BIG Family Portraits!

Big Family portraits, the really big ones that include granny, mum & dad, the kids, their children and aunts and uncles. I believe that these photo’s are the most important along side a new born baby and a wedding. Here is 5 reasons why this should be top of every families to do list once every 5 years.

1- It’s an achievement

Getting everyone in that big family portrait. Getting everyone together for one reason or another is fantastic, and you should always have a photograph to mark that occasion.

2- You’re the lucky ones

This can be a very lonely world for a lot of people, your big family portrait is a great way to remember how lucky you are to have people that are going to stick with you through thick and thin.

3 – It changes all the time

Ok so there is obviously a sad element to this, and that is people get old and leave us and some people get taken away from us before their time. I have a few people myself that I wish I had taken a photograph of, because they are not here anymore, and thats the really sad part. On a lighter note new arrivals lift the family up!

4 – It’s fun!!!

This one is a little photographer dependant, but going to the portrait studio to get your big family portrait taken should be a fun and pleasant experience. This is something that Philip Charles Photography is very passionate about. If I can take someone who absolutely hates being photographed and convert them, I feel very happy.

5- Memories

It’s not just a song from the hit Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. Memories that you can literally hang on the wall and look at, that is what a photograph is. Share it with your little part of the world!!!

A New Born Photo Shoot with a Difference

Way before the baby was born the studio was visited by a couple expecting their second child. A baby girl and were looking for a new born photo shoot. Not unusually the couple started asking about the kind of photographs we could provide, and what products would be available after the shoot. After being asked a few more unusual and detailed questions about the products, I must have been looking a little puzzled. The couple then revealed they had visited a studio with their first born. That studio was now closed for business and they really wanted to closely match the wall hanging product they had purchased from that shoot.

This is the image the customer sent me of the existing product.

After the couple sent me an image of the existing wall hanging product, I set about thinking how I could adapt what I usually do to incorporate the ideas of the couple, and also do a family shoot with all 4 people. To say I was getting a little anxious about it would be true. I was being asked to create images that were not my usual style, although they were not too far away from the type of work I was doing with babies about 10 years ago.

So the baby was born and the shoot date was set, I felt as prepared as I could be, and when the parents arrived it was obvious we shared some common anxiety about how the shoot would go. I have to say the family as a whole are all super stars, we were all committed and everything went really well. We managed to get all the shots we needed and also create the photographs of the brother and sister together as well as the family as a foursome.

In post production I was getting more and more excited because I knew that I had captured exactly what the customer had asked me to, and there is no better feeling than absolutely nailing a brief.

My own version

This just amplified to me the lengths myself and Vicky will go to, to make sure we are delivering what we are asked. I stepped away from my usual approach and had to think out side of the box. It was a great learning tool, and also has got me to thinking how we can get this across to our new customers. The great review this customer left on our Facebook page is a good start.  Here are a few of the other images from the shoot.

Family Photographer Near Me?

Did you search Family Photographer Near Me? I was recently doing a little research and not surprisingly google was still the place people go to when searching for a photographer. What I did find surprising was a lot of people search for “Family Photographer near me?”.

This set me thinking… do we live in a world where we expect to find things on our door step or a world in which we don’t mind traveling some distance. The answer to this question seems as endless as time itself, many people will buy something on ebay and travel the length of the country to collect, but when it comes to a service they seem to want it a little closer to home. So I thought I would compile a list of all the things you should probably prioritise when selecting a good Family Photographer.

brothers hugging

Kids PhotoShoot

In the following order this is what you should look for in Your Family Photo-shoot.

1- Do I like the photo’s on the website? Seems fundamental doesn’t it, well I certainly think so. In actual fact if you read nothing else on this list then I would feel happy.

2-Is this going to be a fun experience with a personal approach? I meet a lot of people who tell me they hate having their picture taken, and after one of our family photoshoots tell me they actually enjoyed it. I have no objections to a victorian and military approach, but if you have youngsters then they may prefer someone who’s willing to blow the odd raspberry to get a giggle.

Family Photo Shoot
Family Photo Shoot Near Me?

3-What do I need to budget for products? Yes, the taboo subject of money. Good photography costs money, bad photography is cheap. As a word of advice save up a few penny’s before going to the studio. It will be worth it, these images are going to be hanging on the wall for decades. If you buy a family portrait for £300 and it hangs on the wall for 50 years you will have spent £6 a year on that photo. Thats about 2p a day.

4- How close is the studio to me? The last thing on my list, simply because a good photograph is worth travelling for. OK maybe not to far, but a half an hour drive is very little really.

You can always contact us, to learn more.

Family Photographer Near Me?

What to wear for a photoshoot

What to wear for a photoshoot?

A question that you didn’t think about until you had booked the photographer, booked to have your hair done and arranged all your family.  What to wear for a photoshoot?  This is an area that is worth thinking about and maybe making some new purchases.  The clothing that you wear in a photograph will make a big difference.  In our article below we have outlined a few things to think about before delving into the depths of your wardrobe. Or telling your whole family to go out and buy a brown turtle neck.

Theme of the shoot

We are not necessarily talking about fancy dress when we think what to wear for a photoshoot, but we are talking about a theme for the clothing.  Things to consider when deciding to use

what to wear for a photoshoot

a theme.  Firstly is everyone in the photographs going to suit that theme.  Secondly are the people involved going to be willing to purchase some new clothes to fit in with your grand plan.  A theme should be based around suitability for your group.  A toddler on their own is fine to wear a fairy costume, but grandma probably won’t be too happy to wear one.  For larger family groups a  summer theme, all wearing shorts and t-shirts with sunglasses, or maybe a more wintery feel with heavy coats and woolly hats.

Co-ordinated clothing

If a theme isn’t your thing then what is very important is to make sure everyone co-ordinates (and co-operates) with their clothing.  Some simple rules here can make your photo’s even better.  The same colour but in different shades is always pleasing, blues, browns, blacks, whites all work really well.  One thing to avoid is a heavy pattern, checked or tartan prints will just detract from the people in the photo.  This is also where the co-operation comes in.

‘…stuff that, I’m not going to where a blue shirt I’m going to where my Man Utd shirt thats my favourite’.  Guess what, that person has just taken over the photograph and virtually made them the only visible thing in it.  Don’t forget you can always take a change of clothes and swap over to see which you prefer.  If football is your thing and everyone wheres a football shirt, that’s coordinated and also themed.

Whats the mood of the photo?

Also try to have a good think about the mood of the photo.  Fun and formal suits is something that rarely goes together nor a posed formal photo wearing shorts and vest tops.  If the mood is fun, then think casual, if the mood is formal then think sWhat to wear for a photoshootmart.

Fashion thats my thing

Great! Fashion, it’s been the staple of most peoples existence for thousands of years.  One thing to bear in mind when going with the latest fashion, is it will put a date on your photograph.  That may be exactly what you are looking for.  In my opinion a dated photo is a good thing.  Not for you don’t panic! We are not all fashion followers. Even if you are and don’t want to date your photo there is an easy solution.  Smart/casual trousers and polo shirts/shirts are quite literally timeless.

These are all just thoughts and observations that we have collected over the years.  We are just humble photographers, and I’m sure you have your own ideas.  We do how ever get asked frequently and hope this article will help everyone who reads it.

Down syndrome photo shoot, a parents guide

Down Syndrome isn’t what makes it tricky, it’s the photographer…(and maybe the parents)

Please raise your hand if you have ever thought, ‘family photo shoot that just isn’t going to work for us’.  OK I don’t think your alone. Pretty much any family with a child under the age of 14 has those thoughts.  To feel a little apprehensive about attending a shoot at your local family photographers is a perfectly natural reaction to the concept.  Well there is good news, with your understanding of your child’s needs and a photographer who is willing to be educated, it’s easy to achieve those beautiful family portraits that will be the envy of all your friends.  Here we are going to walk you through our own experiences which should be helpful when you head into the studio.

The easy bit

Most children with Down syndrome have excellent social skills, and keen to explore their new surroundings. Visual supports like looking at other peoples photos, help them understand what to expect. The photographer should use these key elements to build a rapor and gain their trust.

The not so easy bits

If your child uses non-verbal, expressive language to communicate, try to develop that to assist with providing instruction / guidance during the photo shoot. Maybe you use Makaton signs? Practice the sign for sitting, smiling etc…

Sometimes, the ability of children with Down syndrome to process verbal information is not as good as their ability to hold and process visual information. The processing and recall of spoken information is greatly improved when supported by relevant pictures. It is a great idea for the photographer to have other peoples photos ready to hand to show them how they want them sit and pose.  Patience and a calm environment is a must, it’s not unusual for children to get overloaded by the excitement of it all.

Just to conclude

We were very nervous about writing this blog and have tried not to generalise too much.  Everyone is different, and we ourselves try to adapt to the individuals needs.  Remember photographers tend to be sociable creatures. Their main objective in life is to produce the best photographs they can for their customers.  With this in mind please approach the subject head on, educate and inspire the photographer to create a photograph that contains the very essence of your child.  If you wish to discuss further please get in touch here.

Philip Charles Photography