Is your family getting together for the holidays?! Ever thought of taking the opportunity to have your photos taken together. How often do you get together? With busy schedules, its HARD to get everyone together so don't miss the opportunity. You’ll never regret capturing those precious moments together. Getting everyone prepped does not have to be stressful. Here are a couple tips to make your extended family session go smoothly.
Let's Make a Plan
Let's start with a shot list. What are the family groupings that are most important to you? Lets write them all down. With a big group, its really essential that I prioritize what is important to you. Below is a sample list that I use as a guideline. Once I make it through the list, I have some prompts that help create fun spontaneous moments. I am always watching and looking for natural interactions between family members.
This careful planning really helps make a session with a lot of people run smoothly.
Sample Extended Family Shot List
Entire Group shot
Grandparents and grandkids
Individual of Reed’s family
Individual of Melissa’s family
Individual of Ally’s family
Grandma with granddaughters
Grandpa with grandsons
Individual of kids
Choose the Perfect Location
Next let me help you choose a location. Locations for extended family photos should not be busy. For instance, you don't want to bring a group of 15 to a city center where there are a lot of restaurants and foot traffic. A peaceful location ensures that we can spread out and take our time. There will be no added stress of unexpected interruptions and distractions. I also like to know if anyone in the party has any physical limitations. This help me choose a location with reliable parking and easy terrain to maneuver. Grandma probably doesn't want to hike to our session location.
Don't stress if your child is feeling shy or not participating. Some kids just need a little time to warm up. Since these sessions tend to be at least a hour, there is generally plenty of time for them to go from grumpy to happy. Take a look at the session featured in this post, two of the boys fell asleep on the way to the session. They were not happy campers when the session started. Mom and Dad were awesome, gave the boys some space and they were totally fine. If you yell, threaten or punish them, chances are the session will not go well. Just go with the flow and more often than not everybody gets on board and has a great time.
What To Wear
Last but certainly not least...what to wear for extended family photo sessions is my most asked questions. In order to keep things looking cohesive and put together, it’s important to put a little thought into what everyone is going to wear. As a whole family choose 2-3 coordinating colors (no more than two colors and a neutral). The colors don’t need to be the same shade. Do what works for each person.
Once the overall color scheme is chosen, move on to the individual family groups. I ask mom and have her choose something she loves and feels good in, then pick outfits from hardest to easiest to dress in the family. Dress each person for their personality and taste. Everyone should feel confident and comfortable. Don't forget to dress all the way to the shoes. This includes socks, as they will likely show at some point.
No matter what you wear please make sure not to go too matchy. This is sometimes ok for small children, but never for adults. Please no khaki pants and matching colored shirts unless you want it to look like a 90s Gap ad. Before our session day, feel free to forward your outfit ideas to me. I am happy to give you some advice.
Does that sound manageable? Ready to book?! Great let's do this. My Fall schedule is filling up so reach out today.