There is nothing more important than family. Whether it comprises you and another or generations, it is a bond that needs no explanation. No secret password or handshake. It is simply, Family. Your Children’s Portraits are time capsules. Your Family Portraits are treasured moments for all.
Let’s talk about the entire Family and wrap it up with some thoughts on just the kiddos.
There are countless ways to approach the Family Portrait Session and none of them are wrong. A simple backdrop, an afternoon at Landscape Arboretum, or any other place that brings the family together is the perfect setting.
Where do we begin?
Deciding on a location needs to be tackled first and foremost. Things to consider are; number of people to pictured, ages of those in the Family Portrait, any special considerations in terms of accessibility, weather, time of day, and lastly, the feel of the portrait.
Fine tuning the location.
Straying too far away from who you are as a family is something we want to avoid when deciding on a Family Portrait location. A beach scene is wonderful, but do you go to the beach as a family frequently enough for it to have a special resonance when you look at it? Is the State Fair more appropriate? How about on a boat or in the woods? Does a formal sitting with a plain black backdrop make sense, or would sitting in in the family room be more fitting?
Where the Family Portrait is going to be displayed is also a good thing to consider. A thirty by forty above the mantel is going to have quite a presence in the room whereas an eight by ten amongst a wall full of prints will be less impactful – not to be confused with less important. We want to make sure the print flows with the room and its surroundings as well as the family. A thirty inch by forty inch print of my family, dressed in our finest and posed against a black backdrop, would look odd in our home regardless of where we hung it. But, the ten foot by thirteen foot wall collage – yes that big, no frames and printed on special wallpaper – is perfect. It covers and entire wall including a closet door, floor to ceiling. It is comprised of one family portrait and candid portraits of my children over a five year period of time; breathtaking and totally our family’s style. The kids love to point out their pics!
When deciding on a location, allow all members of the Family Portrait to have a voice in the decision. The foremost goal is that everyone feels good about the session. As parents, we are looking more to bring the family together and that we convey the unity and love of one another. It is easier for adults to concede and be happy. Young children want to have fun. Teens want to have control. Finding the location that everyone can mostly agree on will help ensure the right mood is in the air when we start shooting.
What to wear?
I reflect back to everything above. What is being worn is no different than where to take the pictures. Be yourselves. Be comfortable. Yes there are colors that are better than others and I will certainly help guide you in the right direction. The attire should fit the mood and the setting.
Time of Day?
Photographers always want to have control over lighting. In regards to outdoor sessions, high-noon is best to avoid. I like mornings and later afternoon. Sunlight is more forgiving at these times of day and tends to cast a more warming light. Studio shots, whenever is convenient for scheduling. Children’s Portraits need to follow their schedule though, more on that in a bit.
Props and Pets?
Pets are a part of the family. But, they can also be a real distraction. You know your pet better than I do and are probably the best one to decide whether or not to incorporate them in to the session.
Props can go both ways as well. Let’s talk about what you are thinking of using and how we can make the most of it.
Weather as an element.
I love Fall for Family Portraits. Winter can be equally amazing. Nothing like a candid or two of a snowball fight, or perhaps a snow-angel, to compliment the Family Portrait taken amongst some pines with a fresh blanket of snow on the ground. How about a sledding? Let your imagination run.
Babies and Kiddos.
When looking in to newborn and children’s portraits, everything above applies as well. Special considerations to keep in mind are that we need to work on their schedule – the younger the more so. We want them to feel comfortable and happy. We want them to be themselves. Children’s Portraits should look natural. I feel there should be plenty of energy and some movement in the images. Children’s Portraits that have the kids static and posed never seem to feel right. If we can catch them idle, perfect. If we can catch them chasing a leaf, going down the slide or laughing at dad, even better.
Newborns take some special TLC. Let’s talk person to person about your Newborn Portrait session.
I appreciate you taking the time to read the above information regarding Family Portraits and Children’s Portraits. Please be sure to look though my galleries if you have a moment.
To discuss your Family’s or Children’s Portraita, shoot me an email or give me a call. I am always happy to elaborate on the above and help make sure your portraits are everything you want them to be.
Visit the Children’s Portraits and Family Portraits galleries.