I'm just as guilty as you. Just because I can take very decent photos of my family and I'm quite good taking family portraits as well I used to tell myself that those photos will do. We don't need a family session. We are good. But deep inside I'd been longing for a full family session when I can relax and don't have to run back and forth between my camera timer and my family.
Leticia, who is a photographer herself, asked me to take her family photos again in 2022 and I thought, THIS IS THE MOMENT! If I don't ask to swap a session, if I don't ask her to take our family photos in return, we will probably never have family photos.
I was over the Moon when she said yes but not long after she agreed I started to panic. Where? What time? What should we wear? How will my kids behave? Do I need to book an appointment to my hairdresser or do I look okey-ish? Is my husband on board at all?
I couldn't believe my reactions! I'm a family photographer after all, I do family sessions all the time and I AM THE ONE who gives advices to other families on how to prepare - so what is all this panicking?
I got this, I told myself, I took a deep breath and started to put the whole thing together. Step by step, answering one question at the time. I had the very same questions as all my clients have so I hope this will be helpful for your family session:
What is the best location for a family photoshoot in Hertfordshire?
Location was the first thing I wanted to decide on. I wanted outdoor and I was thinking about going to the town instead of the nature. Maybe because I usually take our family photos in the nature where we are not distracted, so this time I wanted something different.
We decided to have our family photoshoot in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, where we live. We really love the Old Town, there is our favourite Thai Restaurant, the Chian Mai Cottage, there is a fantastic hairdresser for the kids and a lovely cafe and greenery, the Artichoke. Parking is easy and it's pretty quiet on Sundays.
Great, we have the location.
What is the best time for a family photoshoot?
The best time for a family session is either the early morning hours or the late afternoon / early evening hours depending on the season. We have two children aged 5 and 7 and they don't nap anymore so we can do our family session anytime of the day. We decided to meet Leticia in the morning as we didn't hope for much sunshine in the afternoon in October to create magical golden hour photos.
What to wear for an outdoor family photoshoot?
I always recommend to simply wear clothes you feel beautiful in. Choose peaces for your family which reflect their personalities instead of choosing the same outfits for everyone. Don't match outfits. For our session I coordinated the colours a little bit but it was more like accidental.
- My daughter had a favourite skirt so I bought her a nice new jumper. She likes new clothes so she got really excited about her new piece which helped her to get in a very happy mood for the photoshoot.
- My husband wanted a new jumper so we went shopping.
- And it just happened that I bought myself a new dress in M&S when we were shopping for my husband (by accident, totally).
- My son is happy with any outfit, whatever.
It is always important to wear comfortable clothes and shoes, without any logos or slogans so your family photos remain classic and won't be dated by next year.
And my pro tip: choose mum's outfit first ;)
How will the children behave on our family photoshoot?
I hear from my clients very often that they are worried about how their children will behave on their family session. This is what I think about this "problem":
First of all, I think my children are not that terrible. I can't imagine that they would simply run off from the photographer on a session or to be rude to anyone. So that wasn't a real fear.
Secondly, I LOVE real, candid moments. I want to see my kids as they are and not a fake version of them so I don't mind if they are themselves.
Lastly, it's always the photographer's job to make a session work. If I'm the photographer for a family, it's my responsibility to 'handle' the kids. Probably it's not the right word, but you get it. Parents need to help me because they know their children the best but it's my job to ask for their help and tell them how they could help me. But it's never the parents who had to make their family session work.
Needles to say, the photoshoot was amazing, it was fun and relaxed. I have to admit, I really needed it. I AM IN LOVE WITH OUR PHOTOS. I still come back to them, look at them and fall in love with my family again and again. I already printed them, I have them on the wall, I have a wooden desk calendar and I will create an album with my favourites very soon. I just simply can't have enough of our photos.
I'm looking for a family photographer in Hertfordshire.
Why don't you look around on my website, check out my portfolio, read a bit of the stuff I wrote about myself etc and if you think we would be a good match please please please get in touch with me. I love connecting with likeminded families so please write me!
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