Introducing Alice, Sophie and William, a vibrant young family from Northamptonshire who popped along for their family portrait shoot earlier in the week. We already know mum and particularly dad through our business dealings with Toddle About magazine which they own and publish, but this was the first time we’d had the pleasure of meeting their 3 lovely children aged 8, 7, 5.
I’ve previously mentioned my mild anxiety when photographing families I already know, I worry that familiarity and high expectations could hinder a good shoot. Also, with them being the publishers of a very well respected range of local magazines that deal exclusively with our parent client base, I was definitely a tad more twitchy than usual. Think of those poor contestants on Masterchef cooking for the critics! However, I needn’t have worried.
Gratefully mum and dad had fully taken on board the blurb we sent out preparing them for their shoot and as a result really seemed to understand what we needed from them to help make for a great family photoshoot. Although many of our suggestions are purely practical ones dealing with issues such as snacks and what to wear etc, the really important stuff is how our clients mentally prepare both themselves and their children. As a dad myself I can fully empathise with our clients concerns particularly on how their children will behave and ultimately perform when visiting the studio, hopefully the blurb helps ease these worries a little.
Although not wishing to patronise, we can’t emphasise enough the importance of being happy, relaxed and enthusiastic when both attending and even when discussing a shoot prior to arriving. As adults we understand that our own mood and behaviour directly influences those around us and this is particularly true with our close family members. Our children look to us for all their social cues and often mimic our own behaviours. Both mum and dad were very chilled out and this certainly rubbed off on their family, ultimately showing in the children’s portraits.