How Do I “Act Natural” During Our Outdoor Photo Session? | by Family Photographer in Geneva and Vaud
Outdoor family sessions are really easy for the kids. They can just be themselves. Even big kids start climbing trees and jumping from rocks. Outdoors gives a sense of freedom to the kids and they start interacting with the surrounding naturally if we do not get in their way.
But parents might have certain worries and will need more reassurance to really relax and have fun.
Let us talk about some worries you might have before our outdoor photo session.
You might worry how you will look in pictures
Few years ago I photographed a family with quite big kids. I asked them, if they had ever had a photo session before. I thought maybe they had one, when kids were young.
Surprisingly the mother told me that they just had a photo session last year. She told me that they had their photos taken in a studio and that they were really beautiful, perfectly posed and retouched. And then she added, that the whole family had a feeling they do not look like themselves, so they do not know what to do with those perfect photos.
And that was the main reason why they decided to work with me – they wanted to have pictures, which capture them for who they are.
We had a lovely session and I made a beautiful album for that family and a few nice prints to put on the wall. They wished to keep their photos private, so unfortunately I cannot show them to you.
But the point of this story is that we put ourselves under pressure by thinking that a beautiful portrait should be „perfect“, „flattering“, „wrinkle-free“. For editorial or commercial photography this really can be the case.
But when it comes to family photographs, emotions and moments are all what matter. The pictures are heirlooms for the kids to remember you and to celebrate your relationships right now. When you are happy, you look great – even with this all wrinkled nose!
I will encourage you to "let it go" – all the time. And you might feel nervous about being silly with your kids as well as telling them off when they are acting crazy. However, pictures of you being yourself is what your children will appreciate looking at as they grow up. They will absolutely love to look at them. And you will be overjoyed to see your authentic relationship to each other.
You might worry about what to do
I do not really pose you during the session, but I constantly suggest different things to do.
I observe your kids carefully and give them the lead. So if your child is deeply involved with something I will work around this activity (luckily the attention span is really short - so we will have variety anyway!)
We do simple things kids naturally like to do outside: we jump, run, climb the trees, through leaves, look for bugs, chase birds and squirrels etc. We usually also have snacks to keep the mood up.
We are going for a walk! And you do what you usually you do, when exploring some places outdoors… with much more cuddles, kisses and tickles.
You might worry about how to act natural
This one is simple: if you try to act natural – you cannot succeed! So please do not try. Just let it be.
The best way to distract yourself from the camera is to focus on your kids and partner. If you stay in the moment and allow yourself just to react to what is going, you will BE natural and will look natural in the photographs.
If you stay present, engage with your children and partner, reacting to things as they come, you will not only have the best possible pictures of your family, but also you will spend great quality time with people you love.
I will also distract you by talking a lot and making bad jokes!
Thank you for reading!
If you are considering a family session with me, please check my autumn outdoor sessions.
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