Planning a Family Photo Shoot

Although the popularity of smartphones and selfies are undeniable, (especially over the past 12 months!) whenever there is a special occasion in the family such as a newborn baby, family reunion, special birthday and so many more, and we are all allowed to do so, there is nothing quite like a quality, professional portrait session to capture those special moments in your life.


How long should my shoot last?   


There are many factors that determine the length of time for a photography session, such as which type of photoshoot you are interested in booking.  A newborn session can take around 3 hours, whereas a session with a toddler generally has to be much shorter due to the fact that they tire quickly and their attention span is relatively short. In general, aim to allow 1 – 1 ½ hours for a family session. As professional photographers, we understand that your time is very important, which is why we will do our very best to make the most of every minute we spend with you.


An experienced photographer can make a photoshoot session look easy! To capture images that will showcase your family’s personality, the photographer needs to take plenty of shots and, depending on who is being photographed, may have to work speedily, if necessary, perhaps adjusting poses and changing backdrops or lighting. All these things flow a lot easier after years of experience.


The session will also depend on the number of people who are involved and it is also important to take into consideration the ages of any children involved – with the best will in the world, children of all ages can get bored quickly – another reason for an experienced photographer to make sure they get the images the client wants without taking more time than necessary.


The location of the photo session is also a considerable factor. Does the client prefer to have it outdoors, in a photo studio or their own home? A studio photoshoot will mean that suitable backgrounds and props (if used) are readily to hand and have been discussed in advance. Outdoor photoshoots can be a popular choice, if you prefer a more natural background, but keep in mind factors that can throw a spanner in the works!  Poor weather conditions may mean a reschedule of the session and this may not be easily rearranged if you have other family members involved – trying to get several families together on a particular day and time can be difficult enough without having to reschedule because of a rainy day.  At Hallmark Photography, we always have a wet weather plan for when these things happen and we will make sure we discuss this with you before the actual day of your outdoor photoshoot.


A good photographer should be able to put you at your ease quickly – it is important to feel comfortable whilst having your photographs created for you as this shines through in the finished images.  Capturing a certain expression or mannerism is what photography is all about and it’s what makes us all, as individuals, unique.


What colours look best on camera?    


Clients often ask what type of clothing works best for a photoshoot.  We always tend to suggest wearing something you feel comfortable in – it sounds obvious but wearing something you aren’t used to can affect the way you move, sit or stand. Make sure that everyone involved in the session preplans, wherever possible, what they are going to be wearing on the day if the shoot. It can avoid a lot of stress!


It is normally safe to choose rich and solid colours. Pale and pastel colours will work too. To make you feel confident, choose a shade of colour that will compliment your skin tone.


To keep the focus of the image on you and your family, avoid wearing clothes with many patterns such as floral, plaids and stripes. If possible, avoid wearing clothes with obvious or large logos (these can often distract from the person wearing them).


What do I need to bring with me?   


We all want to let our personality shine through into our photos. Why not include some items during the shoot that reflect who you are, either as an individual or as a family?

You can also include hobbies and interests but, if you are still struggling with unique ideas, don’t stress too much about it. Having your images taken should be a relaxed and enjoyable experience, so make sure to have fun during the entire process.

If you have young children that you are bringing to the photoshoot, why not get them to select a few of their favourite toys to bring with them?  Babies and toddlers could bring a selection of cuddly toys with them to join in the fun!  Try and make sure that any cuddlies involved aren’t bigger than their owner, unless this means your child having a major meltdown, otherwise the session could end up being all about the cuddly toy, rather than your baby/child!!



How do I choose the right photographer?


You should always check out a photographer’s portfolio to determine if you like their style of photography. Read testimonials and reviews from previous clients and find out if your photographer of choice is easy to work with or friendly. A good photographer will make their clients feel at ease and welcome. This is a very important factor to consider especially if children are involved, you want them to feel as at ease as possible.


Lastly, inquire about their rates. Their experience, location and equipment will often dictate it. Usually, the more valuable their work is, the more they will charge. Nevertheless, do not let this deter you from choosing them. Consider a family photo session as an investment.


If you live in Calne or the surrounding areas and you are looking for a family-friendly studio that brings together the latest in photographic technology, excellent quality products and outstanding customer service, get in touch with Hallmark Photography today!