My style of portraiture is referred to as "Lifestyle". I don't worry if you're looking directly at the camera. I believe that it's more important to capture the individual's personality and the connection between each other. The whole experience will create a memory that will last as long as your vibrant timeless images. Examples of some of my sessions here.
Kids have minds of their own. We’ll try something for a while, and if it’s not working out we’ll move on to something else. A child’s shyness or silliness is age-appropriate and that they’re not misbehaving.
Remember that comments like, “This is really important to Mommy, we really want you to cooperate,” instantly gives the child complete control over the session. Instead, you could say something like, “We’re going to go see Loni today. She’s going to play some games with us and take our picture. It’s going to be so much fun!”
I hope your family portrait session doesn’t cause any stress, but if it does, all of that stress should happen before the session. Stress and tension have no place at a portrait session. Thoughtful selection of their photographer, their wardrobe, and a session date and time that works with your family’s schedule will definitely lead to beautiful images. However, once the session starts there isn’t much more parents can do to ensure success, other than having fun and showing affection to their kids.
Children don’t have to be perfect at the session. The camera captures 1/250th or less of a second at a time – in between the wiggles and the goofiness and even the “I don’t want to!” there are always sweet moments. Ask them to trust that you can capture those.
It is natural for the adults to “watch” their children/grandchildren but when you do that we lose the opportunity to have everyone looking at the camera. If I need help managing your child’s expressions I will ask, otherwise please watch the photographer and not the children. It will make for a much happier experience for everyone.
Think in black and white tones; if everyone wears dark blue and one person wears white, the eye will be drawn to the person wearing white. If there’s a reason that one person should stand out, then do it. If not, change your color selections. Denim in any color for pants and jackets works well. It’s classic, it’s informal and it comes in lots of great colors. Best of all, it never goes out of style. Groom your hands and nails; they usually end up in some pictures.
Stripes, plaids, checks and busy patterns like paisley all tend to be distracting.
Avoid large, shiny objects like belt buckles, bold jewelry and reflective watches, but please bring an assortment of necklaces, bracelets, scarves, etc. as they provide a finished polish. Unless your watch has a story, it’s best to take it off during your portrait session. In fact, it’s best to take it off well before you arrive so the marks on your wrist have a chance to fade. Classic, elegant jewelry like pearls always looks appropriate.
It steals attention from the face! If you want to stand out on purpose, wear red. If you choose red for everybody, it’s best if the reds match…
Kids can get away with brighter colors and patterns, but avoid logos and branding