens are often self-conscious, and the idea of a family portrait can be very daunting for them. Do everything that you can to make this a relaxed and fun occasion, and the pictures will reflect this.

Family Reunions

This can be one of the hardest portraits to organise, yet it is one of the most rewarding family experiences that you will have. Be clear about what you want, both with the photographer and with other family members. Decide if you’d like any individual shots, small family group photos, and get everyone to choose similar neutral colours for their outfits. An important thing to remember is to remind everyone to leave their cameras at home – it is simply an unnecessary distraction, and can make it very difficult for the professional photographer to get everyone coordinated!

Keep these top tips in mind to make sure that your next family portrait has every chance of success.

Remember, above all, be relaxed and have fun!

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