Want to know my trick for getting great family photos? It’s all about having a plan that includes backup, after backup, after backup, of activities. In today’s blog post, I will share with you photos from a recent Great Neck family portrait session and let you in on a little behind the scenes magic.
Meet Aldrin, Mike, and Sebi
Let me start by introducing you to Aldrin, Mike, and their adorable two-year old son, Sebi. I had the pleasure of photographing their fantastic wedding at the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers some years ago (check out the photos here). I love photo shoots where I get to see the completed family circle, so to speak.
Great Neck Family Portrait Session Details
My Great Neck family portrait session with Aldrin and Mike definitely did not disappoint. Sebi is a delightful little kid and full of energy. The original plan was to head out to Steppingstone Park. This is a precious waterfront park that has a good playground. Unfortunately, while the sun was bright and shining, the wind was howling furiously making everyone – especially Sebi – chilled to the bone. We spent some time at the playground, but after a bit Sebi had enough of the cold and wanted to head back home. Luckily, Aldrin and Mike had a great standby plan to use the open patio in their apartment complex as a photo backdrop. Problem solved!
Family Portrait Tip #1: Have a Plan
So here are some quick tips for anyone planning a family portrait session. Have a strategy in mind for what photos you want to take. Thinking you are just going to ‘wing it’ in front of the camera will always disappoint. Have some activities planned so that everyone will have a fun experience, and then mix up your shots so that you are looking into the camera as well as playing together as a family.
Family Portrait Tip #2: Schedule Lots of Activities
Always plan two or three activities for each photo shoot, especially if there are young children involved. For Aldrin and Mike’s family portrait session, the park offered a multitude of activities, including running and jumping with Sebi, and of course, the playground. For most families, I recommend not hitting the playground until the very end of a session simply because your children will only be interested in playtime rather than portrait time. For the patio part of Aldrin and Mike’s family portrait session, these dads were again ready with books and toys to entertain little Sebi. For your own session, you could play games together – be it a sport or board game – or do an art project or cook together. In general, anything you like doing together as a family will look good on camera (except, of course, staring at your respective cell phones).
Family Portrait Tip #3: Coordinate Outfits
It goes without saying that Aldrin, Mike, and Sebi are a stylish clan. These three are wearing coordinating colors and textures (note Aldrin’s velvet jacket). The 90s are over, and having every family member dressed in a white shirt and jeans looks dated. Rather, you should show off your individual style in colors and textures that compliment one another without ever looking matchy-matchy. (For an in-depth article on family portrait clothing tips, check out my article here.)
Family Portrait Tip #4: Know When to Quit
Finally, know when to throw in the towel. Kids (and many adults) have a limited attention span in front of the camera. Prioritize what photos you want, and keep the list of mandatory photos short. Get yourself some good photos, and then continue having fun as a family. Remember this is not your last family portrait session and that there will more camera time down the road.
Enjoy the photos, and I’ll have more memories of more pre-Coronavirus photo sessions next week.
Eventually this will all be over and we will want to take photos again (right???). Drop me a line if you would like to chat about scheduling your own Great Neck family portrait session sometime in the future.
If you would like to see more images from my family portrait portfolio, then please visit my website – KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com