It is this time of year that you can find the parks and secret spots around town filled with photographers chasing around families trying to capture that one special photo for the holiday card. PVMOM is fortunate to have a wonderful photographer who has captured memories of so many of our very own families. We asked her to share a few tips that to help make family photos a little less stressful and a lot more fun!
Of course we had to share some of the beauties from the mini session fundraiser she did for us! Thank you Sara Waterman for not only these photos but your generous donation to PVMOM.
Think coordinating not matchy matchy (except the kids, kids can always match especially multiples). What does your dream family photos look like? Is it elegant? Then think cream colors, tans and browns or black and white, flowing light fabric can look gorgeous in a little wind. Do you want a modern and fun feel, then choose coordinating colors, I love yellow and blues, deep purple and yellows, jewel tones then add a pop of accent color, add a scarf, headband, boot socks for a bit of fun. Keep in mind darker color clothing will frame your face better (the eye travels to the brightest part of the picture) so typically that should be faces. Please remember that it is important for no one member of your family to draw attention away from the group with a bold outfit that stands out. Layer it up! I love jackets they really polish the look for a man, a cardigan can be slimming for a women and also makes it easy to take it off for a quick change of look.
Cheese is for nachos:
Mom, dad…. leave the “say cheese” at home. If your having your pictures done by a photographer don’t stand behind the photographer and hollar “smile, say cheese”. Demanding kiddos to look at the camera and smile will cause anxiety, rebellion and will most likely result in that fake smile you can feel a mile away. A photographer will interact with your kiddos to produce those beautiful natural smiles, if your doing it on your own I find that for 3-6 year olds talking about farts and dad’s stinky feet, which usually does the trick. For the itty bitties, I use a feather duster… works like a charm! Try picking up your kids and tossing them in the air, give your kids kisses, go in for a family tickle… all ways to create genuine moments of family bliss. Bonus tip: For posing your kiddos, try a fun game of simon says!
Time your session:
Leave ample time to prepare for your photoshoot, when mom shows up to the session rushed and frazzled it sets the tone for the session. Eat before your session and have snacks on hand. Kids and adults get cranky when hungry and become unwilling participants when their bellies are rumbling. Try not to plan your shoot during nap time or “cranky” hour. A good photographer can shoot anytime of day, and happy kids trump perfect lighting any day of the week!
Where will you be displaying your images? Think of the colors of your home. Will graffiti walls background look odd in your Mediterranean styled home? What are you going to wear? You don’t want to be wearing high heels and pearls on by a rustic fence in the middle of the Sonoran desert. Where do you feel comfortable? You want your images to show your family and the joy you have together. Think of a location that helps you feel comfortable, relaxed and where you can be yourselves.
If your doing them yourself even if you have the most scenic, beautiful location on earth, if that location does not offer good natural lighting, then your photos will probably turn out poorly. You need to consider the lighting conditions at your location before you commit to it. Your best light for taking photographs outdoors typically occurs in the hour or so after sunrise and then again during the hour or so before sunset. Also if taking pictures of your kids, make sure their back are to the sun, you don’t want harsh shadow or squinty eye. Bonus tip: a covered porch where the family is under the porch and your camera is outside, will most always produce near perfect lighting - seriously try it.
PS - aren't our families beautiful!!!!?
All photos were used with permission and taken by Sara Waterman Photography.
Visit her Facebook page to learn more and see her gallery.
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