Family sessions are one of my most important sessions I offer. They are more than just dressing up and capturing the love so you can put photos in frames and fill your home. It’s for your children…and their children. One day you won’t be around so getting together for an afternoon of family photos is worth a lifetime of happiness and memories.
Sessions are candid, unposed, messy and unmade. My approach is simple. Capture the real stuff, be it scraped knees, giggles and/or bear hugs. My goal is to capture the true expressions of you and your children as naturally and candidly as possible (with a few lightly posed portraits thrown in here and there). Expect to have fun and be yourself. I might ask you to do silly or fun things to help break the ice or to create connections with your family.
In the lead up to your photography session, I will spend some time finding out what is special to your family, and we can collaborate as to the look and feel that you are after. Every family is unique, and I’d love to capture the essence of you and your little ones.
What to Expect from In Home Lifestyle Sessions
There are two approaches to your in home session. I will be taking portraits and images of your family interacting. Some families like to plan activities they would normally do when I am not there. These activities include family art time, baking or cooking a special dish, playing dress ups or playing in the yard, just to name a few. I am also happy to just sit back and document and follow your lead. This day is about making memories and then capturing them. You do not need to dress up for these sessions if you don’t want to, even pjs are fine!!
Let me state that your home needs not be perfectly tidy or show room ready for your session. Just hide the clutter or anything you don’t want visible in the images.
In regards to timing and location, this will depend on your families’ routine. To make use of the wonderful natural light, it is best to shoot in the late afternoon when the sun is falling, but not directly overhead. I allocate one hour for your family sessions, so that we can keep a relaxed feel throughout.
What to Expect from Outdoor Sessions
Outdoor session times are always in the hour prior to sunset (we can do sunrise too, but I find most people aren’t overly excited about the early wake up!) I realise that this time of day is not always ideal for young kids. But this is the only time of day when the light is soft enough to wrap around your features and not create squinting and/or unflattering, harsh shadows. You simply can’t achieve this at any time of the day other than sunrise or sunset. I’m assuming your family portraits are a bit of a special occasion so you want the best results possible when you are putting in this effort. It is worth breaking the routine a bit to really achieve session magic. Let the kids have a later nap, feed them well before you come and all will be well. I promise we will all walk out alive and happy!
Sunset times vary greatly throughout the year so do keep this in mind when deciding on time of year to book your session.
A Point to Remember about Working with Children
Kids are kids!! I have four of my own so with them, their friends and my clients I have seen all sorts of behaviour. Because of this I have very realistic expectations of children and family sessions in general. I don’t expect them to sit perfectly still and smile for two hours. If I get one shot of everyone looking at the same time it is amazing! I want them to play and be themselves. I want their real smiles, not the forced ones. The belly laughs. If your child is moody or hyper or silly, we roll with it. I want all of your real moments. You don’t even have to look at my camera, I want you to focus on each other.
But I also realise all people, big or small have individual personalities. That’s what makes each and every one of us unique. I’m going to work with whatever mood is brought to me on the day. Sometimes that is a cranky toddler who won’t smile no matter what. I respect that they are people too and maybe feeling a bit anxious, so we capture them as they are. One day many moons from now, you will actually love that some of this attitude has been captured and can be looked back on years later.
My advise to all parents is to stay calm and relaxed regardless of your children are acting. More often than not we as parents feel more sensitive to this than others. Please trust me that the camera’s shutter fires at just a fraction of a second and I will get beautiful images in amongst the chaos. Most important is to have fun, it’s just photos – let’s make it an adventure and an unforgettable experience!
Yes of course, but a few points need to be considered. Firstly any additional people (6+) or members outside of your immediate family incur an additional charge of $25 per person. As you can imagine, as the group gets larger it becomes more and more difficult to get everyone to cooperate at the same time.
Also be aware that additional people can alter the mood and flow of the session. Intimate storytelling becomes a lot harder when the group extends beyond the immediate family unit. I find that large group sessions can become a bit more of the stand in a row and smile combinations. Of course I want to capture a few formal group shots but I much prefer to capture the emotional connections between you all. Sessions will be more candid, attendees will be expected to play, interact and cuddle with one another!
What to Wear
What to wear is key for a successful session. Clothing compliments who you are as a family, speaks to the environment in which the session is taking place, and coordinates with the home where final images will be displayed. Your style should be as unique as your family.
The most important thing when choosing your clothing is that you and your family feel comfortable and like what you are wearing! If you are not comfortable it will show in your portraits. Here’s a few tips to help you pick out an outfit that will be both flattering and show your personality.
Coordinating your outfits shows that you are a group, a family and you belong together. Try thinking about everyone’s style and start from there. You should dress for the occassion, formal clothes will probably look best in an urban setting compared to a forest. Don’t forget to dress for the weather. If you are too hot or cold there will be lots of grumpy faces.
Choose a palette of three to four colours and mix it up. You want a cohesive feel but without being matchy matchy, you can even use different (subtle) patterns. Think about layering, it adds dimension and depth. Hats, scarves and wraps can add a lovely artistic feel to your images. Picture an advertisement in a catalogue – everyone coordinates but no one stands out more that the rest.
Please purchase clothes to fit, and fit well. Keep in mind that for pictures, too large a polo shirt, saggy pants or a jacket or dress that is falling off the shoulders looks sloppy. Large clothing swamps your childs features, or in adults it hides your body shape and adds weight that doesn’t exist.
Please avoid bold logos and writing as these can be distracting from your lovely faces, but on the other hand please don’t wear all white.
Perth Family Photography