Booking a family photo shoot is not something you do everyday, and it's only natural to have some concerns about it. From whether you'll like the photos, to the cost of buying products afterwards there is a lot to consider. In today's post I'm talking about the five most common concerns my clients have about booking a shoot, and the advice I share with them.
1. I don't like those over-posed studio style photos
This is something that comes up a lot when I ask my clients what they are hoping for from their session. I get it completely - I know I would feel awkward in those cheesy poses too, and if it were my family being photographed, I'd much prefer that the photos are natural and capture our personalities.
If you share this concern then having a 'lifestyle photo shoot', where your family is photographed at home, or outdoors is a good solution. You'll naturally feel more relaxed in those surroundings, and lifestyle photography by it's very nature doesn't involve awkward posing. Yes, your photographer will guide you into flattering positions, and position you for the best light, but there should be little cheese and awkwardness involved!
You can find my guide to choosing the right family photographer here.
2. My children won't behave
This tends to be a concern that crops up on the day of the session for most parents, but there are a few who worry about it beforehand too. If this is a concern for you my top piece of advice is to work with a photographer who specialises in family photography, rather than one who mostly shoots weddings or commercial work and does the odd family shoot here and there. If your photographer makes a living from photographing families the chances are they will be well versed in making sure your children have fun and are kept entertained. And if your child doesn't behave, they'll also be well versed in managing it and keeping the session going.
My other piece of advice is to let the photographer know about your concerns upfront. I find it so useful when a client has told me about their concerns ahead of time, as I can make sure I'm prepared to manage it. Recently a client told me that her teenage daughter was likely to pull funny faces during the session - not because she was difficult but because she feels awkward being photographed. This was so helpful, as I was able to recognise it right at the start of the session and spend extra time with her to coax some natural smiles out.
And if your child does lose the plot on the day? Don't sweat it - you certainly won't be the first family this has happened to, and you definitely won't be the last.
3. I don't like the way I look in photos
I can completely empathise with this concern. I'm not sure whether it was becoming a mum, or just getting older but somewhere during the last couple of years I stopped liking photos of myself. We are all our own worst critics, and so many mums I speak to have concerns about how they are going to appear in the photos.
There's one thing that really makes a difference though, and that's working with the right photographer. In the last 6 months I've had two professional photo shoots myself - one for new headshots, and the other for a family photo shoot. I LOVE the photos from both sessions. Working with a professional who knew how to make me feel comfortable, how to position me for the best angles and lighting, and has all the other skills required really does make a difference. So, I really recommend that you do your research before choosing a photographer and find someone you feel comfortable working with, and who you trust.
One last thing that encourages me to get in front of the camera with my family is that I want to be present in my family photos. When I look back at photographs from my childhood, I'm not thinking about my mum's weight or how many lines are on her face, I'm just glad to have photographs that I can look back at. And I'm sure it will be the same for our children - they won't care whether we have make up on, weigh more than we would like or have lines on our faces. They'll just be glad we are there.
You may also find my tips for looking good in photos helpful if you share this concern.
4. The Cost
I find that cost is a common concern for families when they are choosing whether to book a family photo shoot. With some photographers charging an 'all-inclusive' fee for the session and digital images, and others working on an a-la-carte basis pricing can be confusing. There's also a lot of difference in how much photographers charge.
If you're thinking of booking a family photo shoot but cost is a concern, you might find these two guides helpful:
5. I don't want to be pressurised into buying loads of photographs
We've all heard those stories from a friend who had a 'bargain' photoshoot, only to find out that when they went back to choose the images, the prices were exorbitant and they were coerced into spending much more than they expected. Luckily, photographers who operate on these kind of models are few and far between, but whoever you book your session with I do recommend that you find out all the costs involved up front, so you are well prepared for how much you're going to spend afterwards.
Every photographer has a different model for how they share images with clients, and how and when clients choose what to order from their session. Personally, I never want any of my clients to feel under pressure to make decisions so I provide them with an online gallery which they can view at home, and make decisions about what to order without me sitting in the room! That being said, sometimes clients need a little help to decide so I am always at the end of the phone if they decide they would like my input.
Find details of my prices here:
Over to you
I hope this post helps to alleviate any concerns you migjt have about getting in front of the camera. What other concerns do you have? I'd love to hear - let me know in the comments below.