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  • Tracy Whiteside

11 STEPS TO SURVIVING AN EXTENDED FAMILY PHOTO SHOOT



I know how hard it is to coordinate a photo shoot with adult family members. People have jobs, kids, commitments, church, just life in general.

But let’s just say you are able to schedule a date and time that works for everyone. Now what?

  1. Email and/or text the date and time to everyone. Add it to shared calendars. Explain how important it is to you that everyone is there.

  2. Decide what the tone of the shoot will be. If your family is crazy and fun-loving, don’t ask them to dress in suits. The images should capture the essence of your family. Depending on the time of year it might be sweaters and jeans, or for more formal families, collared dress shirts for the guys and dresses for the females.

  3. Decide on your color scheme. I have tons of information on this, but the most important thing is to make sure the colors work together. Please don’t put everyone in white shirts and khakis. Two colors and a neutral should work.

  4. Send photos to your family for a visual example. Follow up. Nag them if necessary. Make them send a photo of their outfit to you.

  5. Discuss hair and makeup. Will the ladies be doing their own? Are you or the photographer hiring someone?

  6. Remind everyone about the photo shoot.

  7. Lay everything out the night before including socks and shoes.

  8. Be sure to leave plenty of time to get ready. Especially parents. Kids tend to take up all of your time. Suddenly it’s time to go and mom hasn’t showered yet.

  9. Make sure everyone eats before the shoot (but not in the clothing they will wear for the portrait). I always have snacks and drinks at my studio, but that won’t take the place of a real meal. I don’t just mean the kids. The adults need to eat too.

  10. It’s OK if some family members are not looking at the camera. It’s a new age of portraits, and the images should capture a feeling. Over-posed just feels stiff.

  11. Take a deep breath and relax. Something might go wrong. So what? Have fun with your family! When you look at the portraits, that’s what you will remember most.

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