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"I Won't Force Your Kids To Smile"

Family photoshoots create lasting memories and images you'll look back on for years to come. And the best way to get the most out of your photos is to let your kids be kids! Happy kids make for happy photos. And you can't beat a natural smile.

laughing baby photoshoot

I always avoid adding pressure when it comes to photographing families and little ones especially. It's likely the situation is already a little foreign- a stranger pointing a camera at you can be quite intimidating for anyone. That's why I try to make photoshoots as relaxed as possible. I won't get you into complicated poses or positions but rather guide you in certain directions.

Treat your family photoshoot as a day out and I just happen to be there with a camera! The documentary style of photography is all about capturing natural moments in real time. This doesn't mean that you're all perfectly positioned smiling to camera. These photos have a place of course, but sometimes your favourite shots come from split second moments you don't even realise.

To help with this it's always beneficial to incorporate movement. Getting moving can help you relax in front of the camera, whilst also being a distraction for wriggly kids. This can be as simple as walking together, chatting about what you had for breakfast or even bringing along a favourite toy (bubbles are quite often a winner too!).

As well as this it's important to take our time. Whether you choose a location shoot, studio shoot or a session at home, I generally let the young ones drive the process. Just walking between spots on a location shoot can help break up the session, whilst snack breaks and outfit changes are alway welcome! And rest assured I won't let you leave unless I feel like we've got the shots we want.

So what if it does all goes wrong? You know your kids better than anyone. Do they like being thrown in the air? Do tickles always erupt in giggles? Or do they simply want to explore on their own two feet. There's no restrictions during your shoot. Why not try singing a favourite nursery rhyme or incorporate a game- do what makes you and them happy and it's my job to capture those moments.

Family photoshoots can be a daunting task but it definitely doesn't have to be. My biggest advice is to trust the process and trust your photographer. Relish the time you have together with your family and let go of any pressure. Sessions that are relaxed and fun will always produce the most beautiful and real photos.

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