Family Photographer in Paris - A guide to perfect family photos.
Paris with the family can be a once in a lifetime experience, which is why capturing this rare moment when everyones together can be such a wonderful opportunity. Imagine arriving back home to a really special series of photographs of you and your loved ones. Images that will become more precious as the years pass - the same certainly can’t be said for the usual tourist trinkets and ‘I LOVE PARIS’ t-shirts.
I’ve been photographing families for over 11 years and it’s one of my favourite genres of photography. Perhaps it’s the inner child in me, the excitement of the unknown (when children are involved you NEVER know), maybe because I get to practice my magical, child whispering skills or simply the fact that family shoots are always a lot of fun.
We’ve all been on vacation and grabbed those snapshots where everyone is forced into smiling in front of well known monuments, you know the ones where one family member is generally missing because they’re taking the photo, or you’ve sheepishly asked a fellow tourist if they can take a photo with your phone.
Booking a shoot with a professional will ensure you return home to a beautiful, cohesive set of images, the main issue being deciding on which ones to print and display. These are souvenirs that over time will become true family heirlooms.
So with that being said here’s a little guide to help you get the most from your family photoshoot in Paris:
Make the shoot fun
Lets face it, there’s usually one member of the family who would rather be doing something else, for example the little one who would rather be playing in the dirt than wearing that best shirt. This is where I get to use one of my superpowers and release my inner child, getting them on my side, it often happens that when the shoot is a wrap we’re the best of friends (I’ve even had teary eyed goodbyes). Once the children are on my side its game on, with great photos pretty much guaranteed. Yes, of course there are occasional meltdowns, yes there are often awkward teenagers who are WAY too cool to be getting in front of my lens. But you know what? I get the shots. Meltdown, tantrum, moody expressions…I simply shoot through it and ALWAYS get something that will pleasantly surprise you when receiving the images. Granted it may not be the standard, perfect family photo with everyone smiling perfectly into the camera but there will be photos with real feel, emotion and personality, that for me if what family photography is all about.
Relax and go with the flow
As parents with younger children the best thing you can do to get most from the photoshoot is simply relax and not force it. Your photoshoot will be as unique as the personalities evident within each member of your family. If a certain family member isn’t co-operating it will generally pass and whilst we wait it gives us the perfect moment to get some parent portraits.
Location, location, location
Once you’ve decided on booking your photoshoot in Paris the next thing to decide upon is location. I won’t go into detail regarding the locations themselves because I’ve covered the main ones in a blog post you can read here. I recommend working around a single location per hour to keep things relaxed whilst maximising shooting time and minimising travelling time. We explore a location thoroughly, creating a varied set of images within a comfortable walking distance. Absolutely can’t decide on a single location? Book additional time and we can add a second. I work fast and efficiently at the same time ensuring nothing feels stressful or rushed.
Speaking of time my advice is keep it to a minimum, particularly where small children are involved. My standard family collection is one hour with the option to add additional time in thirty minute increments.
What to wear?
This is Paris - why not dress up a little! I do recommend having everyone dress on the scale, for example if you as parents are all dressed up then having your little ones in their favourite Minecraft T-Shirt probably isn’t the best idea. Tend to stick to complimenting colours. I’d advise staying away from heavy patterns, they can be distracting and like logos or characters on shirts they can date quickly. Think classic, timeless clothing and these photos will look modern for years to come. Also pay attention to details - are the clothes well fitted, ironed, shoes polished, socks matching?
Anything else to bring?
Bribes! If the children have that one treat that helps get them to co-operate bring it. Also any small favourite toys, snacks, drinks and an extra layer of clothing in case it’s chilly, basically anything that helps keep everyone happy and comfortable. Oh and wipes come in handy, especially if those bribes involve chocolate ;)
As mentioned I want to produce beautiful family heirlooms you’ll be proud to have displayed as prints, however I also want everyone involved to thoroughly enjoy the experience. One thing I hear time and time again from past clients is that their photoshoot ended up being one of the highlights of their trip. Relax, don’t take the shoot too seriously (the children certainly won’t) and enjoy yourselves.
That’s about it, all that remains is for you to book the photoshoot. Click the button below, let me know what dates you’ll be in the city, what time of day suits you all and lets make it happen!
Oh and if you happen to be outside Paris and like my approach to photographing families travelling is not a problem, hit that button below and let me know where you’ll be!