Dress for the Occasion
This is just my opinion, as I know many families like to wear the same outfit for their portraits. But in my experience, photos look better when everyone blends well, but not too much. To be honest, when I see a photo with the entire family wearing denim shirts, all I see is a sea of denim shirts – not the people.
It’s okay if one family member has a simple stripe or a basic design, but too many intricate patterns detracts from faces. If in doubt of what to wear, keep it simple with a solid-colored shirt.
I ask that all who will be included in the photo shoot wear clothing free from logos and writing. This gives a more “professional portrait” feel, thus giving you better results in the end.
Let Kids Be Kids
I’ve found that often parents will tell their kids “you need to be good and smile” before a photo session. For many kids that puts too much pressure on them to “perform”. I usually prepare my parents by getting them to tell their kids this instead:
“We’re doing to the park to take some photos. It will be a lot of fun.”
That’s it! No expectations other than fun. Then prepare yourself. Bring along their favorite toys or books. I usually have a hand puppet and bubbles in my camera bag along with my gear. If the kids don’t want to sit and smile don’t force them. Then them run around and be kids for a while and shoot that. Play with them, make it fun. Then they may cooperate and sit for a bit a few minutes later.
When I’m photographing kids I make a total idiot of myself. I make funny noises, I sing songs (I’m really bad but they don’t care), I make fish faces, I play peek-a-boo behind the camera. I run back and forth to the camera with the puppet. I lie on the ground, I stick my butt out. Kids have the best outlook on life and having fun, and sometimes, it’s us adults that ruin it. Let them be kids, let them have fun. Then I will be ready to capture the moment when it happens.
Looking Your Best for the Camera
Keep good posture and hold yourself confidently and high. You’ll look much taller and thinner if you keep your back straight and your shoulders back.
If it bends, BEND IT! Straight arms and legs look stiff and unflattering. Hold your arms slightly away from your body, with a soft bend in your elbows. This creates space, making your arms and waistline appear thinner and more hourglass shaped. Bend the knee closest to the camera, putting your weight on the back leg and pushing your hip away. Objects that are closer to the camera look bigger than they actually are, so pushing your hip away gives you a more flattering look.
Adjust the angle of your face. The angle of your face is tied to the direction you are looking at the camera. Just as how you shouldn’t look at the camera straight on, you also should not tilt your head up when taking photos. This will make your face appear larger than it truly is and get a good shot up the inside of your nose. Tilt your head slightly down and to the side for the most photogenic of looks.
For All Sessions
Remaining calm, cool, and collected will ensure everyone’s happiness during our session. So come ready to have fun and get some beautiful portraits taken all at the same time! I can’t wait to capture your smile.