Only in the last 10 years has it become increasingly more popular to have lifestyle type family portraits done. I remember as a kid going to a studio and having to sit with my hands propped a certain way in front of a big camera on a tripod. Nowadays photographs have become truer to personalities and set in very diverse locations. I thought I would share 4 myths that I have heard over time about these lifestyle family portrait sessions.
1. The Kids Need To Be Still
This is a big concern for a lot of parents during family portrait sessions. You want to make sure that the photographer gets a really good capture of their faces and awesome personalities. Not just the back of their head or a major pout. One thing that I do is reassure you that I will without a doubt get something. I am not one to force kids into perfect little poses. I encourage my littlest clients to be themselves by letting them move. No matter what, they always bring out energy in my images. I love movement in pictures, so little clients get extra bonus points!
2. Everyone Needs To Look At The Camera
Don't get me wrong, it is great to have a few photos of everyone looking at the camera. My favorites though, and ones that my clients end up loving, are the ones where they are interacting with one another. Sometimes just one person is facing my direction. Having each member of your family interacting with one another brings personality and genuine love to your session. You can look back at these images and see what you have always had. Love.
3. (Large) Families Require Longer Sessions
One thing that I find myself mentioning to my clients is that kids never last more than an hour in a session. Sometimes, with small kids, a half hour is about all they can take. You might think that you need more time in order to rally all the kids or a larger group with multiple units. I've captured so many beautiful moments in just 45 minutes! When I work with larger groups, I hold back on variety in poses and give attention to making sure that each family unit has a pose or two to work with (Example: grandparents with grandkids, grandparents with adult children, all the grandkids, and individual families). I can definitely do longer sessions for an extra cost, but it isn't a requirement.
4. Having Portraits Done Is Frivolous
For a while, even I believed in this myth. I had a hard time charging clients for something that they didn't really need to survive. Looking back I realized that I wish my family had done more family portraits when we were kids. Not that they thought it frivolous, just that it wasn't a priority. Having customized portraits that best capture your family is something to be treasured. One goal I have is to hang one image of each of our siblings' families and our parents in a special place in the house. Having images that are casual and realistic hanging in the hallway seems a whole lot less creepy than a studio shot of someone staring at you. Just my opinion.