When I shoot, it’s mostly family photography. I guess being a Mom myself, I love creating images of families that they will love as much as I would.
My favorite type of image is with the family laughing together… naturally. And sometimes that can be hard to get. Some families arrive on scene and you can tell the Mom was probably a stress case the whole morning trying to get the kids ready, because there is this awkward tension in the air and NOBODY seems happy to be there.
Other families, the Moms are more relaxed, less stressed, and the whole family is looser, friendlier and ready to go and have some fun with your camera!
Either way, I’ve got to get a happy family laughing together… naturally. Not so pose-y.
So I invented this game that works every single time. I use it with families that have little kids and I use it with families with big kids. Seriously - teenagers will still play this game with me.
I love the results of using this game so much, that I’ve kept it up my sleeve and haven’t shared it with anyone else - till now…
Here is how I work it:
Line up the family in one line with parents in the middle snuggling together, the oldest siblings on each side of the parents kind of side hugging them. (Obviously I adjust depending on the number of kids in the family).
I then take the 2 youngest kids and have them stand 10 feet out on each side of the family, one on each side. I tell them that when I say “go” they are to run up to the family, side hug their brother (or sister), squish the family together a little bit and laugh into the camera.
Then I back up, make sure my camera is in focus, the exposure is correct and that the composition is right.
When everything seems good I say, “Ready, set, go!”
Then the 2 little kids run from the sides into the family and give them a little squish (or sometimes a big tackle) and everyone cracks up and I get some awesome shots of everyone laughing together.
Sometimes I have to play the game a few times, and sometimes I have to re-explain it a little, but I love the movement, the laughing, the connection and the natural energy that exudes from these images!
Here is a family with 6 kids, OH WAIT, this is MY family and MY 6 kids! I love it!!
Feel free to post any questions in the comments...