September 25, 2015

How To: Take Family Photos

When it comes to family photos, everyone wants to have them but no one wants to put the work into them. Recently we got our brood ready and ventured out for a photo shoot. Here is what I learned.

1. Wear Coordinating Clothes
Since photos are all about the aesthetics, make sure they look cohesive. It is not about one person therefore nothing should be standing out. Do not wear the same colors because you will blend in but have styles and colors that complement each other. Think about the background you are going to have and how you want the photos to look. Is it a formal shoot or do you want the photos to have a relaxed feeling? If you do not think it through, you will be wasting your time and money, and won't like the results. 

2. Know What You Want
Look through Pinterest for ideas, research poses and settings, because not all photographers are alike. The photographer should be prepared and know about family set up but they may have different things in mind. Unfortunately, not all photographers know how to put families together in a creative way and you will be disappointed when you receive the photos. Find the type of photographer who will be able to carry out the service the way you like so ask how they do their photo shoots. Gather reviews from other people who have been photographed and ask for sample work.

3. Make Your Expectations Known
Before you agree/sign a contract, make sure you tell the photographer what you want. If you want more family, artistic photos or individual portraits. You will be disappointed that there are not enough group photos if that's what you were looking for. Also, tell them how much editing you want to be done (ex:.high contrast or soft neutrals) and what you want edited out. Photographers should edit obvious things (feet in the background) and do most of the work without saying. As a customer you should be relaxed and it is the job of a photographer to tell you if you hair is in the way, or hands are in the wrong position, or your smile looks too strained. Lastly, ask about their customer satisfaction policy.

4. Pay After Seeing the Final Product
As a customer who's paying for a service, you have the right to inspect the final product before paying. If you are not satisfied with the photos, make your concerns known. If you are disappointed be ready to justify why (ex. the quality of photos is bad, things are not edited out). Customer service should be part of the business and your satisfaction is what every photographer has to be to looking for. Whatever the reason, if you don't like the end result, it's your right as a customer to voice it.

5. Be Prepared (for anything)
Although you should expect the photographer to be prepared (ex. a blanket for children to sit on), think things through. Bring extra change of clothes, especially for children and think about secondary location (or talk about a re-do) in case it rains. Also, if you end up not liking the photos be prepared to dispute the fact and bargain for lower price. That may cause some problems between you and the photography service but don't hesitate to voice your concerns. After all, you are the one who's paying and therefore 100% in the right.

Thank you for reading!


  1. I agree with everything except a few things. I'm a photographer so I just wanted to put a few things from my view. You mentioned that we should edit out obvious things, like a foot in the background. When someone asks me to edit out something like that, or make an arm thinner or get rid of something completely, I charge extra. I usually charge about 50$ extra for this because to make it look like nothing was edited out is really hard and usually takes about 30 minutes to make it look as natural as possible. So assuming that that comes with the package is completely untrue. Also, seeing the product before you pay is just not possible. As a client, it is your job to look through a portfolio of a photographer before you hire them. When your photos are done, and it took hours to take them, and then saying that you don't like them so you aren't paying for the product is ridiculous. We take our time, scout the location, took the photos, edit them and put them on a cd for our clients. This takes up to 5-7 hours. Our time is not free! Just my two cents on that. But yes I usually ask my clients if I need to bring anything, like a blanket. And the view that you are always in the right because you are paying is ridiculous! I had a client who once didn't pay my extra editing fee and then expected me to get rid of a black eye from every photo! Free of charge. They were not right. I gave them their money back and we parted our ways. But knowing what you want is definitely important. But knowing what the photographer does is important as well. If you want some natural shots and the photographer does high fashion shoots, that's not going to work. But other then these, I agree with you! I love doing family shoots. I love this picture! Your family is beautiful!

  2. Gorgeous family photo and great tips :)


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