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How to Have Fun and Successful Family Shoots

Tips on how to have shoots that are not only successful, but very enjoyable
Free Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets by MCP™

How to Have Fun and Successful Family Shoots

The key to having successful family photoshoots is comfortability, creativity, and a plethora of patience. This might sound like a long list of intimidating demands, but it’s far from problematic if you look at it from the understanding photographers’ point of view. Family shoots can be exceedingly fun and uplifting if both you and your clients have communicated well beforehand and if – creativity-wise – you’re on the same level.

However, success can’t always be found in openness and communication. When several factors are combined, success naturally emerges and provides everyone with incredible photographs, a relaxed experience, and pleasant memories worth reminiscing about for years to come. Here are tips on how to have shoots that are not only successful, but very enjoyable.

Family beach photograph

Plan a Meeting Beforehand

Befriending your clients before a shoot will encourage them to feel comfortable in your presence. Don’t be afraid to get to know them; even if they don’t end up becoming your close friends, you can still have a great time together. Let them know why you love your craft and what ideas you have in mind for the shoot. As I mentioned in my article about comfortable client shoots, being open to feedback from individuals who aren’t photographers will strengthen your reputation as a patient listener and trustworthy collaborator.

In addition to talking about your life and interests, it’s important to mention a few photo-related tips and ideas so that nobody feels left out or confused. Here are a few things you can discuss with your clients:

  • What they’ll wear – if you have any specific preferences in mind, let them know immediately. It’s also important to value comfort, as the less stressed your clients are during a shoot, the more natural and graceful your photographs will be.
  • The location – sharing photos of the location and giving them a clearer idea of what you have in mind will help immensely. Instead of feeling nervous about the shoot, your clients will know what to expect.
  • Mood boards – these are extremely useful when it comes to giving anyone an idea of your general creative vision. Like discussing the location and the clients’ outfits, a mood board will give everyone a boost of motivation and confidence.

photograph of child with rabbit

Be Spontaneous

While it’s true that having a clear plan will increase your clients’ confidence in you, leaving room for spontaneity will help you take natural-looking photographs. Instead of continuously posing your subjects, let them interact and have fun together. Allow their relationships to naturally emerge as they communicate. Invent a game for the children so that they can get lost in the joys of childhood. Let their personalities thrive. The photographs you take while everyone interacts and laughs will be your best.

spontaneous photo of kid

Capture Those Details!

Some details, though highly precious, are easy to forget. As a family photographer, you can capture those moments for your clients, moments that they’ll cherish forever. As your subjects interact, pose, and talk, find a few details that catch your eye. They can be as tiny as a bracelet, or as obvious as one of the children’s hairstyles. Documenting these moments will allow you to freeze time, treasure things that others overlook, and provide your subjects with tiny joys that will serve as great sources of happiness in the future.

Details look particularly eye-catching when combined with wider shots. Diptychs like the image below are a great example of this. Two-photo collages tell a deeper story, encourage the viewer to think, and create a visually appealing combination of photographs. Your clients will love having these in their family album.

 action from MCP's Inspire set
This diptych was edited using the Wistful: Lilac action from MCP’s Inspire set.

Having stressless and inspiring client shoots is more than possible. All you need is patience, openness to spontaneity, and authenticity. Let your personality shine as you take photographs. After all, you’re doing what you love, and what you love deserves to be cherished, appreciated, and treasured forever.

Happy shooting!

mother and child photograph

photograph of sisters

brother and sister photo

photo of a baby

Free Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets by MCP™
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How to Have Fun and Successful Family Shoots