Jess and Alina
Family portraits are the pride and joy to photograph at LA Photography. The average phone conversations I have with mum's who phone for portraits goes something like the following;
Mum phoning me; "Hi there, my name is..... and I was wanting to enquire about having some family portraits done. However, I really only just after a couple of my little boy/ girl/ the kids."
I ask if the parents are going to be in the portraits and mum states to me it is just the kids. I investigate further to ask why mum doesn't want to be in the photo and the response is usually any of the following;
"I don't know what it is- I just don't take a good photo. It's not anyone's fault who is taking the photo, it's me since no matter who it is- I look terrible in photos".
I proceed to remind mum that perhaps it is not because she doesn't look good, but here is where the difference of having someone professionally trained in taking portraits lies. We know how to achieve the look you want- and I mean without Photoshop.
I'm also told;
"I'm too fat.... I'm too ugly I don't deserve to be in the photo...."
In addressing the first concern, I advise mum I can help her with that in a mixture of ways. We discuss styling and how at LA Photography we have a stunning wardrobe that fits sizes petite through to maternity. We discuss how different clothes and types of clothes can make a huge difference in how we appear. I then inform mum the reasons behind posing, and how we pose according to different figures to achieve a particular look- in terms of weight. I have even had clients wanting to look bigger. I explain that even without Photoshop, the correct styling and posing can take kilos off.
I ask them to trust me. I let mum's know why family portraits is so important to me and I advise them I can take care of all of the above. That also includes the fact that mum's are completely pampered with a makeover and hair styling by a professional makeup artist.
I ask them to trust me. I summarise my experience with women of all body types, of all personality types and confidence levels. I remind them that I am a trained professional in this.
I also sneak in the fact the images don't have to be shown to anyone but kept for just the families enjoyment.
I ask mum to exist in the images with and for her children and so far all women I have had this conversation with have agreed.
Therefore, if you are considering family portraits but have been resistant to being in them yourself, I hope you read this knowing you are not alone. If my clients are looking happy and confident, please know that 98% of my clients do not like to be photographed.
This is what we are here for- to assist guiding you to be at the stage where you can also not only enjoy the experience with your family members being photographed, but if I do my job correctly, you will LOVE your OWN portrait. Yes- I just said that.
A family portrait sitting isn't just about arriving to the studio, snapping away and then that's it we're done. I have just discussed what it can involve getting mum's to feel confident enough to agree having their portrait taken. We also need to consider children.
When you bring your family to the LA Photography studio, essentially what you are asking your child to do is come to my studio and do exactly whatever it is I say. When we think about ourselves, this doesn't always happen because it can be confronting dealing with a complete stranger let alone instructing children to sit, be quiet and act all happy for the camera.
In all portraits, I aim for Connection.
Connection is when you look into a portrait and you feel like the photographer has clearly known the subject so well because the child/ adult just looks that comfortable in their portraits- but they've actually only just met.
Connection doesn't always happen instantly with adults or children- and is the result of getting to know each other. Having a portrait taken can be a vulnerable experience for adults and for children especially with a stranger. Children have after all been taught to be cautious of strangers. In the moment they arrive at my studio, I am a complete stranger that is required to achieve connection very quickly to produce beautiful portraits that you will love forever. Thankfully, I'm pretty good with that going by my experience and track record. I am also a qualified Youth Worker.
In order to achieve Connection with children, I have to get on their level a little bit- and in some cases that involves me acting like a bit of a child myself.
I make a deal with all children who maybe full of energy and clearly be wanting to play a little. Keep in mind for some families, with mum and dad at work during the week, and with the children at school and at schooling activities, a family portrait sitting is also sometimes the first time in a while the family have enjoyed some quality time together. I treat it as such.
I make a deal that we can start off the session with some funny shots where they are laughing, pulling faces and doing all the things they want. Kids usually think this is pretty cool of me especially when asking them to smile I may say something like; "Everyone say dirty undies" and they can't believe I've just asked them to say that and think it is hilarious.
Little tricks like this have them laughing but most of all feeling naturally at ease in front of the camera.
You can imagine it would have them more at ease than simply telling them to; "Go into the photographers' studio, sit and smile..... if you do you can have an icecream after". That sometimes incites children to act up more thinking they may get more icecream.
In my work, I promote the importance of clients being themselves.
That includes letting children be children and when appropriate, I then ask the children if we can now do the formal shots. Of course they usually want to do more of the funny ones, but they know they made a deal and in my experience children love to keep promises.
Children in my experience love photography- and are fascinated by cameras.
Here is Alina as we are getting to know each other and she explores what the camera does;
The following blog shows some of the imagery from Jess and Alina's session. During the session Alina even had a little blush and gloss applied to be more like mum Jess. Whilst Jess was having a makeover, I was taking portraits of Alina as well as enjoying a little bit of Elmo.
At LA Photography, we heart Elmo!
Most of all, mum's all you need to do is wake up and rock up to the LA Photography just as you are because we will look after the entire family from head to toe! We even have a stunning wardrobe for children. When you make your booking, simply let me know the type of styling you wish for and we will accomodate your every need.
I look forward to hearing from you. Please email Laine to make your booking now at firstname.lastname@example.org.