Surviving a Family Photoshoot 

by | Mar 5, 2024 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Surviving a Family Photoshoot 

by | Mar 5, 2024 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Surviving a Family Photoshoot 

By Nichole Wintheiser 


Becoming a family photographer is a good way to get consistent business without the pressure of taking on high stress events. It’s a more laid-back niche where you don’t only have one chance to get it right. 


That being said, being a family photographer does have its own challenges. You can get cranky little kids, uncooperative teenagers, or camera-shy couples.  


Here are six tips for surviving a family photoshoot while still getting photos you and your clients are happy with: 

  1. Tell your clients what to do 
  1. Be aware of your surroundings 
  1. Meet at a convenient time for them and their kids 
  1. Take a lot of photos 
  1. Communicate with your clients 
  1. Have fun 


These six tips will help you survive family photoshoots. Let’s take a closer look into each tip to learn what you should do to be the photographer that your clients want. 


Tell Your Clients What to Do 

Most people don’t know how to pose for photos. It’s not in our nature. So, tell your clients what you want them to do. Also, keep an open mind about poses. If you’re photographing little kids, they may have other ideas than what you want them to do. Just keep taking photos. 


If you’re not sure what you want them to do, you can search online for photography prompts. Pinterest and TikTok are great resources for ideas and inspiration. By saving those prompts on your phone, you can show your clients what the pose is supposed to look like, so they can mirror it. Showing your clients examples will help them know exactly what you want them to do. The simpler the directions are, the easier it is for them to follow. 


Be Aware of Your Surroundings 

 Make sure to pay attention to what’s going on around you. Be on the lookout for wild animals, other people, or other hazardous situations. You don’t want to put yourself or your clients in danger for a photo. Don’t trespass on private property to get the perfect shot either. Either get permission from the property owner or just avoid it.  


You want to have nice backgrounds for your photos. You want to avoid busy, unflattering areas of the location; ones that will distract from your clients. Go to the location early and look around for the best places to photograph them. If you can go a day or so ahead of time, at around the agreed-upon time, you can get an idea for the lighting situation as well. 


Meet at a Convenient Time for Them and Their Kids 

 Try to be as accommodating to your clients as possible. If they have little kids then meet when it’s a good time for them. Don’t schedule a photoshoot for their bedtime or naptime. Also, try and avoid mealtimes so you don’t have to worry about dealing with hangry people.  


If you can, try and coordinate your client’s schedule with a time of day with good light. Mornings are generally better, since kids will be awake and just had their breakfast, and the light is generally good. Try and avoid the times around noon as you’ll have a lot of harsh light and shadows. 


Take a Lot of Photos 

 Your clients are paying for the perfect photo. And what they think is that photo, may not be the same as what you think. Take a lot of photos. The more the better. That way, they can pick the ones they like the best. You’re also more likely to get candid photos and those almost always turn out better than the posed photos. 


Take multiple photos of each pose. You never know if someone has their eyes closed or is looking at something else. This is especially problematic if you’re photographing a large group of people. 


Communicate with Your Clients 

 Talk to your clients. Ask them what photos they want you to capture and tell them what photos you want to take. Make sure you know when and where you plan on meeting and how many people will be in the photoshoot.  


Get as many details as you can and give them information ahead of time. Be upfront about cost and the time you plan on spending with them. Once you have an agreed-upon time and price don’t change it at the last minute, unless it’s to give them a discount. 


Also, talk to your clients as much as you can before and during the photo shoot. If they feel comfortable around you, they are more likely to trust you when you pose them. That’s how you’ll get natural-looking photos. 


Have Fun 

 Show your clients that you are passionate about photography and their photoshoot. If you have fun, your energy will transfer to your clients, and they will have fun too. Those genuine smiles and candid shots are the ones that will be used in your portfolio and will be printed off by them. 


Get a camera buddy to keep the little kids looking at you. A camera buddy is a toy that fits around your camera lens. There are plenty of examples of them on Pinterest and Amazon. You could also find a toy that you can hold while you are taking photos. Anything that will get the kid’s attention will work. 


Another way you can have fun with your photoshoots is to search for photo prompts. These are ideas that you can brainstorm with your clients. A couple of examples include playing peek-a-boo with little kids, trying to tickle each other, holding the kids up in the air to make them laugh or giggle, and having your clients walk toward or away from the camera. 


I’m Just Starting as a Family Photographer, How Much Should I Charge? 

 The average cost for a photography session is between $150 and $250. Check out what other photographers are charging in your area and price out around them. If you’re trying to build your portfolio, you can charge a little less, but don’t work for free.  


You can also offer a discount if they give you referrals, or they want to print their own photos. You can create photo packages that will give your clients deals on printing or deals on if they book more than one session with you. For example, if your client wants to hire you for a maternity session, you can book their newborn session once the baby is born and offer them a discount. 


How Long Should a Photoshoot Last?  

 Generally, a family photoshoot should last between 45 and 80 minutes. But ultimately, it’s up to you as the photographer and your clients. If they have little kids, a shorter session might be better. Talk with your client before the photoshoot to see what they have in mind for a time frame.  


When you’re booking photoshoots, it’s a good idea to allow for extra time between them, especially if you’re going to different locations. That way you have extra time in case unforeseen event comes up such as traffic, getting lost, or the first photoshoot taking longer than expected. 


Sources: Expert Photography, Fash, Kim Ponsky Photography, 


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