Somehow, every Sunday growing up – hang on – they’re running the monthly siren test right now – I’m glad they keep up with it – always gets me before I check the date and realize it’s noon on the first of the month. Back to matchy-matchy. As I was saying, every Sunday, even though we’d get dressed separately, my family always ended up in coordinating outfits for church. Then when family photos came around, practice made for outfits that harmonized without coming from the exact same sweater pattern. Though admittedly, there is something to say for the one note his, hers, and wee ones identical outfit photos that have a vaguely creepy look to them.
Looking back I’d say the most memorable job came as a result of me shooting surfing at Sunset. An Australian paddled by and asked if I did family photos? Yes! Two days later, after giving him my information, I met up with him and his extended family to commemorate his Mum’s birthday. As soon as his Mum started making jokes about the word, “moist,” I knew I was in good company. Moist is a terrible word that makes your face contort unpleasantly when you hear it and should be joked about frequently. Good job, Mum! The whole family was easy to work with, the laughing was constant, and the kids weren’t spoiled snot bags. I like to think the process was as painless for them as it was for me.
As far as tips go that are different from other types of shoots, I think it’s worth it to talk about how to work with adults, teenagers, kids, and pets. If the shoot is young adults and parents, it’s a lot easier to make sure everyone stays relaxed. When the shoot starts, aim to make them feel insanely insecure. Your photos will come out grand (grand, I’m not British here good Lord, too many European fantasy books, or not enough…)! Honestly, be genuine, maintain a positive attitude no matter what. When the family isn’t feeling in the mood to do the photos, drop the camera, have them roll their shoulders out, take a deep breath, go from there.
Little kids and pets, there’s a high probability of them not understanding or wanting to follow your directions. Let the record state, they are not the same. They act similarly at times which allows me to rope them into one explanation for brevity’s sake. Both may require a back-up item / toy to keep them looking at you. Sometimes it’s funny when the kids / pets are distracted but it’s nice to have frames where they smile letting their sparkling personalities show. If you are a parent, do not be above bringing treats for bribery–there’s no shame in that game (make sure said treats aren’t super mess-makers, maybe hold out the chocolates or ice cream treats for doing a super job at the end).
When the time rolls around for getting the annual, bi-annual, I-can’t-remember-the-last-time-we-did-one Christmas card or you’re feeling like you want memories of your family, holler at this Funk!
If you’re happy and you know it Funk your hands!
Dear Reader, that catchy closing line is under construction as it sounds like a bedroom activity for a precocious teenager or it may endure the test of time, stay tuned, dun dun dun!