The 5 things you need to know before a family studio photography session
Wondering what you should expect during a family studio photography session? After years of photographing families of all shapes and sizes, there are so many things I could tell you about. But to keep it simple (and easy to read!) I have decided to narrow it down to the top five questions I get asked about family studio photography.
1. What’s the difference between a location family photography session and a studio family photography session?
This is probably one of my most asked questions. Essentially, location based photo shoots take place out and about in the world, usually outdoors, and are very relaxed and action based, capturing your family moving and interacting. Studio family photography sessions take place – you guessed it – inside my studio! I still like to keep my studio sessions relaxed. But because of the nature of a studio set up, there is a bit more posing and control in the images we capture. This means just one or two specific background changes. Whereas when you’re photographing outdoors, the set up and background can change massively from each angle.
Another big difference between these two session types is the role that the weather plays. Especially living in Wellington, where the weather can change in an instant. Choosing a family studio session means you’re not worried about the weather, so you can lock in a date and time without needing to consult the weather forecast. With a location shoot, you need to be a little more flexible. Be prepared that the weather might not be the bright blue skies you had in mind. I can still capture dreamy images of your family in less-than-perfect weather, but sometimes, when it’s truly blowing a gale and the rain is coming in sideways, it’s much more comfortable to reschedule.
2. How much time should you allow for a Family Studio photography session?
My family studio photography sessions usually take around 60 minutes, though that can depend on your family. If you have a large extended family group coming in, it can take a wee while longer to get through everyone. On the other hand, if you’re a small family with young children, I like to keep the sessions as short as possible, as the little ones can run out of steam quickly (and this shows in the photos!).
So an hour is more of a guideline, and if we call the end of the shoot after 45 minutes it’s because I’m happy with the content we’ve captured and I don’t want to wear out you and your family! I’ll always let you know how long you should expect the session to take beforehand too. It’s super important to arrive on time. I can often have back to back sessions booked. So if you’re 15 minutes late it can sometimes mean that’s 15 minutes less time photographing you and your family.
3. What should I wear to a family studio photo shoot?
Clothing choice plays an important part in making your photos feel cohesive. So it’s worth spending some time thinking and selecting outfits for you and your family. Ideally, aim for outfits from the same colour family – but without being too matchy-matchy. Plain, neutral colours are best, and try to avoid busy patterns or screen printing. One of the perks of choosing a studio shoot is there’s always somewhere comfortable to change, so don’t be afraid to bring more than one outfit along!
4.Book in a time that works for you
I want to make sure your shoot is as relaxed and enjoyable as it can be! Booking for a time that suits you and your family’s schedules is key. If you’re feeling rushed, it really does show in the photos. So try to book in a time with a good buffer of free time before and after so you’re not dashing out the door or looking at your watch throughout the shoot. It’s also important to work with your children’s routines. If they’re morning people, book in a morning shoot, rather than dragging them along when they’re feeling knackered in the afternoon.
A family photoshoot is an investment, and it usually only happens every few years or so – so do it right! If you wake up feeling unwell, give me a call and reschedule. I’d much rather rebook you in on another date than drag someone along to a photoshoot feeling less than 100%. It’s also important to be mindful, with everything going on in the world at the moment – so if you’re sick, stay home.
5. Think about what you want from your shoot beforehand
The family studio photography session is only part of the entire portrait making process! Before you come to your session, have a good think about what you’re wanting out of it and let your photographer know. Are you wanting one big hero image of the whole family that you can put pride of place on your living room wall? Or are you wanting a collection of smaller images to arrange in your stairway? Or perhaps you’re wanting to capture a wide variety of images that tell your family’s story, to put in an album? Have a think, jot down some ideas and let me know. That way I can plan your shoot to focus on capturing the images you want the most.