For this family photoshoot we decided to head to Malibu because they allow dogs on the beach! We had a great time mixing it up between being playful and sweet. I wanted to capture how active the family and pups are and how they love playing.
I've known Gabby for many years now! This sweet family used to live in NYC and she worked as a personal trainer at the gym that I go to. A couple of years ago, they decided to make the move to LA, actually a few blocks over from my house there! I was so happy to welcome them to my neighborhood. They love the sunshine and love spending time outdoors. They are a very active and fit family that loves to play.
Film developing: The Find Lab
We've come a long way since the yearly family photos at JC Penny. Today a family photoshoot is more likely to be more of a lifestyle feel to them, a bit more loose and a bit more candid. Because family pictures with young kids pose their own set of unique challenges, it's best to go into them prepared for anything. Much like newborn photos, we just never know which direction the session will go. Kids have short attention spans, their own agendas (which I love hearing, because sometimes we have to listen to the kids and make them feel heard), and they don't always follow directions from someone other than their own parent. Trying to get a toddler with a genuine smile is sometimes like finding a unicorn eating cupcakes, rare, but it could happen ;). Just keep an open mind and maybe a bribe or two usually does the trick. So if you're considering having family photos done, I've compiled some suggestions on how to make it fun for the whole family!
The truth is, kids are completely unpredictable and this is one time where having the bar set at zero is ideal. I work to get those family pictures where everyone is looking at the camera first and build off of that. I ride the wave as long as the kids will let me. I've been able to work for an hour straight with perfect smiles and I've worked through tantrums and full-on meltdowns - both prove to be really intimate and incredible moments. Those in-between moments, the real story.
Feed the kids and bring secret reinforcements. Someone will inevitably feel hungry or thirsty. Bribery works. This is entirely up to you on if or how or when, but take it from me, more often than not, they work.
Plan your family pictures around napping times. The ideal time being after a nap in the early afternoon. If that doesn't work with your schedule, the early morning is great too. Chances are you're up anyway and you might as well take full advantage of peak hours.
Keep it simple and dress comfortably. Comfortable clothes (and shoes) are key when making your kids do something they don't really understand. While we're at it, I suggest keeping the props to a minimum. You don't want to be weighed down with anything while trying to wrangle some kids. If you're going to bring something, I suggest bubbles. Bubbles are great at focusing kids and giving them something to do. There is beauty in simplicity. Just focus on having real sweet moments and I'll be there to capture those fleeting moments.