Hello my friends!
I am so excited to give you tips on how to achieve the best portraits of your family this year. As a family portrait photographer with 14 years of experience, I have come up with the best way to approach this important process. Many times, my clients call me to schedule a portrait session without knowing what to expect and prepare. I have to walk them through the process with these tips to them to make sure we achieve the best results. Without knowing the purpose of your portrait session, the final outcome may not be at its full potential.
So, the busiest time of the year, portrait season, is almost here. These are the five important steps to follow to achieve your swoon worthy portraits of your family.
STEP 1. Find your WHY.
Before starting, you have to know why you want the family portrait. It could be a wedding anniversary, a child graduating from kindergarten, or even that you lost 5 lbs. Some of the occasions when my clients call me are when they are expecting, the baby has just been born, her baby's first birthday, her parents' 40th wedding anniversary, her 10th year anniversary, they just moved to their dream house, her child is graduating from high school, the child’s sweet 16, she lost weight, a child just took off braces, she achieved a personal goal, and sometimes just because. I just had a client who booked a cap and gown portrait session for her first child graduating from a high school and ended up finding out that it was her 20th wedding anniversary, as well as her second child's sweet 16! It was their first family portrait for 15 years ago. You will always find a why, but you may just not know it yet. Later on, after time passes, you will have this documentation of life that you can look back on and cherish. There may be many reasons at once, but it is always a priority to identify them.
STEP 2. Define your WHEN
Once you know why, determine what the best time of the year is for you and your family. In terms of events and activities of family members, when is the best time? When is the least stressful time for you? Life gets in the way of the perfect picture. Maybe your kids are on the swim team all summer long and they get totally tanned. Kid's sports team commitment may interfere with all of your weekend schedules during the season. Your work schedule may be too crazy at the moment. I always suggest my clients to plan their family portrait session as a yearly family event which is included in the family calendar – only second to family vacation! My favorite time to take photos with my family is always during the summer – when all my clients are away for their vacation, my kids are out of school, and my studio schedule is not as packed. I love going to different locations to have my family portraits taken, so we tend to pick the season of the year for family portrait in the beginning of the year. You could take your family portraits at the beach one year, and the mountains the next. Always determine your best time for the pictures so that you can relax and enjoy the whole process.
STEP 3. Know how you will enjoy your portraits
Now, what are you going to do with your portraits? What’s the purpose of having them? Hang your pictures up on the wall and celebrate them every day in your home. You’re going to invest your time and resourses into these beautiful portraits, why not make the most out of it by enjoying them every day? Does your family sit down together in the family room all the time? Do you often play ping-pong together in the playroom? Do you spend your morning quiet time in your home office? Where do you enjoy your time together in your home the most? Is your coffee table decorated with meaningful items? Do you miss your little ones when you are at work? Either on the walls of your home or in a portrait album, there are many wonderful ways to be reminded of your beautiful family.
STEP 4. Find photographers that fit your style.
This step is a unique process for the individual. Look around your home décor and how you dress. For example, if your home is modern and minimalistic, then find a portrait studio that can create the images that fit your style. If your style is classic, there are tons of photographers who create more traditional and timeless images for you. My approach to creating family portraits always comes down to this. It is really important for the images of your family represent your style. If the images are not suitable for the decor of your house or even how you dress, the images are not the best reflection of you. At Yellowhale Studios, we custom design every portrait session for the individual client. From the selection of the location, the color of the outfit, the timing of the day, to the selection of the frames, size, and style of the wall art, and the material of the coffee table books, every step of the way will compliment you and your family.
STEP 5. Schedule your portrait at least 2 months in advance.
Having enough time to prepare your portrait session will give you more pleasure before and during the portrait session. It’s just like planning a dream vacation. When you know that you will be going to Paris next spring, you will research the location and the weather, and prepare your luggage accordingly. Last minute deals will always have hiccups somewhere. If it is important for you to have a holiday portrait done, you need to get into the photographer’s fall schedule even earlier because fall is the busiest season for photographers. At Yellowhale Portrait Studio, our October schedule is booked in the January of that year. If the portrait is rushed, you may not get the best images. You don’t want to lose this opportunity to capture these precious moments of your children’s youth.
These are the 5 steps to achieve the best family portraits. Now is the time. This year is the year that you want to celebrate your togetherness and the happiness of your family. Good luck!~