5 Tips to Prepare Your Pre-school Children for Family Photos

The Age of the USB

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A son in the embrace of his Dad.

She held the USB stick against her beating heart.  She gazed at it, imagining what her family were like generations before.

She opened the little lid.

Her heart sank, technology had long since surpassed this meagre creation.

Imagine though, someone finding your family photographs and actually seeing the loving look you are giving your children, or the snuggle from your husband, a grandfather’s outstretched hand to his granddaughter.  Photographs really do speak a thousand words.

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A Grandmother reassuring her grandson.

We are so lucky that photographers can capture real emotion now.  Shutter speeds and film speeds were so slow that the subject had to stand in one place for minutes sometimes to have their photograph taken.  Now we can capture a child being flung in the air in a rapture of giggles.

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You can hear the squeals of delight, and feel the emotions of Dad and daughter.

Picking up a photograph you know your Great Grandparents may have held, even if you never met, is something special.  Studying the photograph, the clothing, the expressions, it feels as if there’s a familiarity.  The paper feels thick and heavy in your hands, it may be sepia toned or silvered with age. Some photographs were kept in a shirt pocket during the war, close to the heart. The photograph itself has a story to tell.

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Old family photo albums conjure up the imagination before even opening them.

How amazing to think in 50 years, 100 years, and beyond, a family member can chance upon your photographs, imagining what you were like, and how your family lived. caroline williams photographer upper hutt photographer wellington photographer central hawkes bay rural family portrait lifestyle

Seeing real emotion, a tear in the eye of a Mum looking at her newborn, a Dad tickling his son so that you can nearly hear the squeals of delight, a favourite pet being cuddled, it’s all prosperity, all memories, and a curiosity to those who chance by our beautiful photographs long after we are gone.caroline williams photographer upper hutt photographer wellington photographer central hawkes bay rural family portrait lifestyle

Of course, if you have a portrait session booked through me, I will do all the hard work for you, with quality products which can still be viewed next century!

However, if you are wanting to print your snaps from family trips or sports days, check out the link (http://www.carolinewilliams.co.nz/what-to-do-with-all-those-holiday-photos/) for tips on how to make your own family memories visible.

If you ‘d like me to photograph your family please email me at the below link! (caroline@twodragons.co.nz)

 

 

Photographing Esmé.

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I had the pleasure of meeting young Esmé during a recent photo session.  Photographing children on the verge of teenage years is always an enchanting experience – they still have all those childhood charms yet are on the cusp of young adulthood.  I asked her Mum one word that would describe Esmé before our photo session.  “Brave”.   After speaking with her Mum, we decided it would be nice to photograph Esmé in a way that shows her inner strength but also her innocence, as well as including a few other fun photographs, and leaving room for any ideas Esmé had.caroline williams photographer upper hutt photographer wellington photographer female tween girl portrait upper hutt photographer wellington photographer

 

To get a feeling of this girls passion and zest, her Mum told me, after an arm injury had completely heeled, she did 50 handstands a day to try and catch up on all the handstands she had missed out on!  Doesn’t that just make you smile!   In fact, here I am stupidly sitting at the keyboard smiling.

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Esmé began her photo session indoors where I used soft natural window light, and studio lighting.

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It can be awkward for anyone standing in front of a camera in close range to the photographer but Esmé began to relax, and even liked some of the photographs!

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We changed outfits a couple of times, then headed outside.  It was late afternoon and the lighting was soft and beautiful which gave an ethereal feel to some of the photographs.

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I hope as Esmé goes through those teen years and into adulthood, she looks back over her photographs and sees her inner beauty radiating out just like her family and friends do.  Photographs have a knack of capturing beauty from the inside out.

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If you ‘d like me to photograph your pre teen (known as tween!) please email me at the below link! (caroline@twodragons.co.nz)

 

Include Yourself In Photographs!

When our first child was born, my husband would offer to take the odd photograph of us and I would often laugh it off as I didn’t like being photographed.  Plus I enjoyed taking photos of him and our son together.  In fact, I enjoyed capturing relationship photos with family and friends.

When our second child was born, he had basically given up asking me which was no surprise!  I went to put an album together – the only photos of our wee baby and I that had been taken seemed to be a photograph that had been taken half an hour after our youngest was born, and a selfie I took when he was about three months old.  I immediately pulled the camera out and told my husband it was family photo time!

The wonderful selfie – who doesn’t have one of these!

Fortunately for us, there had been the odd family snap taken by friends or family members that had been emailed to us, and of course the zillionth photo taken by grandparents!  I guess the main reason for not being more proactive about being in photographs was because of how blah I considered myself to look at that time.  When I look back on these photos I don’t think I looked that bad after all, just natural which is how our kids are more likely to see me now!   And my husband ?

Really it was about how I felt which clouded my judgement of how I looked.  I am no beauty Queen, or ever have been but I am more than happy to pop into photographs with my family, afterall I am proud of our wee family.   I am not worried if I need a haircut (and trust me, I have a good mop of hair!), or if I have a few bags under my eyes, I am just glad to exist in photographs so that when I put the family photo album together, I actually make a decent appearance, and in years to come we know what we all looked like.  So we make a conscious effort to pass the camera between us now, so when we have holiday snaps we are all in there, and even using the self timer some days!

Yes, it is Mother’s Day coming up on Sunday but were you aware it is also International Family Day on the 15th May?  You hear so many stories of families who only have obscured photographs of their loved ones.  Just relax, you are often your greatest critic, and when the kids or hubby/partner/wife want photographs with you, or want to hire a professional to take some photographs, don’t shy away from it.  Enjoy the moment and be proud to be photographed with the ones you love the most!  And remember to print a few photographs off!!  Or your photo album could look as boring as this blog page!

If you would like to book me for a family portrait session please click on the button below to send me an email (caroline@twodragons.co.nz).

What to Wear for Your Photo Session

There’s often a lot of consideration about what to wear for your family photo session.  I do recommend not leaving these decisions to the day of your photo session as you may end up feeling stressed and not able to wear that ‘perfect outfit’.  It is also good to give your kids some guidance and preparation too, so they feel comfortable with the choice of clothing.

When selecting an outfit try to think about the style of photo session you are having.  If it’s racing around with the kids for a lifestyle documentary style photo session, dress comfortably and authentically to you and your family.  If it’s a formal family group, this allows for more formal attire.

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Dad and daughter

Comfortable clothing

Feeling comfortable and happy in an outfit will give good vibes, in turn giving confidence and happiness to your final prints.  Nobody wants to worry about pulling this or tugging at that – and that goes for parents as well as kids.  If you have preschool children, you will need comfortable shoes or bare feet so you can run around with them!  If you want tips on prepping your preschool child for photos head over to see 5 tips to prepare your preschooler for family photos.

Colour

Are you looking for vibrant photographs or more subtly toned images?  Look around your home, see what colours you are drawn to and you may find you wear similar colours in your daily outfits.  If you have muted colours at home you may want to continue this in your style of dress for the photo session.  Are you looking for a zing of colour for your white interior?   All important things to be considered.  You don’t need to be matchy-matchy but try to pick a common colour to work with thoughout.  This family selected a colour theme of blue tieing all outfits together even though there were different patterns but keeping accessories to a minimum creating simplicity.  To check out their photo session go to http://www.carolinewilliams.co.nz/gray-family/

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Texture & Layering

Watch out for competing pattern’s and dressing all in black.  Add texture, whether this is a similar coloured garment with a different texture, or a scarf, jewellery, or belt.  If you like to wear hats, make sure your eyes are seen else you’ll be a big hat in the photographs!  Accessories are useful for adding that bit of zing to your outfit, and can pick up colour to compliment what others in the family are wearing.

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Notice a jacket and scarf adds texture.

Logos

I can’t stress enough not to wear a top with a big logo or vibrant graphic, and that goes for both the parents and kids.  Logos and bright graphics can be very distracting in a photograph, and the eye naturally falls on these instead of the lovely faces of your family.  When you are paying for a photo session, it’s the faces you want to be noticing when you have your final prints hanging on the wall of your home.  Leave the cool tees for the family photo album, they still need a place to be remembered.

Hair & Make Up

This can be dictated by the style of photo session you are having – is it a formal portrait with Grandma or a slightly crazy fun day out with the kids?

When it comes to formal portraits, I would suggest putting effort into hair and make-up, and this does not mean you need to pay to have your hair or makeup done professionally.  If, however, you aren’t confident in doing this I would suggest talking to your hairdresser (they may show you some tricks) or book in to a professional for both.  After all, this is a special day and you are wanting those photographs will be admired by all whom walk through your door!  These colours all tied together nicely for a more formal look.  To view more on this family session go to http://www.carolinewilliams.co.nz/family-farm-rich-in-memories/caroline williams photographer upper hutt photographer wellington photographer central hawkes bay family portrait lifestyle

 

However, if it’s a fun family photo session with the kids, it is important to look like you!  You want your kids to recognise you in the family photos, and lets face it, they love you just the way you are.  A little bit of makeup will always help smooth the skin out, and a bit of gloss will make you feel like you shine, but if you forget don’t stress!  Lovely lighting and a good photographer will always save the day!  Just feel happy on the inside and you will shine on the outside.

Having a photo session is fun, especially if you aren’t stressing over what to wear on the day!  Talk to your photographer about what to wear too – I know I enjoy discussing all these extra bits, it really ties a family photo together.

 

If you ‘d like me to photograph you and your family please email me at the below link! (caroline@twodragons.co.nz)