When it comes to your family session, there are no ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’. Actually thats not true there probably are a couple of wrongs for instance don't turn up forgetting a child at home! Before the day of the shoot we will have a chat and discuss your families style, a location that means something to your family and what you hope to achieve from the session. After this there is little left for you to think about on the day - just know I have your back and we will create some magic memories (even if little Tommy is being a turkey).


However, there are a few small pointers that will help your family session result in the most beautiful, natural photography you’ll want to revisit time and time again. Here are some of the common mistakes I see made during a family session: 


  1. Rushing to arrive on time - To avoid feeling flustered and rushed when you arrive for your shoot, allow plenty of time to get ready at home, and plenty of time to arrive for your shoot. This way, you’ll all be feeling ready to go when the lens cap comes off. Be sure to check all the details of your shoot (location, time etc) before the day of your shoot. Also have everyone's clothes ready (preferably at least the night before), make sure it all fits and is clean - trust me half hour before the shoot you don't want to be scrambling to find outfits. This way all you need to do on the day is arrive feeling relaxed, with time to spare. 
  2. Striving for perfection - Sure, it pays to be prepared, but aiming for perfection during your photo shoot is not the name of the game. With me, your family session is about capturing your families story in a natural, fun way. Your family photo shoot is not the time to make your family look as if it’s about to appear in a commercial catalogue. This is an opportunity to capture a real, authentic moment in time – chaos and all. So take a deep breath, allow your family to present its true self and let me do the rest, while you remain present and enjoy the session. Often kids will play up for the camera, which is perfectly normal (I'm well versed on raising a non complying child). Kids look cute doing almost anything....angry Mumma's not so much! So for the duration of our session try to let them run free and if need be I can pull them up (before they jump on your head).
  3. Trying to replicate another family or photographers session - After looking at your photographer’s portfolio, you may think, ‘This is the exact shoot I want for my family!’. But no two families are the same, just like no two family sessions are the same. A useful exercise is to take a look at the photos you love from the photographer’s portfolio and figure out what you’d like to do similarly – is it the setting you like, or is it the relaxed nature of the photos? Did you like the way the family was dressed, or is it the joy they’re exuding?


Cheers Kris xx

Kristen Shaw Photography




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