Posted by Akintayo Adewole
Whether it's your first or fiftieth, planning and executing a memorable and timeless family portrait session can be challenging. Following is a workflow and some areas of consideration to help ensure things go off with few to no hitches.
Write Your Own Script
Don't be afraid to let the creative juices flow! Take inspiration from one of your favorite TV shows, movies, music videos, a certain era in history or even current events. Get a family brainstorming session going, from young to old and write EVERY idea down. You can determine later on whether or not it's feasible. Mix and match suggestions to truly customize your portrait session theme. Need ideas? Check out these 24 Absolutely creative Portraits you Can Shoot. What's important is having everyone involved to add their two cents and to have an impact on the desired outcome. It will help secure their willingness to participate and make the portrait session more fun and enjoyable. It also makes for a great family bonding experience.
When, Where,What... Action!
You will need time to map out the logistics of your shoot and you will want to give yourself plenty of time to do it. If you are working with a professional portrait photographer (recommended), plan to book a minimum of 8 to 12 weeks in advance of when you would like to share your photos, especially before the holidays. Availability gets tight rather quickly. A good photographer will also help you to manage and coordinate the shoot so that you can focus on enjoying the session with your family. Here are a few more things to consider:
- Location: Are you considering your home as the shoot location? indoor? outdoor? Perhaps in town near your favorite landmark or on a farm with beautiful landscapes? Maybe in a studio with the option of Photoshopping in a realistic background? Each scenario has it's own set of logistical and technical challenges.Your photographer can help you navigate these waters well in advance of your session to ensure all goes smoothly.
- Props:Maybe you have a rustic table that has been in your family for generations... or there is a tree that was planted by your great-great-great grands decades ago. Or perhaps you're going with a retro theme where a disco ball, roller skates and white tube socks up to your knees are in order. For whatever you've dreamed up, get into the creative details. This is where you can have some real fun while your photographer uses these elements to better tell your family portrait story
- Showtime: Make sure all of your hard work and efforts are fully realized by having everything you need ready to go in one place. Send out e-minders to make sure your people arrive on time.Your photographer should check in with you a couple of days before for any last minute updates or changes so that he/she can be prepared. You've made a plan. Trust it and enjoy the creation of core memories with your loved ones.
Just In Time For...
All of your thoughtful pre-planning will allow your photographer to post-edit and deliver social media versions of your finalized images for you to share with the rest of the world... in a timely fashion. With time to spare, you can plan a creative release of your images online. You can also order holiday or announcement cards knowing that your audience will receive your picture message when they should. Sure this seems to go without saying, but a reminder on padding in time at the beginning of this process will mean less stress and worry for you in the end, so I think it' worth a mention.
Lastly, it's time to embody your masterminded efforts into a tangible treasure to be passed down from one generation to the next. Turn your vision into wall art with a variety of high quality prints, finishes and frames. Your photographer can help you navigate the various options available and help you choose what is best for your wall space. The additional investment will be worthwhile for years to come. The kids (as adults) will be fighting over who gets it!
So get out there and start planning your perfect family portrait. Let us know more about your creative vision. We would love to help you build it.
Akintayo Adewole is a commercial conceptual and portraiture photographer. His stylized approach truly bring outs the power and emotion of the people and subjects he captures. His design background translates to both the production and creative aspects of his work. When he doesn't have a camera in hand, he is either spending time with his kids, writing up his next blog topic, enjoying buffalo wings, indulging in the occasional cupcake or running a distance race to balance it all out.