We don’t do a big, traditional, family pictures very often. I like to have pictures of the kids in a more casual or candid environments. However, when it comes to something I am going to blow up and hang in the living room I want a more formal looking picture. If you can call anything we do formal.
With spring approaching it is the perfect time to take advantage of the blue skies and nice weather and get those family portraits. Going to outline some of the things I have learned over the years when we are doing family pictures.
What to wear
The biggest job you have when planning out your family pictures is going to be planning what everyone is going to wear. I think a lot of times there is too much focus on matching and not enough focus on just coordinating looks. You don’t have to look like twins to look good. Here are some helpful hints.
Again, we don’t need to be twins. Pick your bright and bold color first and then pick your coordinating neutrals. This is going to help you narrow down what everyone will be wearing. When it comes to coordinating colors look at the undertones. If you are looking at gray is the undertone more neutral/silver or more of a blue. This will help you pick the rest of the colors for your family.
Don’t be afraid of color or pattern. I often see families opt for white or black because they think it is easier for everyone to match. It can be fun to add in some pops of bold color and pattern. It will overall make your family photo look stylish and chic.
Create a mood board
I love creating mood boards for shoots. It helps me see everything laid out and also allows me to know what I have and what I need to buy. I like to start with the location of the shoot. If I can find pics, I add that to my board and then I collect ideas for outfits from there.
This is the mood board I made for our family pics. Simple but it was a visual for what I knew was going to work and what wasn’t. P.S. It doesn’t need to be fancy.
I added the colors on the bottom to know where I was headed with colors. Because we were shooting with the red car, I knew I wanted to work with that. I loved the way we pulled in a little blue with Peyton and Justin, so it wasn’t all gray.
What else do you need to know?
So, we have covered the most important information for your family pictures which is what you will wear. Now we need to talk about all of the other information. Here are a few of my other best tips!
Read Your Contract
I cannot stress this enough. The contract your photographer gives you isn’t for fun. They aren’t playing business owner. You need to take it seriously and read the entire thing or they may cancel your session or not shoot with you again. Please remember that they are an artist and a business, so you need to respect what is in the contract they send you. Most of the time any and all questions you have will be outlined in that contract. Such as what happens if it rains of you get sick and so on.
If you have read your contract and it does not answer your questions reach out before your shoot. I often double check the social media policy since I own a blog, I like to make sure that they are ok with me posting them on my website. For this session I sent Kristen a picture of my dress and asked her thoughts on the pattern. Just remember to ask in advance and be realistic about when they respond. They may not be available the day of your shoot for outfit feedback.
Ask about a timeline
I work with a lot of photographers as a blogger. One of the most common issues I hear them talk about is a lack of understanding on timeline for a client receiving their photos. There are times that clients are messaging them the next day asking where their photos are. In my experience it is standard to take at least 10 business days to get your photos back. Editing is a lengthy process and extremely time consuming. Also, people usually do not take into consideration that in a 20-minute shoot a photographer can take 500 pictures. Before they can even edit, they have to cull the pictures and decide which ones that are using.
So, what do you do? Ask when you book your session what their turnaround is and then promise yourself you are not going to message them before that date.
Make a shoot List
As a family of five I like to keep in mind what shots I know I want. Obviously, I want one of the whole family but sometimes I like to get some of the kids with Justin or the kids with me. Often Justin and I getting a pic alone is something I want. Having your “must have” list can keep you organized but also let’s your photographer know which shots are the more important to you when they are editing.
The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to relax and breathe. I have found myself worked up so many times about getting the perfect shot and worried about the kids not cooperating or was everyone looking. No matter what has been happening we have always gotten a good picture. Photographers know what they are doing, and they are going to get you some good options. Also, there are times that the best family pictures are the candid moments when no one is looking. Just enjoy the moment, look into your kids’ eyes, hug one another… You look GREAT sweetie!