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This post is based on the portrait shoot of a young family who are DPS readers. After hearing of my work in Battle Ground, they contacted me for a portrait session. I am very happy to feature them in this post.
Shooting family portraits is always a varied experience based on the number of people you are photographing. Depending on the number and ages of your clients, you will need to be spontaneous and learn to adapt to different levels of interaction. Portraits of a young family is no exception. Here is a starting point for a Young families portrait session:
If the children in your shoot are happy, the parents will be comfortable, and you will be able to achieve natural portraits. This said, focus on interacting with the children. Do your best to be “entertaining” through the session to draw out laughter and smiles.
Children do not sit in one place for a long time. They are active and moving. Keep your session this way also. Constantly be moving with your clients. You may be able to position or pose the couple where you want them, and then encourage the child to move around – walking, twirling, etc.
Sometimes you may not be working with children who will follow your guidance. In this situation, keep the session lighthearted and fun, by having the parents follow the child until the child stops. Your job then is to have the parents draw close to the child, and then snap a series of shots.
Especially working with small children, don’t be afraid to take more shots than a normal portrait shoot. You want to make sure to catch the right expressions and no blinking – and with children this is much easier said than done.
Don’t walk into a family shoot with set ideas that can’t be adapted to in the scenario. Have some ideas in mind that may serve you if possible, but be prepared to take what you have and run with it.
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