So, it’s your Mums milestone birthday coming up and you’re scratching your head as to what to get her, because really, what can you get for someone who wants for nothing? Well I have the answer:
An extended family photoshoot!
Honestly, what could be more special than beautiful photos of those she loves the most? Not just of her children but her beautiful grandchildren too!
But maybe you’re feeling a bit nervous about an extended family shoot because you’ve never had one and you’re just not sure it’s going to work for your large, quirky family. Well let me walk you through my process of an extended family shoot so you know exactly what to expect!
We get organised
First thing is I liaise with the “Monica Gellar” of the family – the person who’s great at organising everyone in the family and will effectively pass on all the relevant info so everyone’s on the same page for the shoot.
From here we settle on a date and I send out a quick questionnaire to find out who will be attending, their names and all the children’s ages.
Where in Melbourne is best for large generational photos?
Outdoor photos are the best for these sessions as it allows space should some people need it while and keeps the kids happy and entertained!
I take beach photos in Melbourne Bayside and bush/park photos at a couple parks in the Melbourne’s South Eastern Suburbs.
If you are wanting a beach session then we aim for golden hour (the hour before sunset). If there are really young kids they won’t be able to handle this time of day then we go for a bush location as we can be more flexible on timing thanks to the shade from the trees.
Lighting is really important for photography so I’m quite rigid on the timing as it will impact the overall look of your photos!
My style of Photography
I request that all the families look at my website to get a feel for my style of photography and know what to expect.
My style is very relaxed and candid looking and I aim to get a variety of images that encompasses your big extended family.
We generally start with the big money shot – all the families together! From there I capture the grandparents and the grandchildren, then whip the grandparents out and get some group shots of the grandchildren only.
If the kids are up for it, I get individual portraits of each grandchild (or save these for a bit later depending on their moods).
We then get some individual portraits of each family followed by Granny with her older children and then the in-laws too.
This of course is just a rough idea. Every family is different and there might be some other specific shots you are wanting which we will discuss beforehand.
How long does the photoshoot last?
The shoot goes for about an hour, but this will depend on how many people and the age and co-operation of the children. Sometimes a bit of extra time is needed for them to become comfortable, other times we zoom through it!
What should everyone wear to the Photoshoot?
You want these photos to be a good and true representation of your family! It’s good idea to chat about what you all plan to wear just to make sure some of you aren’t dressed super smart and others very casual.
You guys want to be in complimenting colour tones and not have one person or family group jump out from the other due to their clothes.
Decide on general colour tones (for instance, pastels and greys or beige and earthy tones etc) and avoid bold primary colours (or only one person in bold colours as they will stick out which is not what we want)!
Dresses and skirts can create beautiful movement in the photos, while the guys always look good in a nice pair of jeans, button up shirt and rolled up sleeves. Keep the kids’ outfits comfortable and think along the lines of ‘less is more’. You know whether your child doesn’t mind a clip or headband – if they do, leave it off!
We’ll be in an outdoor setting and moving a little (walking, getting down to the kids’ level etc) so you want to ensure your outfits are practical for this!
What about the weather?
Ye, I hear you, getting the family altogether is one thing. Getting Melbourne’s weather to co-operate is another…
I do ask that you remain flexible on the date (we might choose Saturday or Sunday according to the weather forecast). If the whole family is only available for one specific date because they are travelling from out of town then we risk the weather no matter what or agree on a backup indoor or sheltered spot.
I only cancel the session if it’s well and truly raining!
It’s a lot of fun!
I think a lot of people think the session is going to be hard work because there are so many families and just seems like it’s going to be Mission Impossible!
But what they don’t realise is that it’s a lot of fun to go through together. The wise cracks, the sibling love/rivalry and the little kids just love hanging out with their cousins while giggling at their uncles pulling funny faces trying to get them to laugh!
In fact, I suggest that you have a big family BBQ afterwards to continue the fun because you’ll be leaving the session on a high!
Family Photoshoots are for every age and stage
So, if your Mum (or Dad) has a birthday coming up, or maybe your family are visiting from out of town and you’re not sure when you’ll get the opportunity to do it again then why not consider getting an extended family photoshoot done at one of Melbourne’s beautiful outdoor locations?