I have a lot of experience photographing families in numerous locations and settings. Below are a few family portrait photography shoots such as family reunions, birthday milestones and anniversaries.
An outdoor location for family photos allows more for you to interact with. Locations for a photo shoot could be your favourite walk, where you grew up, or perhaps you are a proud gardener and want that to feature in the photos. You may like to be engaged in an activity like a picnic or horse riding rather than a very straight portrait, just let me know what you envisage and we can work from there.
Obviously location shoots are weather dependent, but I am flexible with the date of the shoot if the weather is uncooperative. Outside 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 a location shoot as you will be in a more natural environment
I know people don't want posed 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 photo." If it isn't an organised 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 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 photos are 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.
A "natural" photo will likely only look natural if you have something to do. It's not about "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 or lack of activities/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 was a great place for family photographs for the Nettley family as there were lots of opportunities for interesting backgrounds.
Choosing a fun place to go for photos helped relax everyone and the kids even got an ice cream out of it!
In only an hour we got lots of great photos but we could have got plenty more as there were lots of other nice places to explore and lots of ideas I had in my head.
“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.”
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.