Even on vacation I am busy doing family photoshoots! I managed to escape the London heat and my hectic diary filled with clients to visit my sister and her family in France for a few days in August. They live in the mountains just outside of Geneva, which was just the most gorgeous location for a photoshoot. They moved out there a couple of years ago - it's hard not seeing them in London, especially since my baby niece arrived earlier this year, but it does provide lots of excuses for vacations! My sister was really keen to book me in for a session whilst I was visiting because she is the one nearly always behind the camera and as a result they have hardly any family photos of all four of them together. Most of my clients tend to say the same thing!
Outdoor family photos - what's the best location?
My nephew is now 3 years old, and my niece is 8 months. It's a great time to do an outdoor family photoshoot with this age baby, since they are much more robust than those first few months, and starting to sit by themselves. My niece was a bit unsteady, but we always had someone right next to her to catch her if she started to wobble over! The photoshoot was planned to catch the early morning light - I hadn't had time to scope out possible locations before the shoot, so we just walked up the hill behind their house and found a grassy field to shoot in! I had hoped for wildflowers, but so long as you have pretty sunlight, some trees to filter out the sun and some space to work with, that's all you need to create beautiful photos. The fact that we had a wide open space allowed us to run around with the kids, and for me to photograph the family at different angles to catch the best light.
Lifestyle family photography
I love the mix of posed portraits here, and the lovely lifestyle photos we captured of the more candid moments. I know it can be fraught getting ready for a photoshoot, but it helps enormously if parents can relax and have fun with their kids during a session - it creates a wonderful playful and genuine energy that is reflected in the final photos. That is not to say things don't get messy - my nephew got over-excited, and my niece was ready for her morning nap, but the main thing is that you can see the love and joy this family have for each other in the portraits.
Professional family photos - what to wear
I love how my sister styled her family for their session! It's a really good example of what a difference a bit of planning makes when deciding what to wear for family portraits. Usually outdoor environments are very green from trees and grass and so muted, soft, natural colours are best. Stay away from 'matchy matchy' clothing, but do try to work within some sort of colour scheme. Here everyone was in blues and creams/neutrals and they blended together so well. Dressing a baby in a sweet patterned dress is a nice touch too, as it focuses attention on her.
“We are so very grateful. The photos are completely lovely and so precious - we can't stop looking at them!”