Baby was going to be getting cold. I mean, it was a November late afternoon in Langley – chilly just can’t be helped. We had agreed on a photo shoot wedged into a harried schedule and cold weather and the timer was ticking. In near-record time, we tackled family photos the fast and easy way. And the photos will speak for themselves: no memory-making joy was ignored in the process.
Encapsulated in these moments are the pride in parenthood, the joy in newborn giggles, the goofy love that overwhelms. Phil and Hilary stood in awe of their very own son. Their son spent half his time taking in the wide wide world waiting to be explored and the other half giggling at his parents, his first loves.
A family session doesn’t require pomp and circumstance, it doesn’t require orchestrated production and intense planning. Creating family memories isn’t about doing everything “just right” and – gracious! – it definitely doesn’t require being a family opposite you’re normal realities.
The key to fast and easy family photos is to embrace the normal, celebrate the typical, and be in the real. If you normally change from one high society outfit to another in one afternoon, then have multiple outfit changes. If you always have carefully designed tea parties in the meadow, then style a session and bring along props. If you love trotting from park to park, then pick multiple locations.
But if you’re family enjoys the beauty of simply being and the cherished moments of being together, then don’t add the stress and the strain of being something you’re not.
Phil and Hilary stood in three spots in this Langley park, all within twenty feet of the location before. They didn’t change outfits. They didn’t bring props (unless you count their fabulous son :-P). They’re real, they’re happy, and they’re together. And these are some of my favorite family photos to date.
The Key to Stress-Free Family Photos
- choose one location that suits your family’s personality and needs. if you have young children, find a playground to expend extra energy and mitigate the strain of that dreaded “family photo day”. if you as a family have a special hobby, plan your shoot around it.
- limit the “production: only do the outfit changes, props, locations if that is what you really want and don’t do it if it’s what you think you should want.
- let your photographer know ahead of time if you have specific requests for your photographs, but then trust the professional to guide the shoot
- do not stress if your children bicker or the toddler has a meltdown or the preteen refuses to smile. first, this is why you hired a professional (who has had years of experience creating fabulousness out of challenging situations!) but, second, this is real life and usually the real is more powerful than the perfect.