Three top tips to nail your family photoshoot – advice from a three year old photoshoot pro
Lessons in how to have a super relaxed, totally natural, unposed family photoshoot don’t get much better than this.
This curly haired little dude had it all under control when I caught up with him and his mummy and daddy for a family photoshoot in their back garden.
It’s not the first time I’ve met this gorgeous little chappie – he stole the show when I met him for the first time at his at-home newborn photoshoot, and this shoot was no different.
He’s about to become a big brother, so we managed to squeeze in a morning of fun to capture some photos of him and his mummy and daddy as a family of three before bump becomes baby.
As well as oodles of natural photos of the little chap doing his thing, we also made sure to get some group family photos. Unposed, as-they-happen photos are my first love, but team huddles are important, so I always make sure we get some of those in the bag too – in years to come you’ll want to look back on photos of you all together and they only take a few minutes, so we get them done and crack on with gathering a gallery of totally candid shots.
This family shoot in a back garden in North West London is one of my all-time favourites. As a Hertfordshire family photographer I also travel to meet families a little drive away.
Grand parks and vast open spaces can give impressive backdrops, but there’s something very special about having photos on home turf, especially when the giggles are as real as these. Also: those curls.
Their secret to such relaxed photos? There was no agenda, no big rush, no worrying or fussing over ‘looking the part’ or looking at the camera, and Mummy and Daddy let the little man get on with doing the things he loves to do. Some of his toys were out and ready for him to use, and with Mummy and Daddy joining in, he had the best time and the photos tell a story of togetherness and simple fun.
All I had to do with hang out with the camera and let them get on with it.
Scroll to the bottom for the little man’s three top tips for bossing your family photoshoot.
A three year old’s three top tips for the best natural family photos
- Just be yourself and do your thing
Having the photoshoot at home meant I could have a normal Saturday morning having fun with my toys.
We hung out in the back garden which is where I love to be, and the photographer took photos of me doing the things I love to do – I watered the plants and did some digging in the mud with my own gardening tools and my favourite mini digger toys. I got to play on my slide and of course had cuddles with Mummy and Daddy.
Plus, when I got hungry I was able to have some food whilst the photographer had a chat with Mummy.
- Forget about the lady with the camera
The photographer lady told me to try and forget about her – she told me that the most important people were Mummy and Daddy (I already know that😉) and I just had to be with them. Easy peasy.
I was a bit shy at first, but as I was in my own garden and had all my things around me I was able to forget about the photographer being there.
I soon realised she didn’t want me to pose for the camera which was good as I could just carry on having fun. There were a couple of times when I sat on Mummy’s lap for a family group photo, but that didn’t take long and I was soon able to go back to my digging.
Of course, I did a few CHEEEEEEESE faces as I’ve just learnt how to do CHEEEEEEESE and my cheese face is super cute, but the photographer didn’t tell me to – I just know that’s what people say when someone has a camera. The photographer took photos anyway, but she said that I didn’t need to do cheese all the time. Phew!
- Be together with all the family
My favourite people in the whole wide world are my Mummy and Daddy. They know me best – they know what I like to do and the things we love to do together. They made sure there were a few things about for me to play with so I could have fun.
Mummy and Daddy were super good at playing with me – it meant I had fun and the photos have got all of us in – I love seeing all of us together in photos (usually it’s either Mummy or Daddy holding the phone so we never have photos of us all together).
Mostly we just had fun like we always do.
more family stories from the blog
real FAMILY PHOTOSHOOTS
Meaningful family photography doesn’t need to be posed perfection. Documentary photographers like me revel in unscripted, genuine moments, where the action unfolds without prompts or interference. Where the giggles and laughter flow naturally - no say cheese...
Hitchin Lavender in Hertfordshire is one of my favourite places for picturesque family photoshoots. From the purple, rolling hills that dominate the landscape, and the occasional tractor for working farm authenticity, Hitchin Lavender at Cadwell Farm (just outside ...