You’ve picked your photographer and the shoot date is getting closer, you’ve suddenly started thinking about what to wear, how will it go, will the children behave, what about the weather? Fear not! Here’s a few do’s and don’ts to help guide you to get the most out of your outdoor family photography shoot.
1. DO consider nap times if you have a young child. Try and book in your family photo shoot around your children nap times so they are fully rested and ready to have some fun!
2. DO wear comfortable clothing. If you and the children are too cold or too hot, it won’t be much fun and it will show in the photographs. Check the weather forecast and wear layers if it’s cold, airy light clothing if it’s a hot day etc. Bring a set of spare clothing for the children in case it gets dirty and don’t forget sunscreen and sunhat for younger children. If it rains, the photo shoot will be re-scheduled so no need to worry, you will still get your outdoor family photographs 🙂
3. DO co-ordinate your clothing but don’t overthink it. If your photo shoot is in a park or your garden, don’t wear green or you’ll camouflage yourself! Also, basic photography advice is not to wear completely white or completely black, either of these will end up being over or under exposed on the end product. Bright colours work well outdoors as they provide a contrast to the landscape behind, but avoid clothing with big branded logos or characters on as it will be distracting. If you’re generally a matchy sort of person, think about where you are going to display your photos and what colours appear in your interior decor and wear colours accordingly. Don’t wear sunglasses, as your eyes is what makes a photo!
4. DON’T bring a handbag onto the photo shoot. Yes you’ll need to bring a few bits for the kids but if your pockets look too bulging, bring a small rucksack. Handbags will need to be left out of shot and with everything going on, it’s in invitation to a lost/stolen bag.
5. DO bring some snacks and drinks for the children. Well fed children make for much happier photos and even if they have been fed from home, it is a nice distraction for them to have a snack during the photo shoot.
6. DO bring baby wipes. They’re handy for snotty noses, mucky hands and any other mishaps.
7. DO bring a toy for the kids, a ball is sometimes the best option, anything that makes the whole family interact.
8. DON’T worry about the end result during the shoot. Don’t be concerned about whether you are doing things “correctly”. Trust your photographer to give you advice and guidance throughout the shoot. The more you relax the better the end result will be!
9. DO plan ahead. Don’t worry too much, but it’s just less stressful if you’re organised. A few days before the shoot day, make sure the clothes you are going to wear is clean, pre-pack your rucksack and ensure you have any favourite snacks in the cupboard ready to bring. Make sure you have directions for the location of the shoot and that you know where you are parking and have money to pay for parking if applicable.
10. DON’T leave dad out of it. This may not be the dad’s idea of a family day out, but show him your photographers portfolio and get him onboard. He may not like the idea of having his photo taken, but he will love the photos of him and his family in years to come, trust me.
11. DON’T look at the camera unless your photographer asks you to.
12. DO be patient. Allow for your children to be tired, have tantrums or be a bit unruly throughout some of the shoot. Kids will be kids and your photographer knows this. These things will all pass as they get distracted and to be fair, these are all moments that are part of your family life on a daily basis so why not have them documented too!
13. DO have fun! Try not to treat it as a photography shoot. See it as a day out with the family where you’re all hanging out together with no electronics, no TV, outdoors in nature, out in the fresh air. Use your photo shoot to go to your favourite outdoor location or to explore a new place. Interact with each other, play games, have lots of cuddles, lots of laughs and basically pretty much ignore your photographer unless he/she gives you some pointers. Enjoy it and each other and it will show in the photographs!