Fall is the perfect time of year to take family photos—the climate is cooling, the leaves are changing and the time to get holiday cards printed is shrinking! Pinterest and Instagram are full of unbelievable family photos that seem too good to be true—newborns sleeping so soundly on a picnic basket you wonder what mom is ever lucky enough to get that baby, and toddlers carving intricate designs into pumpkins without a hint of orange goo anywhere on their crisp white dress shirts. How could your crazy messy family photos stand up to those perfect families you see on social media? Here are 4 tips to help you pull it together and give those families a run for their money.
Find the Perfect Photographer
Photographers—or people who claim to be—are a dime a dozen these days. But do your research before you go with just anyone. Picking the right photographer starts with keeping your ears to the ground around your community. GetAssist allows you to submit a request to photographers near you, with them doing the legwork to win your business. They let you know their fee and why they would be best for the job, and all you have to do is choose who feels to be a fit for your family. Get a feel for each one by checking out their portfolios, or joining the communities they’ve created. By connecting online, you can set goals and share examples to ensure you and your photographer are on the same page before you even meet for the shoot.
Learn a Little Photography Yourself
If finding a great photographer seems like too much hassle or money, there are plenty of classes in your community that allow you to gain an understanding of photography principles to make your photos come out great. Many cities offer photography classes at colleges and local community centers. GetAssist connects you to local community members who can share their experiences to help you pick the best class for you. Finding a local photographer who is willing to share a few tips to help a neighbor out could also help you learn the necessary tools you will need for your family shoot. Most people won’t hesitate to share information about their passion.
Tip: You only have enough hands to handle the baby and your husband. Invest in a tri-pod, and remote or timer to make sure your photos don’t come out blurry.
Location, Location, Location
Even though the location of your photos is less important than the subjects, it remains a large factor in how well your photos turn out. The location needs to be a place where you and your family are as comfortable as possible, yet scenic enough to make your photos special. A quiet local park is a great choice if you have kids. The kids will be able to play and your photographer will be able to capture the best photos of them in their happiest moments. Look for a location with a lot of trees and color. Another thing to be aware of when it comes to the location is what your family will be wearing. When you’ve come up with a few different options, visit those locations prior to your family shoot to take some test shots. Use these shots to decide if you’d be better to match the clothing to the scenery, or wear items with more contrast. Make sure every family member is comfortable in what they will be wearing, and test for wrinkle resistance prior to the day of the shoot.
Quiet the Chaos
One of the most exhausting parts of taking family photos is getting the kids to sit still long enough for you to snap a few frames. Have a change of clothes, wet wipes and a hair brush so you can keep the family presentable, while allowing the kids to be, well…kids! Get to the location early and let older kids play. This will allow them to work out some of their energy and it will be easier for them to be still after. Bring a few snacks to make prevent tantrums caused by rumbling tummies. Be a good example—If you’re having fun, your children will want to sit with you. One of the best ways to get young children to focus on the camera is to have a few toys to hold behind the camera to grab their attention. Most digital cameras today have a built-in burst mode that helps capture at least one good shot of your child even if they’re squirmers. One of the biggest don’ts of family photos is holding your children too tightly. This will only result in photos filled with awful faces, or worse, crying little ones. Be patient, not restrictive, or you will only end up with a family photo where every member of the family looks frazzled and ready to go home.
Keep in mind, the families you see in those perfect photos online aren’t any different from your family. The image may capture a very different reality. In all honesty, their kids fall down, get dirty and whine just like yours do. Yes, your family photos should be beautiful, but they should also show off each member’s personality. Keep it light and fun! If the first set of photos don’t turn out exactly how you want, have fun looking through the flops and go out to take some more. And remember, use the community around you for help! Now is as good of time as any to learn a new skill or meet a new friend who dabbles in photography. Join GetAssist today.