When is the best time to take family photos? I hear this question all the time.
People stop me when I’m at the gym, or the grocery store, sometimes even church, to ask when they should take their family photos. And I totally understand why they’re asking. After all the hustle of shoving your kiddos into those darling, perfectly tailored outfits, and adjusting your hair to perfection, you want every aspect of your photo to look just as radiant. Nobody wants to be a real candidate for Awkward Family Photos. (Well, maybe not nobody.) The thing is, there are certain times of the day when photos turn out better than others. So, when’s that prime time to take portraits?
2 hours before sunset is my favorite time to take pictures.
The sun sits lower in the sky, so shadows are less harsh. My clients don’t have to squint at me (always a plus) and nobody’s bathed in a halo of light, while the person next to them looks like a walking shadow. 2 hours before sunset, the light tends to be a little more even. The colors are warmer and the leaves on the tree do this little twinkly thing…which honestly, sometimes makes me look like a photography rockstar. Who doesn’t want to be the Axel Rose of the camera? Uh, wow that totally just dated me.
Anyway, the point is, if you’re looking to take marvelous photos remember to shoot closer to late afternoon and early evening.
A few fun family photography tips:
1. Move away from the background.
You’ll stand out more. Which is important because you’re the star of this shoot.
2. Stop matchy-matching.
The twiner look was big in 1994. Not so much now.
3. The less swearing, the better.
Sometimes your kids won’t want to smile. Believe me, cussing them out and threatening rarely gets the smile you want. Leave it to the photographer to pull out a natural smile.
4. Photoshop doesn’t cure everything.
I once had a client ask me to photoshop her husband’s facial skin so it wouldn’t show his chin scruff. Uh no. Sometimes it’s just better to shave and shower before you come. Just saying.
5. Shoot during Fall or Spring.
I like the gold leaves in autumn, and the buds and blooms in spring. So pretty.
Here’s a peek at the West Family’s portraits. I had the opportunity to capture their fall portraits a couple weeks ago. Fall in Utah is a photographer’s Ace up the sleeve. It almost always looks great because the sun hit’s those leaves and, I swear, magic happens. Rockstar photography. This adorable family made my job easy. They picked out great outfits that coordinated, and at the same time, gave each person in the family a unique look. Pinks and turquoises aren’t often done as a color palate for outfits in the fall, but it works brilliantly in these images.
Thank you West family for having me take your pictures!