The definition of family according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is: The basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children. However we know that this is only a piece of what a family truly is. A family to me is happiness, warmth and a core love that has no definition. It truly runs deep.
With that said, I try to take photos thinking of that. I try to get candids, with interaction that demonstrates the love between family members. Sometimes this is hard, due to the young children or an older family member who is used to giving a fake smile. Some families want a simple sit down smile at the camera photo which is great for some. Others want crazy poses or something different, which is also just as fun. I am flexible and I listen to my customers.
The important thing in family photos, in my opinion, is recording the looks and feel of the stage the family is in. For instance if you are taking photos of your family when your children are young how do the children look, how tall are they or even better yet what is their personality? As the children grow and the adults grow too (usually horizontally not vertically haha!) you will want to see the stages of life. Example, one family did photos of one parent with their child standing back to back every year to show a growth of the child. This was kind of like a growth chart for them. It was fun every year for the family to come in and have this done along with a good family photo of all 3 together.
Another example is a family that did Christmas photos every year. We would put our heads together and do a different pose every year. This pose was something fun like, having the parents wrapped in rope and ribbon and tape over their mouths while the kids looked mischievous. This was their Christmas card and they loved it! It is all about personality.
Many photographers do what he/she wants and they don’t bother asking the family what they want. I don’t do that. I ask the family what they want before the shoot even is scheduled. I ask questions about how many are in the family, I also ask about ages. I ask what style of photos they are wanting like outdoor walking photos or indoor in a formal group setting. These answers will give me some
knowledge about the dynamics of the family.
Now, there are some families that don’t know what they want. They ask my opinion and I will suggest ideas. For instance: How about a walk in a park?, How about playing on a playground? Or How about sitting on the floor with the children and playing with toys? This generates conversations. Then I get a feel for it.
Don’t worry family photos are not something that has to be done outdoor or in a park. It can be done any way you want it.
Call me and I can give you some answers. 502-348-2300
Enjoy your family photo shoot.