Secrets to a Successful Family Photoshoot

Booking a family photoshoot is an exciting time, and once you've found the right photographer, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the prep was done and you can happily sit back and wait for your session to arrive. If you want some nice images of your family, then sure, this can be what happens. But if you want some WOW images of your family, photos that make you look twice, the ones where you can actually feel the love and excitement bubbling away when you look at them, then there are a few little known things you need to know about.

The key to a successful, relaxed and fun photoshoot, is down to the following secrets...

1. Style of photography

My style of photography is all about capturing love and connection between families. Unposed, authentic moments of your beautiful life. I don't want you to look at the camera and say cheese. I want you to forget I'm there. Immerse yourself in that very moment with your family and have fun.

Every session begins with me explaining how it all works, including asking clients not to look at me unless I prompt them to. Capturing love and connection won't happen unless you are looking at and connected to the ones you love.

2. Time of Day

Possibly the most important piece of advice is what time to have your session. In photography there is such a thing as good and bad light and it all depends on the intensity and direction of the sun - the light source for your photos. We want this light source to be soft and golden - better known as "Golden Hour". This is the very best light for most photography, especially portraiture, and falls an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset.

These times change throughout the year. In winter, this hour could start around 3pm, whereas in summer it's more like 9pm. Early morning sessions might fall at 4am in summer and 8am in winter. So consider the ages of your children when booking a golden hour photoshoot. If they cope well with the odd late night then summer would work great, but opt for spring or autumn if they'd prefer an earlier bedtime.

3. What to Wear

Perhaps the most overlooked element of your photoshoot is your outfits. It's so important in fact, I provide an exclusive magazine full of tips and advice to all my clients. As soon as a session is booked it's a good idea to start thinking about what you're going to wear, as the styling of your outfits can have a huge impact on the final image. And let's face it, who doesn't want the excuse to treat themselves to a new dress??

I always encourage Mums to wear long dresses or skirts because it provides so much fabric and movement when you're playing with your children.

To me, colour & tone are super important. Because of my editing style and because we're outdoors, warm, soft, earthy tones complement the colour of the landscape beautifully. Bright whites, solid blacks, pastels and brights, don't quite fit with the natural colours in nature.

Top tip: Choose your tone, and create a colour pallette of 3 or 4 colours. Mix in textures and small florals for an effortlessly beautiful look.

4. Location

The location of your session provides the backdrop for your photos, so it's got be picture perfect. But there are also a lot of technical elements for me as a photographer to consider. The main one being the light. I need some control over where the light is positioned and how I'm going to place it in your photos. I also need to consider the colours around us - will they complement my photography style or jar with it? Does it have a car park, far to walk, safe for the children, away from people?

Needless to say I've spent a lot of time finding and testing the perfect locations for my sessions. I'm always happy to look at client suggestions for locations, but if I feel it won't work I will always guide my clients towards the best option for them.

5. (Not) Preparing the Children

Once you're family photoshoot finally arrives you'll hopefully be feeling prepared and styled. A lot of clients worry about their children misbehaving during a session. Honestly, it really doesn't matter and putting extra pressure with a chat beforehand tends to have the opposite effect.

Entice the children with the idea of going for a fun walk or a little adventure. This is a fairly accurate description of what a family session is, except I'll be there giving guidance to get the best from the light and location.

Following these tips can make a huge difference to your final images. I love to take the very best, most beautiful photos for my families, and try to make it as easy as possible for them. Once they've booked their session, every client receives my exclusive magazine-style guides, full of expert-advice on styling, preparing and what to expect from your session. Plus, I make myself available to them via phone, email and Whatsapp to answer any questions they may have.

If you're interested in booking a family session, I'd love to hear from you.


t:07879 840 847