One of my goals as a San Diego Family Photographer, is to give my clients a variety of photos in their client gallery. My family sessions are 45-60 minutes long and include a mixture of posed, lifestyle, and documentary shots. As I've said here before, I like to keep my sessions fun and interactive, so my families feel like they are on a fun family outing, not a stiff, awkward photoshoot. :) Throughout our session I'm thinking of the gallery as a whole to ensure that my clients get a variety of photos.
Today, I'm going to share with you 5 photos you can expect to see in your client gallery.
1. The "Money shot" Photo
This one is what most people think of when they imagine their Christmas card photo or they think about the photo they want to frame for the grandparents as a gift. Everyone is smiling, looking at the camera, and posed well. I always make sure I get at least one of these in my client's gallery, because these are the photos that really let you see each child's face at the stage they are at in their childhood. As a mom, I want to remember the freckles on my son's nose and the way my daughter's eyes light up when she laughs. I want to remember my littlest's crazy hair and the missing teeth in my 7 year old's smile. As a mom I appreciate having the "money shot" photo so I always make sure I give my client at least one of these.
2. "Look at Your People" Photo
This type of photo is what I LIVE for as a photographer! As a lifestyle photographer, I aim to capture the connection between family members and this shot allows me to do just that! I love asking kiddos to look at their mom or dad or asking parents to look at each other while they sit with a pile of children on their lap. This is one of my absolute favorite photos to deliver!
3. Sibling Photo
I always manage to get a sibling shot, but it's not always a "money shot". Kids standing by themselves can be wiggly, often times if one child is still a baby it can be hard for older siblings to hold them (or baby may not want to be held!). At some point in our time together I capture siblings but often this is more in a documentary/lifestyle way than it is a posed "money shot" way.
4. Snuggling Photo
If you've followed me for any length of time or even just glanced at my work, you know this one is a given! As a mama, I love snuggling with my kids. It's how I start my morning and how I end their day...before I go snuggle my husband. :) If you get in front of my camera you can guarantee I'm going to ask you to snuggle your people.
5. Movement Photo
I shared in a recent post a few prompts I use during my family sessions, and several of them include movement. Most of my clients are young kids who need to MOVE! I love to break up the posed photos with some fun games that still allow me to capture families, their connection to one another, and their personalities.
Now that I've shared what you can expect to see in your gallery, here are a few photos I can't guarantee (although I will always try my best!):
-Each child by themselves
A few firm beliefs I have about family photography is that it should capture children exactly the way they are. One of my sons LOVES to be silly, especially in photos! In half of my iPhone photos of him, his eyes are crossed and he's making a funny face. I had a family member ask for a "better photo of him on Christmas" because all of the ones I took he was making his hilarious cross-eyed face. I could have made him force a smile and look straight at the camera, but it wouldn't have been true to his personality. As a San Diego family photographer my MAIN GOAL is to capture children's personalities, not perfection.
I also truly believe that children should feel safe and comfortable at their session. If they want mama to hold them the entire time, that's ok. I will still do my very best to get that headshot of them or photo with their siblings, even if they're attached to mom's hip or holding dad's hand. This goes for a photo with mom and dad alone. I love getting to photograph parents alone as I know it's such a treat for them to have pictures just the two of them. If kiddos are clingy though and not wanting to part from their parents, I will never force them to do so or be left alone crying while mom and dad try to be affectionate towards one another in front of my camera (kinda the opposite of my photography philosophy-ha!)