Sunday, January 17, 2010

Making family photos easy, fun and dare I say ENJOYABLE!

I really want to share with you some tips and tricks on what I think helps to have lots of fun during family photos... and no, it's not impossible!

The most common and popular type of family photography emerging right now is the candid lifestyle and I love it. It's a pure and raw sense of who you are as a family, a wife, husband, mother, father, son, daughter, etc. As I usually explain to my clients it's a true representation of who YOU are right now at this very time in your life. However, whether you like the candid lifestyle or the statement poses and setup shots (which I equally love) I want to help you achieve the same end result... a fun and happy family portrait that leaves you with warm memories of your session. So, in order to achieve some of those great family moments Moms and Dads listen up, here are some secrets!

First off, bribery, oh sweet bribery! I'm sorry, but it truly is a beautiful thing. Kids (and husbands, too ;-) need to know that all their hard work will get some kind of reward. I usually come prepared with a goodie/treat to give them, but what they really want is to know from YOU that they did great... and you do that by paying them off!! Seriously! You know what works and what will get their attention so use it. Exploit it.

Next, it's really, really important that I can connect with your kids so they feel free to have fun and to be playful - not stiff and unsure about what's going on. I will act just as silly as they do and in the end I really just want them to have fun. So rather then tell them all the things they can't or shouldn't do, tell them what they can do. They can play games, they can run and jump and climb on Dad's back (if it's OK with Dad), they can explore and make funny animal sounds. Anything that will keep the laughter flowing.

Now believe me I know, I hate the word relax, too. It's hard to have someone pointing a big black camera at your face and to be told to relax, but it's necessary. If you let your kids play and have fun then that allows me to be able to capture some beautiful moments of your family. So, be relaxed and donʼt always be so concerned that not everyone is looking directly into the camera – it is more about the moment you are having together and creating those lasting memories.

Try to keep the day and/or time leading up to your session as calm and stress free as possible. Having a 7 year old and 3 1/2 year twins myself I know that a task like that can seem virtually impossible, but your kids will feed off of your stress and anxiety. Come into your session pumped and excited! I promise you that your all clothes will look great, I will get THAT shot you want and your family will be the cutest I've ever seen!

And finally, at the end of the day it's all about the connection. Let your kids have the freedom to be kids; this is the time to engage and interact with them. Husbands and wives this is the time to show your kids how much you love each other and remind yourselves what family is all about.

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Michelle Herrick
tel: 480/326.4134

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