I've a lot of experience providing family photography in numerous locations and settings. You can view some of my family photography shoots below.
Sometimes people want photos on their parents' anniversary as a gift to them, other times it might be a family reunion. I've worked with lots of families and captured natural and relaxed photos for them. Read testimonials from families I have previously done family photography for.
Not really something I tend to do, but I can highly recommend Sharon Lewis Photography for that: 07957 567 926 sharonlewisphotography.co.uk
I can also get some great photos of your kids for birthday milestones such as their thirteenth, sixteenth or eighteenth birthday. Why not have some beautiful family photos of your kids in their teens that show off a little of their personality. They won't be teenagers for long!
An outdoor photoshoot on location for family photos allows more for you to interact with. The photos could be taken on your favourite walk, where you grew up, or simply your garden if some family members aren't very mobile. Rather than a more formal portrait, you may like to be engaged in an activity like a picnic or a ball game. Just let me know what you envisage and we can work from there.
Outside photography provides infinite background choices, giving you a greater variety of photos, and I can work quicker, more creatively, and with much larger groups. You will also find yourself more relaxed on an outdoor location shoot, as you will be in a more natural environment. Outdoor family photography shoots are weather dependent however, but I am flexible with the date of the shoot if the weather is uncooperative.
A fee will be charged to book the date of the photography shoot, but will not be refunded if cancelled. If the date is moved due to poor weather, I will accommodate a new date without charge, subject to availability.
Weekend bookings more than 3 weeks away will be booked at the discretion of Moment Photography (depending on demand for wedding bookings).
The remaining payment must be paid at the time of the shoot.
I charge by the time taken to capture the photos. But for every hour taking the photos, usually it takes up to 4x to edit and process them. I take a lot of care to make the images colourful and really stand out.
Probably half of the family photoshoots I do, people initially say they hate having their photo taken, or they give the impression it is not their favourite thing. They are usually having their photo taken as it's a special family occasion such as a birthday or an anniversary and they are doing it for some special memories.
However, the reason lots of people don't enjoy having their photo taken is because their friends who normally take their photo, do a terrible job!
Here is a real life comparison of how a photo looks when taken by a friend on an iPhone, and how a professional photo looks.
Hard shadows, bad composition, poor body positioning, distracting and ugly backgrounds, poorly timed, halfhearted smiles, completely unflattering, boring
When I take a photo of you, I am deciding on how to utilise different backgrounds and manipulate them to suit, where to place you, how the light is falling on you, your posture, clothing adjustments, placement of arms and legs, any props such as a tree, wall, chair, swing etc. If there are other people in the photo too, I will arrange everyone together in the most pleasing manner. The result far surpasses a friend's photo in every way.
Many a time families have booked me for family photos as they are on holiday together and staying at a hotel or airbnb. As families visiting Somerset won't always be familiar with what there is to offer for good photography locations, below are a few suggestions for great places to have your outdoor family photography session.
Truly amazing rock formations and backgrounds for family photography. Great for kids fossil hunting and looking in rock pools. Seemingly endless possibilities for beautiful family photos. Most suitable for able bodied people as there are lots of rocks to walk across. Be especially careful when you park to leave within the time you have paid for.
Colourful beach huts, a pebbly beach, a pretty harbour and a lovely park full of flowers. Get an ice cream or fish and chips for that true seaside feel in the photos. Here is just one of a few outdoor family photography sessions I have done at Lyme Regis.
Dappled light through the leaves, big twisty trees, plenty of natural organic backgrounds and things to lean on or sit on. Free parking at the start of the walk.
Wide open grassy space surrounded by trees. Great for a picnic, kicking a ball about or throwing a frisbee. Natural outdoor family photo opportunities as you enjoy having fun together. Parking right nearby as well as toilets.
Maybe you have a friend who has a field of wheat or corn? A fantastic background for family photography.
Similar to Glastonbury Tor but with easier parking and no crowds. A lovely spot for outdoor family photos where you get a nice view at the top and lower down there are trees to use as a background. It's an easy, small hill, but suitable only for able bodied members of the family.
Photography at Hestercombe Gardens: A lovely place and it was one of my suggestions, however I am very disappointed to say that even though I had the intention to share with them photos from family sessions (with the permission of families) for the marketing of Hestercombe, they have chosen to tell me there would be a high fee involved. This is despite the fact I would be directly bringing them new custom and giving them free photos. Go figure! Sadly the same story with National Trust houses.
A lovely park in Burnham On Sea with a lake. A great family photography spot that has free parking, level pathways and is wheelchair friendly. Lots of opportunities for cute family photos of the kids feeding the ducks or playing on the climbing frames. There are also plenty of trees and often long grass that works really well for family photos. A great place for your outdoor family photoshoot. Note: please don't feed the birds bread, it is bad for them, take bird seed instead.
A sizeable public park with a colourful fountain, lots of park benches, large kids play area, crazy golf, large open spaces, flowerbeds, trees that provide shade and texture for photos, wide wheelchair friendly walkways and a waterway that is great for feeding the ducks. Here's some family photography I have captured at Vivary Park.
Note: please don't feed the birds bread, it is bad for them, take bird seed instead.
In summer time the gardens are a delightful place to visit with lots of small gardens close together. Lots of colour, texture and various interesting features. There is a charge to enter, but there is also a large glasshouse, plant shop and cafe. If you are a large family group, it may be a good idea to contact the gardens asking permission for your family photos to be taken there, in case they are worried a big group might cause disruption to other visitors to the gardens.
Rugged rolling hills and various beautiful woodland walks such as around the Dulverton area.
At the top of the Quantock Hills just up the road from Taunton is Triscombe Stone car park. Here, you are right next door to massive old twisted tree branches and open fields. Lots of woodland background opportunities for outdoor family photography like this.
A rugged setting with cliffs to stand in front of and big rocks to sit on. Bring your dog or something to throw about for action shots.
Walk up Jacob's Ladder, tip toe in the sea, throw a few pebbles on the beach, get an ice cream or simply sit on the seafront.
Endless pretty architectural backdrops, pretty parks and lots of places to sit or stand for photos.
Rustic dockyards, interesting architectural backgrounds, relaxing parks and bustling trendy areas.
Lots of space and natural grassy backgrounds
I know people don't want posed family photos......but they also do! Posed family photos are more of a necessity than a desire. When you have a big family and you want everyone to be in the photo, it's inevitable that it is going to be a "posed family photo." If it isn't an organised family photo, kids look the wrong way, someone blinks, yawns or frowns, or there is someone stood behind someone. Often all of that happens all at once!
So I am often told "we don't want lots of posed family photos," but then on the day of the photo shoot I am asked: "oh could we just have a photo of all of us?" Then.... "oh we must get one of the aunts and uncles,"......"can we have one of the kids?"......."I'd like a photo of me and my sister, we haven't seen each other for 3 years"..........."oh and Bob's side of the family"........"let's have one on the balcony"...........etc, etc.
Before you know it, time is marching on, and 1 hour later the "natural" family photos haven't happened yet.
So I guess I am saying, I am on your side, posed family photos are artistically boring, but they are necessary. Most people's idea of taking a family photo will involve everyone haphazardly bundled together quickly in front of a smartphone, that generally results in it looking very disorganised and unflattering/poorly lit.
The expectation is instant results these days. However to get everyone into place properly still takes a while, and multiply that "quick photo" several times of all the groups you want, and things get a bit out of control.
So manage your time expectations, do you really need every family combination that has just popped into your head? Leave plenty of time for relaxed photos of you involved in an activity.
Don't worry I am not going to stipulate you all have to wear white tops and jeans. Just apply a little common sense. Big bright logos on clothing will be distracting and detract from the family photo. Bright colours are great, but as long as you aren't wearing a bright red t-shirt and everyone else is in muted colours. A pretty blouse is likely to look more interesting than a plain t-shirt. Likewise for the men, a shirt will look better than a plain t-shirt. So basically if you want a great family photo, wear some nice but comfortable clothing and make sure no person or item of clothing stands out from everybody else (unless you really want that of course).
I also recommend you remove bulky phones and keys from your pockets, and if your watch draws too much attention, you may want to remove that too.
A "natural" photo will likely only look natural if you have something to do. It's not about me taking photos like a ninja and "catching you unaware," it's about your focus being on something other than me and the camera.
In the gallery above, the photos that look most natural are the ones where people are involved in an activity outside, having a conversation, looking at old family photos together, playing games etc. Of course they were all fully aware that I was there, but I asked them to ignore me and carry on enjoying themselves. Once people know they don't have to perform, they relax and they are themselves, and it is their "natural" selves that people want to see in the photos.
Usually the only thing that stops me from getting more natural photos is being confronted with requests for group photos first, lack of time, lack of activities, or a nice environment for people to interact with.
The best photos are natural photos. Here are some ideas of activities that will help keep you focused on each other and enjoying yourselves rather than feeling uncomfortable in front of a camera.
Lyme Regis is a great Dorset seaside location for family photography. I have done several family photoshoots at Lyme Regis now and each time it has offered different opportunities.
I have even been a part of a marriage proposal shoot on The Cobb at Lyme Regis.
Family photography bookings have varied in size from small groups where everyone is able bodied, to bigger groups that include older generations. Lyme Regis is great in that there are places accessible to those who are less able, but you can still find an attractive background.
Some great locations for photos at Lyme Regis include:
Some families book an Air B&B at Lyme Regis and use that as a base. That's great as I can either take photos where you are staying or we can meeting on the beach or in the town and wander about getting some lovely Lyme Regis seaside photos.
“Ross is very good at putting you at ease and was fantastic at getting the best out of the children. He was very patient and moved us around swiftly to keep the children captivated. We have all been blown away by such fabulous pictures. I would definitely work with Ross again. Thank you for beautiful captivated memories.”
A lovely evening family photo shoot with the Locke family. The shoot location was Cannington in Somerset and it was a beautiful sunny evening.
I had an hour for the shoot, so I started by acquainting myself with the family and then having a look at the surroundings such as the gardens of the house and a nearby stream.
I was fortunate enough to have three very smiley subjects, Guy, Lucy and Anthony who were very pleasant to photograph and all happy to be part of some new family photos once they got to know me a bit.
Even in a short time we got a lot of photos and had a great time.
“I thought you did really well coping with two teenagers who were a bit nervous beforehand. You had a relaxed manner with them and afterwards they both said how much they enjoyed the experience. It’s great that you are all about the quality of the photographs and the whole experience.”
Teenagers grow up so fast and before you know it they have flown the nest. Teens also seem to have a better social life than their parents, so trying to pin them down whilst you have the chance can be tricky. Not so though with Ben and his two daughters though; his teenage girls of thirteen and sixteen were happy to have their photos taken and really enjoyed having their teen photoshoot in Taunton.
It was quite tight to fit everything in as we needed to fit around work and school/college timetables, and then get the photos as quickly as possible in a couple locations before we lost the evening light.
Taunton has some good spots to choose from for family photography, and as Ben lives in Taunton, he knew of some ideal locations (based on some pointers from me) of where would be a great photography location for some fun teenage photos.
I had suggested Vivary Park, but the eldest was worried that she might be embarrassed if her friends saw her. No problem, we had some quieter spots we could use.
This teenage photoshoot was set in Bishops Lydeard and on the edge of Taunton where Ben knew we could get some natural backgrounds and not be in anyone’s way.
I explained to Ben and his daughters what I planned to do and reassured them that they would look really great in the photos and it would be a lot of fun. I showed them some of the photos along the way and got a few wows. The youngest even said to her older sister “wow you look better in the photo” when she looked at my camera. Haha, I think that just slipped out, then she realised what she had said.
We spent just over two hours taking the photos, before the light faded. I had a little help from them with bubble blowing, silly faces to bring out the smiles and the odd Dad joke.
So all in all a really successful teen photoshoot. Taunton wasn’t far to go for me from Bridgwater, but I am happy to travel to you wherever you want to have your teen photos or family photos taken.
For this teen photoshoot I really did need a minimum of 2 hours to get the shots I did, especially being in two locations. If you would like some creative and fun teen photos of your teenagers, have a look at my family photography prices.