Relax and have fun during your photo session!

As a Garden Route family photographer, I know the importance of having a relaxed family in front of the camera to ensure a great results and stunning images for my clients. The more relaxed my clients are, the bigger the chance of a successful photo-shoot.

Getting my clients to enjoy themselves during my time with them, for them to take it easy and relax, is just as important as mastering my camera settings or dealing with unpredictable weather. (If you live in the Southern Cape, as I do, you will know that the weather here can be pretty unpredictable, and it is not unusual for us to have ‘four seasons’ in one day!)

I understand that not everyone is used to being photographed by a photographer. Yes, I know most people are used to being photographed, (mostly by the family paparazzi with their point and shoot cameras, or their smart phones), but some people find the idea of being photographed by a professional photographer a bit intimidating. Therefore, with every photo session, I do my best to get my clients to relax and have fun!

I must admit that, even though it has been almost 10 years since I first got started in photography, I still get a little nervous when meeting clients for their photo sessions.

But, I have found several tips that work well to make the photo session more enjoyable, clients more relaxed, and to help calm the butterflies in my own stomach.

First, I try to focus my sessions on getting the family to interact with each other. I let them look at each other, laugh and speak to each other.  That creates natural interactions and connections which I love to capture for them.

Secondly, I love to go with the flow. In my experience, it is better to have a great connection with the family in front of the camera, rather than aiming for the perfect pose. Getting the perfect pose can sometimes be time-consuming, and you tend to lose the interest of, especially kids, if you try to direct them too much. If they are in a pose that works well, I would rather change my own angle. By changing my camera’s angle (rather than fiddling with the ‘pose’), my chances of getting a great shot is significantly improved.

Connection is very important for a relaxed photo session. Letting the family members, touch, hug, tickle or kiss each other will always transform a formal pose into a fun natural pose with lots of natural laughs and giggles. My absolute favorite is when I ask the family to do a ‘group’ hug – it immediately transforms a formal photo into a lovely photo showing connection.

So, at your next family photo-shoot. Relax! Have fun! And just be yourself – in that way, your chances of having a great family photo session will be significantly improved.