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How to Photography: 5 Ways to Make Family Photos Quick and Fun

This blog post has interesting story. I was actually shooting another family, when I saw a huge group of people standing at the park and not really doing anything. I walked up to them and ask them if they are taking family pictures because I noticed that everyone was wearing really coordinated outfits. One woman walked up to me in tears saying "I think my photographer is not going to come." I told her that I definitely would help her family out after I was done with my 30 minute session with another family. It was difficult for me to do the session with my original family watching the large upset family waiting for their photographer. They had at least 10 small children with them and I know how small children can get bored really easily. After I was done with my family session with the little girl (you can see it here) I walked up to the family reunion and I started to organize things. I had never met this family before and I didn't even know what family members were related to each other. I knew that I had to do their family photos quick and easy AND make them fun as well. This was a huge challenge considering I had not planned on being with them for a session. I knew I had to be especially quick. Nobody likes to sit around and twiddle their thumbs for 20 minutes waiting for the photographer to get set up. When I had everyone in the pose, I didn't worry about being very picky. I didn't worry about fixing anyone's shirt or hair, I just kept shooting and made it fun! I wasn't worried about all the kid's eyes looking at me, I just wanted to get them in that moment.

That's why it was important for me to take 4-5 shots of the same photo. That way I could choose between all of the different images to get the right one that I liked. I also had to make sure that I was doing everything that I could in-camera so that my light room editing wouldn't be as long. I wanted to make their experience the best one, because I have never worked with them before. Therefore, I wanted my photos done as soon as I could. The last thing I wanted them to remember is how long I took to get ready to shoot and to get the photos back to them. I don't want them to remember how boring it was. A lot of times in the shoot, they would come up with a lot of ideas saying "Can I do this combination?" Or "Can we shoot against over here?" I would try to make sure I granted the request as much as I could. Because a happy customer will be better for me than getting exactly the right photo that I was envisioning.

First thing I did was, find a place to shoot. There were about 20 to 25 family members. I had to find a place that would be good with lots of people. So I took two benches from the park and put them together very quickly. I could already tell the small children were getting bored at this point because it already been waiting for about 45 minutes for their hired photographer with nothing to do. The first thing I did was get one huge family photo with everyone. That way, if the kids lose interest and start having tantrums, at least had one that everyone was together. I moved the adults first out of the picture and I kept the children in the grandparents. I did this because those are the hardest people to have up-and-down. To change the picture from being a boring portrait, I just said something very simple like "Look at a neighbor." or "Hug someone around you."

I put my camera on burst mode and was able to do about five or six photos as each person was doing different candid shots that way I had a lot to work with.

I tried to keep everyone in the same location. I didn't want to have everyone move all of the park. I shot all my photos within a 20' x 10' area.

All I had to do was to turn to the right or to the left to get a different view. Boom- it made it look like it was a different location.

I love taking the in-between moments of people cuddling or kissing. I would just keep shooting all the way through if I saw something special happen. The first thing I did when I met the family was tell them the situation, introduce myself, and compliment them on how great everyone looked. During the session I gave the kids lots of high-fives and compliments. And after the shoot, I thanked them for letting me come and hang out. I handed out my business cards to everyone so they could get in contact with me. Using these methods, at the end of the shoot, I did all their all their family combinations and shot over 200 photos within 20 to 30 minutes. After the shoot, everyone left happy and in high spirits! A definite win!


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