A family photo session is something that almost all people desire, but just a few really to go for it.
For example, I have about 500 new subscribers on my mailing list, who joined last year and I know that only 5 to 10 people will really become my clients, though all 500 really want to have their families captured all together, live in the Geneva area (so they can easily reach me) and they LOVE my photography.
But there are ALWAYS obstacles on the way which are hard to get over.
The most typical obstacles are:
Well, this is a BIG thing. The time is never „the right time“.
And the more people you have in your family that harder it gets to have „the right time“.
Thought 80% of my photo sessions are on weekends and most people ( but not the photographers! ) not working on weekends there are still:
- business trips,
- sports events,
- terrible mosquito bites all over the face (not a joke! I have already reschedules a couple of sessions because of the insects)
and the list goes on and on.
So finding a time to get everyone together in a good health and mood is not an easy thing!
A photo session is not an obvious investment and if you have never had a photo session before it is not an easy decision to make.
It is like going on exciting vacation – you know you will NEVER regret, will have a real adventure, connect with your family and make memories for life, but many people still do not go.
The good thing is that you do not need so much money for your photo session as you need for a vacation.
And for example NOT eating out for a few times could pay for the unique artwork for you and your family.
Or buying a second hand bugaboo pushchair instead of a new one (also good for our planet!).
Or growing your hair long and not going for a hair cut for a couple of months (those hair will also look great in the photos).
There are always creative ways to fit in a photo session in your budget if you are really into it!
Even if you are sure that you really want to have beautiful portraits of your family all together, you might not be sure if other family members are into it.
Will your partner agree to invest time and money?
Will your children behave?
Will this all just be a total nightmare with no beautiful photos at the end?
- your mind is probably working in these directions!
And as a mother, you probably have no energy to convince them.
So in many cases, mothers give up before they even try.
This is really a SERIOUS obstacle which is much more important than previous two!
SO HOW TO OVERCOME ALL THESE OBSTACLES WITH ONE DECISSION?
HAVE A SHORT SESSION!
or a mini session – how some photographers like to call it!
A short session is a low time and money commitment which will increase cooperation from the side of your partner (money and time doubts) and kids (time doubts).
You will NOT have to invest a lot from the start (usually 50 to 150 EUR).
AND you can have a short session before a birthday party, a concert or football match, because it usually only takes 10 to 20 minutes.
To have the best short session experience,
please follow these tips!
(A) HAVE YOUR SESSION OUTSIDE
WHY NOT IN A STUDIO?
Do you remember taking your passport picture in a photo studio? Do you remember how it felt?
This basically was a mini photo session in a studio!
So if you will walk into the studio with bunch of kids for a 10 minute session you will have just the same feeling and your kids too.
To make it work you will probably have to promise to get at least an individual horse or a motorbike for everyone (including your husband/wife!).
Having a family mini session in a studio is truly one of the MOST stressful scenarios you can imagine!
NOTE that having a LONG photo session in a studio might be great experience and lot's of fun!
WHY NOT AT HOME?
Sessions at home are generally VERY relaxed, but they are LONG.
The situation when a complete stranger comes into your home, bossing around while taking pictures of you and disappear in 10 minutes is extremely strange not only for a child but for an adult as well.
The sessions at home should be in a „friend coming over for coffee“-way.
When I am having a session at my clients home, I usually start taking pictures only 15-20 minutes after I arrived.
And a session in a full swing starts about 30 minutes after I arrived.
So if I spend 120 minutes with you the shooting itself lasts for about 90 to 100 minutes.
This always works great and I connect with you and with your kids and there is a great atmosphere.
A mini session at home would in contrary feels like a rude intrusion.
We constantly meet strangers outside and sometimes we even talk to them! So the situation „talking to a stranger outside“ is rather a normal one, even for a little baby.
During a mini session, it is important to take portraits of family member together and children will feel safer staying close to their parents outside, while at home for example they could just hide somewhere.
So it is possible to start taking pictures just after 2-3 minutes chat.
There are many fun things you can do outside with the kids and it is safe – running, jumping, swirling. While jumping on the couch at home is not so safe after all.
We can move a lot outside and it creates wonderful mood and photographs.
The best location is the one your children do not know so well (so they stay close to you) and there should be no playground to see – so they are not running away from us.
In this case we can really take fun and relaxed portraits of your family for 15 to 20 minutes without any distractions.
(B) CHOSE A VERY EXPERIENCED PHOTOGRAPHER
Taking a bunch of amazing portraits of a person you just met in 15 minutes is NOT an easy thing to do!
It requires a lot of experience and talent.
During a photo session photographer is working hard, because she needs to be extremely concentrated.
When a photographer is taking a picture she is
- thinking about technical aspects of the camera and changing them frequently (especially outside because the light is changing all the time)
- thinking and evaluating light and scenery in general
- thinking about composition and her style
- thinking about how you look, how you posing looks
- carefully observes the mood of every person involved and reacts to any change very quickly
- really getting to know you by constantly talking to you, making jokes, asking questions, creating a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere
And she is doing all these things at the same time!
In order to master this kind of work you need lots of time and many many sessions to practice.
When I couch photographers who are just starting I always say they should start with long sessions, because they will forget things, they will make many mistakes and they need to take thousands of photographs to have this really decent 20 images in the final gallery.
Some new photographers have a very charming personality and will make their clients feel very comfortable, but they will completely concentrate on communication and forget all artistic and technical things.
Some new photographers arevery good with the camera and can create a beautiful composition, but they forget to interact with their clients and there is no great mood in their portraits.
When you are just starting as a photographer you need lots of time to take care of everything and not let your clients down.
So mini sessions are definitely not for beginners!
(C) COME AS YOU ARE
Do not change things just before the session!
If you put a hat and sunglasses on your child when leaving your house, because it is a hot sunny day be prepared that she will firmly refuse to take them off for the session.
And it is not because she wants to drive you crazy. It is because she is already VERY stressed and any additional change is just unbearable for her at the moment!
So please for a mini session leave the house exactly like you will be during the session.
So please DO NOT
- change clothes
- make a fancy pony-tails
- remove hats/glasses (anything!)
- take toys away, etc.
just before the session!
*(but changing diapers might be inevitable!)
Before the session your photographer will give you many tips about what to wear, what to prepare, what to take with you etc.
So please just trust your photographer, make yourself ready to go and go!
(D) EAT BEFORE THE SESSION
Such a simple but an EXTREMELY important rule!
Please do not make any „we will have lunch after session“ plans!
You can have an ice-cream and a glass of wine after a session, but you should absolutely EAT BEFORE your session.
Even if this ruins everything you believe in!
(E) GET ADVANTURES
The key to success is a piece of mind.
Consider this photo session to be a small family adventure – because this is exactly what it is!
This will take just a little bit of your time and will not cost you a fortune.
Usually the fee for a mini session is around 100 euro and includes at least one product (usually a print).
You would spend something very similar if you would be eating out with your family – which is also a small family adventure.
So why get too worried?
Your photographer will tell you what to wear, what to do and she will deal with any mood swings.
The only thing you have to do is to come and to hug/tickle/chase the people you love.
And even if you do not want to invest more after the session you will have a great something (print, file, collage) and the memories of a little family adventure.
Thank you for reading!
If you would like to improve your photography and start documenting your family in relaxed and creative way, please feel free to join my facebook group for parents – Capture and Connect.
Please send a request