At Elevate, we’ve discovered that the best photos happen when families are being authentic. Whether families are participating in an activity they enjoy or sharing quality time together, great photos happen. Here are some other tips for getting great photos at your next family session:
Get your whole family excited for the photo shoot by brainstorming ideas for the shoot and setting expectations. Kids come up with great ideas – maybe they want to bring bubbles or make a heart out of cars. Also, consider giving them something to look forward to at our after the shoot – ice cream, anyone?
Although we are happy to do a shoot in any condition, kids have a low tolerance for cold, wind and heat. Winter shoots can be magical but make sure kids are dressed appropriately. Same goes for summer. Be willing to reschedule the shoot or change locations so that you get the best photos possible.
You’ll want time to clean faces, wrangle messy hair and pack snacks. Also, you don’t want to be rushing through the shoot to get to practice. Stress shows in photos so make sure you give yourself ample time for your photo shoot.
Choose a time when everyone is at their best
Make sure younger kids are rested and fed before your shoot. A photo session can be derailed by a tired two-year old. Pick a time when mom and dad are at their best too!
As far as clothes go, the most important thing is for everyone to feel comfortable. Nothing can ruin the mojo of a shoot quicker than a toddler refusing to wear the adorable hat and tie mom picked out or a dad who is obviously uncomfortable in a newly purchased shirt.
You should coordinate but you don’t have to match
The days of jeans and matching white button down shirts are over. Uniformity doesn’t allow your personalities to shine through. Instead, choose a style – dressy, urban, springy and a color palette – red, gray, black, navy blue and build from there.
Use accessories to add visual interest
Accessories will make your photos more interesting as well as pull your theme together. Turquoise jewelry can really bring a white dress to life the same way a colorful bow-tie makes an average button-up sing. Shoes are also a great accessory and add a ton of personality to photos.
Find inspiration online
You’ll find no shortage of family wardrobe ideas on the internet…but don’t get overwhelmed! Set a limit to how long you’ll allow yourself to browse and stick to it. Elevate has their own Pinterest page with family wardrobe ideas to make the process easier.
Your wardrobe should match the location of your shoot
You want your wardrobe to mimic the location you’ve picked. Flat-billed hats and Converse look great in an urban setting whereas lace dresses and plaid button downs look great in a park or field. Also, consider the season when planning photos. Seasonally themed photos really tell a story and work well for holidays.
Avoid busy patterns, logos, graphics and obvious trends
Don’t be afraid of patterns but do be careful about being too wild or obvious. Plaids, florals, and quiet stripes, for example, can all look really awesome! Avoid characters, logos or messages. Logos also tend to date photos (remember the giant GAP sweatshirts from the 90′s?!). A popular exception to this is wearing sports jerseys from your favorite team.
For the ladies: make-up
Make-up is an easy way to highlight your best features. Even if you don’t normally wear make-up, we recommend that you use a small amount of mascara and lip gloss. Your features translate differently in a photo than they do in the mirror. Even if you think it looks like you are wearing a lot of makeup in person, in a photo it will usually just look like the normal you.