There is nothing worse than spending good time and money on a bad family photo. It’s easy enough to pick the perfect place, photographer and time but this cannot guarantee that the end result it what you expect, want or were going for. Following these steps cannot at least allow you to put your best foot forward and hopefully have a end result that everyone is happy with.
Families are not the only ones who hope for capturing that perfect moment. Photographers live for getting that one shot that they can brag about and show off in a portfolio for all to see and want one just like. When you put the two dreams together then, fingers crossed, you come out with an exceptional moment caught in time.
Be rested and relaxed
Sometimes a photo can be the entire family (including grandma and the family pet) or sometimes it can just be mom and dad maybe even when you’re expecting either way make sure everyone is ready for the big event. An event seems a little extreme to call a photo but really that’s what it is. With any event you plan and prepare. You always want to make sure to schedule it at the time of day when everyone is happy, maybe after the kids nap or before dad goes to the office. If you want a “sunset moment” then make sure everyone is aware that it’s going to be super early in the morning and they adjust their schedule to be ready.
No matter where you pick for the photo it’s not the place that you want to be remembered always. It’s the moment or the look that you want to capture. Nothing is worse than the posed look. It’s always ok to practice maybe even take a few mirror shots to know which angle looks best or what way you want everyone facing but don’t try to make it look like your trying to hard. The natural smile always looks best and more spontaneous. Remember those horrible yearbook pictures when the photographer says tilt your head this way or chin up…the pose. Don’t make that part of this experience. Let the photographer take the lead on what to do but make sure not to try too hard to make it “look like a picture”.
Make sure to do what you want
The photographer is taking the picture but you are paying for it so use your voice and let them know what your going for. Up until the photo time you have done your homework in picking who is doing the shot and where you want it so don’t be afraid to use your voice and instinct now. Only you know who sits best beside whom and which person your baby wants to be sitting in the lap of so let them know. Just because they have the eye or the equipment to make it happen they don’t always know who you or your family is. You will never get what you want if everyone is miserable during the event and it will always show in the end product if its a happy family or a planned put together moment.
Keep it simple (KISS)
Make it a fun experience. Obviously if it is a family vacation shot or a family wedding or reunion then it’s hopefully already fun and something you are looking forward to. But if it’s the planned shot for the family album, for posterity, you can still keep it simple maybe even make it fun. Your already all dressed up and together maybe do a brunch or dinner afterwards so its a true memory. You may either want the natural look or you may want to all dress in a special way for the event. Buying something special for everyone to take the shot may be the perfect way to also make sure it’s remembered they way you hope. Matching necklaces or small diamond pins can make each person in the shot not only be cohesive as a unit but if you take the same care in picking out the perfect item for it as you did in planning it then each time they wear that piece it will take them back to that day and place where that picture was taken. Not to mention it can be something displayed on a desk or in a hallway where what they have on is noticed and complimented as much as the photo itself.
Enjoy the event
Nothing is worse than spending good money on time spent horribly. Make sure that you relax and breathe. No matter what happens in the end, even if eyes are shut or children are crying, through today’s technology almost anything can be fixed before printed. Remember that when you’re in the moment. Don’t stress and let everyone feel that stress because then you can never get what you aimed for in the planning and wanting that moment remembered. It’s true that people and even pets feed off of each others energy so if someone in the group is fretting or trying to hard then the whole group can be brought down to that feeling so take deep breathes it’s gonna be beautiful in the end.
Hopefully if you have done everything here you will come out with exactly what you are expecting and looking for. It doesn’t have to be exactly what you have in mind to be beautiful. So what if the dog jumps or the sun decides to go behind the clouds for the hour you have booked, you can’t control that. What you can control and do is everything within your power to do your part.
To be happy you can’t let expectations be to unreal. We can’t always produce that GQ look, but what we can do it have a good time while getting a good photograph that will be remembered and looked at for many many years to come.