Having professional family portraits taken is an investment and a special event. We understand that and that’s why preparing for your photography session properly is super-important. Making sure that everyone is happy and relaxed allows the unique personalities of your family to shine through so that your portraits capture the magic between you.
In this blog post, we’ll help you prep for your photo shoot, from getting ready in the morning; our best family portrait clothing ideas to getting the little ones to cooperate. This way, you’ll end up with pictures you’ll be proud to display in your home for years to come and that your kids can one day proudly show off to their own families…
When it comes to choosing the right family photographer for you, the key is finding someone whose style you love. From timeless studio photography to candid and realistic documentary style, there’s something out there for everyone. Look for a photographer with a consistent, professional portfolio and who’s happy to work with you every step of the way, answering any questions you have and who you feel comfortable around.
Before heading to the studio, make sure everyone is well-rested and fed to avoid crankiness (this goes for adult members as well as the littles!)
If you’re getting a haircut or any beauty treatments before your shoot, it’s best to do those at least a few days before your scheduled portrait session to make sure you’ve got to grips with styling the new cut and that your skin isn’t blotchy from a facial.
If you choose to wear makeup, it’s often best to go with a pretty natural look. The camera will enhance the contrasts on your face, so avoid anything too heavy. And if you’re not used to it now is not the time to go experimental with makeup as you want to feel and look like you. Remember that small blemishes can be easily edited out with Photoshop, so don’t stress too much if you have a rogue pimple or two, or the kids have a bruise from the latest playground fall.
Make sure you arrive at the studio on time or even a little bit early so that no one feels rushed since this doesn’t lend itself well to natural, relaxed photos. To make sure you’re not in a rush, give yourselves some extra prep time before heading out.
When it comes to choosing clothes for your photography session, there are no hard and fast rules. That being said, going for outfits that complement each other is a great way to present yourself as a family unit. The word “complement” rather than “match” can be really helpful as it can can result in more relaxed, less posed photography (and you don’t have to rush out and buy the same clothes for everyone)
Rather than busting a gut to match everyone, go for similar or complementing colours and shapes that look natural together. It’s also best to avoid flashy new trends and opt for more timeless clothes. If you’re getting new outfits, make sure they fit comfortably so that everyone can look natural in the photos. Make sure clothes sit well and that they’re ironed – any creases you can see in person will look even more pronounced in pictures.
Another top tip, if you are buying new outfits, is to get them from the same shop. Not only will it make shopping easier, but many of the high street brands will already have created complementary pallets so why not take advantage of that.
Opting for solid colours can work well, as busy patterns can be over-dominant, while logos tend to get dated quickly and can be distracting. After all, family pictures are an investment and you probably want to proudly show them off for years to come. Remember that you’ll want to look your best, but still like yourself, so choose your outfit accordingly.
With young kids, the key to a good family photo session is getting them excited for it. Tell them how much fun it’ll be and that they can run around and play rather than pose rigidly in place. Warning them about what will happen if they don’t behave will only make them dread the experience the way they might a trip to get their jabs.
Kids usually prefer knowing what lies ahead, so best not to surprise them with the studio visit as you’ll want to avoid any tantrums when you arrive at the studio. Tell them about the photography session well in advance and remember that an excited, enthusiastic attitude is often contagious!
It’s important kids feel relaxed and not under pressure to perform when they’re in the studio. Being able to be a little silly means their real personalities shine through in the resulting shots and they’ll be something you’ll all love to look back on in the future. And whatever you do don’t utter that dreaded word ‘smile’ (a word most photographers will avoid lest they’re after the Chandler Bing look 😬)
Packing some yummy snacks and drinks is also a good idea. Favourite treats also make for excellent bribes and rewards to get them to stay in zone for just a wee bit longer. Avoid anything messy like chocolate that could end up down their shirts or smudged all over their little faces. For adults, we’re always happy to provide copious amounts of tea and coffee to help chill it all down.
Finally, planning something fun for after the shoot, like a trip to the cinema or to get some ice cream gives the kids something fun to look forward to the entire day so that they don’t look at the photo session as an annoying chore or something to be nervous about. In fact it becomes part of the perfect family day out.
If you’re looking for the perfect studio for your family photo shoot in Edinburgh, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to find out if we’re the right fit. Our cosy studio in Morningside offers a warm and intimate photography experience, yet it can handle even the biggest of families. We love capturing real families with beautiful, classic photography. You can find out more about our family photo shoots here.
Alternatively, if you’d like some more information on choosing the right photographer for your family portraits, you can read our comprehensive guide on this subject.