GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR OUTDOOR FAMILY SHOOT
So you’re all booked in and want to know more about getting the most from your outdoor family shoot? Below are some tried and tested tips and things to bear in mind ahead of your shoot…
Generally, the rule is don’t wear or bring anything that you’re not happy to get dirty. With outdoor shoots, we want to have fun and not worry about things getting grubby! Baby wipes etc are handy to have nearby for little ones that aren’t keen on dirty hands! I might ask you to sit on the floor too so if you’re not up for that, bring a nice blanket to sit on just incase.
Let’s talk about bribes…
I’ve seen it all nowadays, and although I really do know that kids are tricky and sometimes bribery is the only way possible, please avoid it pre-shoot! Try and get them excited about going to the park or wherever it is we’re meeting and all the fun we’re going to have there rather than the treat you’ll buy them when they get home for being good. When they know there’s a treat at the end of the shoot, even the most well behaved children that are really enjoying themselves suddenly start spurting tears, don’t want to play anymore and have to have that treat right now! Also, when they’ve been bribed to be good, it makes the whole shoot a bit of a big deal and puts pressure on them – we want them at their most relaxed so I can get photographs of them playing and their personalities shine through!
…and now let’s talk about snacks!
Although above I’ve said pre-shoot bribery is a no-no, during the shoot, sometimes when a child starts to flag during the last ten minutes, snacks are the only way we get a child to cooperate. Bring along some not-too-messy/quick things for them to eat, but the key thing is please don’t let them know you’ve got them before you meet me and we’ll just bring them out to save the day if and when we need them!
I don’t really tend to use a lot of props in my shoots, but as above, sometimes a child might need a little more prompting as they get tired and a prop of some sort can work wonders! Their favourite soft toy, a ball, a comforter etc all go down a treat – keep it in a bag that I can carry around for you throughout the shoot (out of sight along with those snacks, perhaps under the blanket we mentioned above!) and again, I’ll ask for it when I think we need it!
Let your child lead the shoot
Basically, during my shoots, the golden rule is your child (or children!) can do what they like for the duration! If they don’t do as we ask, we just go with it rather than telling them off. We let them lead the shoot. If they want to run and hide, we go with them and do it too. If they want cuddles rather than playing because they’re a bit shy, we’ll start the shoot like that. They don’t even have to look at the camera if they don’t want to – although I’ve not yet had a child that avoided looking at the lens for the whole time yet! If they start being really ‘naughty’, let me deal with it, they’re more likely to listen to me in this situation as I’m a stranger – we’ll keep it lighthearted though and then carry on playing. I want you to enjoy the shoot too so not having to worry about telling them off is one less thing to think about!
Wear something you feel comfortable in
This applies to mums, dads and the kids! I want you feeling amazing so you feel confident having your photo taken. Likewise, I also want you to be physically comfortable too. The elements aren’t always our friend when it comes to outdoor shoots – sometimes it suddenly gets very chilly so come prepared with extra layers. I’ve written a whole post about what to wear for your family photoshoot so have a peek at that next!
To book your own outdoor shoot for your family, click here!