Taking family photographs on a beautiful Spring day sounds idyllic but it’s not always that easy. Both children and the weather can be frustratingly indecisive. But however hard it can seem, the reality is though that your children will never be this age again, next Spring they will be a year older and this moment in time will be lost forever. In this post, I want to help you capture those moments even when your subjects or the environment prove to be difficult.
If you want to take pictures to keep forever then it stands to reason that you want to wear nice clothes but if you add children and the great outdoors into the mix, those pretty perfect outfits won’t be pretty or perfect for very long.
It is also worth considering that if you want to capture your children playing naturally, they need to feel comfortable in what they are wearing. Anything restrictive will inhibit their movements and limit your photography.
Additionally, keep in mind the location of your spring day out. The clothes that they wear should feel in keeping with the setting to give the images a more natural feel.
Ok I know it is ridiculous to say to a family to rest. Children don’t always like the concept and they certainly don’t appreciate a lie in. As a parent myself I know that rested is the last thing I often feel.
Having said that, there are things you can do (or not do), to give yourself and your family the appearance of peace and tranquility. Firstly, don’t plan to do too much in one day because otherwise by the time you come to take the photos everybody will be frazzled. Also try to pick a location that is relatively close so that you haven’t got a long journey to deal with. Try not to plan it at a time when you know your children will be tired or hungry (although I recognise that this could be at any time)!
We have been so conditioned that as soon as somebody puts a camera in our face we instantly feel an impulse to say cheeeeeese and stretch our smile muscles so far that we contort them into the biggest, fakest grin.
This might be fun for the odd funny snap, but if you are looking for some beautiful images that you can keep then a cheesy grin doesn’t quite capture the moment. When children smile and laugh naturally it communicates so much more of their personality and will warm your heart when you look back on the photo in years to come.
We all love the sunshine, well most people do anyway; photographers have a love and hate relationship with it. This is because the sun wreaks havoc with the lighting and shadows. I recommend that if it’s a very sunny day you take your pictures in the shade. Luckily, in the UK we get quite a lot of cloud which is a photographers best friend as it naturally diffuses the sunlight and provides the perfect lighting.
If a beautiful day out in spring to take family photos turns into a stressful day of arguments and the futile strive for perfection, you will look back at the photographs and instead of seeing the family you love you will be reminded of a painful and difficult day. Make fun the centre of the whole event, make memories worth capturing.
The biggest problem with taking the perfect family spring pictures is that one member of the family will always be holding the camera. Selfies might be fun but they are limiting and if you want to capture all of you together enjoying a perfect cloudy spring day then enlisting the help of a photographer is a wise move. They can understand the light and the environment and are experienced in bringing out the joy in children without forcing anyone to say cheese.
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