We talked to gifted Toronto photographer Cami Mendes about how to make the most of a family portrait session with a professional photographer. Here are her tips along with some of her gorgeous family portraits.
Picking a location
When shooting outdoors, your photographer should be able to give you a few suggestions for the best locations in your area. Anywhere that’s beautiful works, like a park or by the shore. Some of Cami’s fave locations in Toronto are High Park, West Deane Park, Humber Bridge, Cherry Beach, Woodbine, Scarborough Bluffs, and Riverdale Farm. If you’re working with a natural-light photographer and opt for a shoot at home, it’s important that you have lots of natural light coming into the house.
Choosing what to wear
Picking a good wardrobe for you and your loved ones is key when it comes to professional portraiture. It really makes a difference. One trick photographers suggest is wearing complementary colours. Babies and kids look sweet in light pastel colours. Try not to mix patterns (dad in plaid, mom in flowered skirt), but one person in a pattern is ok. Avoid large, visible logos and running shoes, too. Ask the photographer is you need wardrobe tips!
Props and toys
When shooting with babies and toddlers, it’s important that you bring their favourite toys and anything else that you know will get their attention and make them smile from ear to ear. It’s a great way to distract and entertain the littlest ones.
Bribing your kids (lol, seriously)
When shooting a family session with toddlers and young kids, it’s super helpful if you explain to them exactly what’s going to happen in the photo shoot. You can say you’re all going to meet a very nice woman or man (the photographer) who will be taking some fun photos of your family that you will send to *insert someone special like grandma and grandpa*. Tell them they can show their friends at school, too!
If they have a favourite toy or stuffed animal, you can get them excited by saying they will get to take pictures with it. If you want, you can even tell them that if they’re really nice during the shoot, play along, and smile for the camera, they will get an awesome prize such as *insert something they love here*. Trust us, it works!
Finally, remember to just relax and have fun! The more you feel relaxed, the more your kiddos will feel the same.
Voted one of Toronto’s Top Family Photographers of 2015 by Toronto Mom Now, Cami is a passionate image-maker who splits her time between Toronto, Oslo, São Paulo, and Bali. Get in touch with her at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more and book a family portrait.