A few weeks ago we had a family photo shoot, this is something that we would like to do every year but have found to be too expensive. Luckily the wife of a work mate had just started doing photos shoots after passing her photography course and is charging very reasonable rates.
We have done 2 photo shoots before, one in a studio and one at home/in the park. With 2 little ones we had already decided it would be much easier for the photographer to come to us than the other way round. So home/in the park it was again.
Sandra suggested either early morning or later afternoon due to the quality of the natural light. We have done early before but this time round the late afternoon fitted in with our schedules better.
The Shoot – Indoors
Sandra came round at about 5 ish, which meant we had just got the kids up and given them their afternoon tea. Having rested and fed kids was going to make the whole process way more enjoyable!
We started off by having a quick tour of the house so that Sandra could pick out good locations. Generally having somewhere that doesn’t have too much going on in the background is a good plan.
The first shots were taken up in the girls bedroom. Our youngest one isn’t old enough to get the concept of posing, so we could ask her to be in one place or sit or something. Then it’s a matter of patience to get the right moment. The older one got it entirely and was happy trying out different things; peeking over the headboard of her bed or laying next to her sister who randomly had decided to lay on the floor.
We then moved downstairs where it was much more difficult to get a “quiet” background but the light was much better. Not to worry as out came a bunch of sheets that Sandra had brought to provide a backdrop.
Sandra was really good with the kids and would jump in when opportunities presented themselves. So if we were chatting about something but one of the girls was nicely posed playing with something or other then she would stop mid-sentence and start snapping away.
The Shoot – In The Park
We decided to have the family and also some solo shots in the park. We had done this before and it was interesting how another photographer uses the same space. Obviously things aren’t exactly the same as the kids are older etc… but still there were some ideas that were very similar and others that were totally different.
Whilst we did setup the photos on the whole, Sandra worked well with the kids and their attention spans. So if one was getting crotchety we would let her run around and play a bit whilst photos were take with the other one.
Obviously we had photos where we were stood or sat around but also there were a couple of lovely action photos too. These were either of us swinging the kids around or on the swings which are one of their favourite things in the park.
To show how much fun we all had, just as we had decided to call it a day, the memory card on Sandras camera filled up so obviously a sign that it was to be the end.
Choosing The Pictures
The way that Sandra does it is she goes away and does a bunch of editing. Then she puts low resolution versions with her water mark into Dropbox for you to review. You let her know the choice and the high resolution versions are put on there to download.
This was a lovely way since we have an AppleTV2 we could put them on the TV for the kids to see and make our choices. Well that was the theory but in the end my wife and I chose our top photos separately into 2 folders. Any in both were chosen plus a couple of others.
As we weren’t sure about B&W or colour we asked then for both versions of our chosen ones to review and picked which ones would be in which format.
So how much did it all cost in the end? $150 for the shoot that lasts 1-2 hrs with up to 5 family members. It includes editing of 50 images and 5 high resolution jpegs. We opted to get 3 more and these were $20 each but could have got 10 more for $150.
Here is a link to Sandras Facebook page, she also specialises in animal/pet photography.
Thank you to Sandra for providing these photos as examples of her work.