In this roundup episode, I select my favourite advice from some of the best family photographers I’ve had on the show. We touch on your photographer mindset, finding your style, the client experience, location scouting, working with kids, and much more!
Stormy Solis (1:51)
As one of the best family photographers, what advice would you give to someone struggling to find their voice?
Start by getting at least one shot each session that is just for you, according to your own vision. Then, when you cull, show the shots that make YOU feel something. You don’t need to know why it moved you. Now clients who feel the same as you will be attracted to you.
Also, do personal projects, where you can delete any shots you want, and you will be left over with the shots that define you and your style.
Twyla Jones (5:14)
What would you say to a photographer who is struggling to give directions to clients?
Dads and older kids are more self-aware, so it’s harder for them to let go and act naturally. You have to give them specific instructions, and then lots of encouragement.
Jessica Drossin (7:07)
How are you able to see and know that a location will be amazing?
I realized that, since I’m not moving, I will have to look deeper into making the most of the locations available to me. With good lens choice, positioning, perspective, and processing, so much can be transformed. I can see a lot in a little!
Kate Boggs (10:40)
How important is communication when styling a client?
Very important! Always style mom first. Be very intentional with the questions you ask. For example, I ask questions like whether they want movement, or whether they will be playing with their kids. Their answer will dictate whether I recommend a fitted or a flowy dress. Asking how she feels about her body after childbirth will alert me to areas she is self-conscious about.
Joanna Booth (13:30)
What is your secret ingredient to extracting the regalness of women in your portraits?
I tell my clients how to move for their body types and features. They know from their consult that I will instruct them to make small adjustments all the time until I get the shot I want.
Danielle Trina (16:10)
Are there specific prompts you use to help children relax?
I get to their level and their world before even introducing the camera. I ask them to show me around and ask about their interests. They have to be comfortable with me before prompts even come into play.
How do get the child to work within your vision instead of just getting silly faces?
Realize that the weird faces are part of it. It is often the thing that parents love because that is who they know their children to be. Also, capture the moments in between where they don’t even know you’re capturing them.
Sharon McMahon (19:00)
How do the best family photographers bust through personal resistance?
Most successful people are the ones who are resilient and keep on trying. I used to see resistance I feel as a sign that I should be doing something else, but in reality, most success happen at the point of you giving up. You just need to press on a little more. Often the bigger the resistance you feel, the bigger the win on the other side.