It’s that time of year when my Family Photoshoots diary starts getting full – spring is just around the corner, summer isn’t far away, and families are thinking about having their family photographs taken in the holidays. So here are some helpful hints and tips for families who are looking forward to having a family photoshoot but maybe have a few questions about what to expect…

Family Photography in Herefordshire

1. What should we wear for our family photographs?

This is probably the question that I get asked the most – what to wear. My advice is always to wear whatever you would like to be wearing in your family photos – the ‘look’ that you want for your photos is entirely up to you. For example, some families may want to have a smart look for their photos, whereas others may want a more relaxed, casual look. These photos may be to mark a significant point in your family’s timeline where looking smart is important to you, or they may be photos that are to record natural family life as it happens, where being casual is the norm.  As long as you are all on the same page about what style you are going for, so you are all at the same level of smartness or casualness, then anything is fine!

Within that, there are a few bits of advice that I would offer –

Think about how all of your clothing choices are going to look when put together. There’s no need to be ‘matching’ – for example, don’t think that you all have to wear blue jeans with white shirts. Different is good. But try to avoid wearing colours that are going to clash with each other. Wearing colours that subtly tone together can be nice to make your photographs more consistent.

Wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident. The most important thing for me is that you feel you can be happy, natural and relaxed in your photographs and enjoy the photoshoot session – the clothes we wear can have a huge impact on how we are feeling about ourselves, particularly when there is a camera involved. So wear that dress which makes you feel amazing! Wear those trousers you feel really comfy in. Wear that jumper or jacket that you felt was made for you! It will make a real difference to how you are in the pictures.

Bear in mind the environment that we are going to be shooting in. If we’re going for a walk on the beach or in the meadow, choose clothes and footwear that are going to be appropriate for this. Also consider whether it’s likely to be hot, cold etc. We can always have a change of look if you want to add/remove coats/jackets/jumpers etc once we’re there.

It’s a known fact that small children will mess up any nice clothing that they are wearing within about 2 minutes flat, so we will do our best to get lots of photos before that happens! But if they do get muddy knees, don’t worry about it, it’s all part of the family lifestyle and a lot of fun!

2. Where should we do our family photoshoot?

The choice of location for your family photoshoot is, again, entirely up to you, but I can definitely help with ideas and suggestions. I am based in Hereford in Herefordshire, so I have lots of ideas around these parts. I love to get outdoors so I always recommend that a family photoshoot is done outside in the countryside, with beautiful backdrops. I love to include nature, trees, flowers, green rolling hills etc, so anywhere with this kind of scenery will look great in your photos. You might have a favourite countryside park that you like to visit as a family, or a riverside walk or woodland near you. You may also have these opportunities in your own back garden, which is great. You might alternatively like to venture further afield to a castle or the beach, for example. Some locations might need you to check first whether we need to get permission to shoot there, but most places are usually fine – please ask if you would like further help with this.

My style of photography is very natural, relaxed and informal, with plenty of candid documentary shots of you interacting together and having fun as a family, so anywhere that gives us plenty of opportunity to have some natural family time is great. It may be that we are walking along on a stroll, or having a picnic – whatever you would like to do together as a family that will give plenty of nice photo opportunities. I also like to do a few more structured group arrangements throughout the session, so somewhere that has the space and the different backdrops for this is ideal.

3. How long is our family photo session likely to last?

The length of time of your shoot will vary depending on where we’re doing your shoot, how many people you have in your family, and how much time you are happy to spend shooting! I don’t set a time limit but it’s usually between 1-2 hours.

4. What should we do / how should we pose for our family photos?

As mentioned already, I do love to shoot in a natural and relaxed way, capturing fun family moments together and making real memories. So for me, you just being yourselves together is great! Laugh lots and enjoy it. Walking along together chatting, playing a game, throwing a ball, having a picnic, sitting together, or other activities you like doing as a family are great for natural photo opportunities. Then we can also do some more structured photos where you are together in a group, looking at the camera but again keeping it happy, fun and natural. You will probably feel a bit strange doing this with a camera around, snapping away, but often this initial awkwardness is only there for the first few moments and then you will get used to my friendly, informal style as I work together with you and your ideas.

I’m all about things being ‘real’, so I’m not going to make you stand in weird poses or cheesy arrangements. I like things to be natural and I want to capture the essence of you as a family – whatever that may be!

5. Can we bring our pet dog/lama/other?

Yes, absolutely, if they are allowed at your chosen shoot location! Pets can make a photoshoot even more fun as they give something for you to interact with naturally, plus they are a part of the family too!

I hope that you have found this useful! If you have any other questions that you would like answers to, I would be delighted to help!

If you are looking for a Herefordshire Family Photographer and you would like to find out more about the photography services I offer, please do visit my website and get in touch!

Best wishes x