As one of our go-to photographers for many of our shoots, photographer extraordinaire, Jenna Louise Potter of Lucky Fish Photography shares her top tips on how to take a great family photo.
I started my Lifestyle Photography business five years ago, and since then, I have photographed over 500 families all over the world. It’s always a good time to update your family portraits (they also make fabulous gifts for grandparents!) I have definitely learnt some valuable lessons over the years and I hope that these tips will help you achieve the type of photographs you are hoping to achieve.
Build up excitement about the session a few days in advance so your kids have something to look forward to. Plan the session at a time that they are generally happy and in a good mood, and make sure they are well fed. I’m all for bribery and the promise of an ice-cream at the end often ensures the kids are excited and ready for fun!
Gone are the days of white and khaki matching outfits! Instead, choose a few colours and select clothes that fit within this colour scheme. I like it when families mix patterns with plain colours and choose tones that complement and coordinate, rather than match outright! Your clothing should be an expression of who you are. Wear what you feel your best in and don’t be afraid to accessorise.
Choosing the right location is key! If you have a newborn baby, the best location will probably be the comfort of your own home. This will allow the new parents to feel comfortable and will ensure that changing, feeding etc. are all done with ease.
However, if you have toddlers or older kids, being outdoors can be wonderful and such fun for everyone. The beach, a beautiful park and even the streets are perfect locations! Hong Kong has some of the most incredible backdrops and I love taking my clients on the Star Ferry, through side alleys and outdoor markets. This is also great fun for the kids as there is so much to see and engage in. Engaged kids are happy kids, and happy kids = natural, authentic smiles!
Remember: Not everyone has to be looking at the camera at the same time. My favourite images are the ones where families are interacting and engaging with one another. These are the images that will be cherished the most because you can really feel the family connection and expressions will be beautifully authentic.
I know for many families, the idea of a family photoshoot can be stressful but take the pressure off the situation being perfect and just enjoy this quality time with your loved ones.
The days of sitting in a straight line and saying “CHEEEEEEESE” are over! Laugh, joke, embrace, giggle, play, chase your kids, throw them in the air, just have fun! This will allow the photographer to capture your family as you are, and that is the most beautiful thing!
Bring an activity that you enjoy doing together as a family. Some of my favourite sessions have always incorporated an activity that the family likes doing together. Building sandcastles on the beach, reading books at home, bubbles in the garden or riding bikes. When you and your family are engaged in an activity that you enjoy doing, it really allows the photographer to capture some beautiful and genuine moments.
All featured images in this post belong to Jenna Louise Potter of Lucky Fish Photography