Family photography offers a wonderful opportunity to break out of the daily routine and enjoy being a family!
Here I have provided a short rundown of one of my family sessions, how I approach them and what equipment I use, you will notice that over the initial steps I focus on education, ensuring everyone is educated about the session and what to expect always yields greater results.
Step One: My family photography sessions usually start with an initial consultation where I get to learn more about your family and your requirements, upon booking I will send you a small questionnaire which enables me to understand your whole families names, ages, who’s mum, who’s dad and who’s the eldest and youngest child for example.
If I haven’t already spoken to you on the telephone we would follow up the initial booking with a quick introductory telephone call to confirm your details from the questionnaire and give you a chance to talk to me in person about the photography session.
Step 1: Assuming we have decided on a day, time and location to shoot I would follow up our initial call with a second call a few days before the actual shoot, at this stage we can iron out any thoughts or clothings issues etc you might be facing, what to wear does take a little planning, see my post on what to wear for more details.
Step 2: The Shoot. On our session day I would once again contact you to make sure everything is going to plan as experience tells me that timings never work out as planned but we get quite close. Unless I have worked with you before this will probably be the first time we meet in person and talk face-to-face.
I like to give my families an experience not just a photoshoot and that’s one of the main reason I love location photography, spending time outdoors is a great way to see the green spaces we live in as it’s easy to forget about them when we are chained to a computer screen.
I tend to start my sessions just talking and walking to our first location spot as this helps everyone start to relax before I pull out the camera, the kids get to play on the way and I get to quickly learn the dynamic of your family. Once we get to the first spot I will ask you to just be yourselves as I start taking general “test” pictures, I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable and rigid during the shoot as I know being in front of the camera for the first time can be overwhelming, so I keep things relaxed and fun, this also makes sure I capture real candid shots of you all.
I would normally have three or even four different locations and shots in my head for the session and I find that as we move through different locations you get to enjoy the changing scenery without even realising I have taken so many shots, from wide open spaces to intimate tree lined pathways my sessions are designed to provide variety in the final images. Depending on your families abilities you may have standing, walking, running, playing, mum and dad kissing and all sorts of shots to choose from.
Equipment: For my family photography sessions I usually shoot in natural light at around sunset to capture the best quality of light, I may at times use off camera flash but as the sessions are short and fast I like to keep the equipment down to a minimum, this also makes sure we get the shots as they happen. My camera of choice is a Nikon D850 and I carry two Nikon lenses at all times, a 24-70mm and a 70-200mm, these lenses are usually all I need to get a variety of shots but at times I also use a wide aperture 50mm f1.8 which is connected to my spare camera which is a Nikon D750.
Step 3: After the photoshoot I would spend quite a few hours culling and editing your images, they would usually be ready to view and uploaded within about three weeks depending on the season.
Step 4: Once I have uploaded all the final edited images to your personal gallery you will receive an email with a link to the gallery and a passcode to access the files, from here you can start to choose your favourite images.
Step 5: I usually give you a few days to a week to view the gallery online and then follow up with a second questionnaire that is for my marketing and research, feedback is very important to me as it helps me design my shoots around what my families like and dislike making it a great experience for everyone.
Step 6: Once I have your feedback and you have had a chance to view all the images I sometimes blog about the session and post this on my social media websites, only if you are happy for me to do so of course!
It’s extremely important to me that your family has had a great time during the photoshoot and that you enjoy sharing your finished photographs.
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