Just a few weeks ago I did my first family photoshoot. It went great and smooth due to great preparation on my part and the family as well. There was a location that was put out there. The Old Enterprise Mill. A definitely great location, when the weather is right. The other location we used was the train tracks downtown.
With getting ready for a photoshoot it goes without saying that you should adequately prepare for the shoot, if that is by getting posing ideas from other magazines or even Pinterest. Pinterest, believe it or not has a lot to offer in that area. There are loads of images that can get you inspired and you can simple pin them to a board to save them for later.
Having the family dress the part can make or break your shot as well. Their poses and inspiration can come easy, but the poses, location, and inspiration can just as easily break your photo. If everyone is wearing different colors and patterns it will not compliment each other. No matter how beautiful your location is, if everyone doesn’t compliment each other it is a BUST! You can help yourself and the family prepare by letting them know that.
The other way you can easily prepare is by clearing out your memory cards, charging cameras and flashes that you plan to use. Doing this mitigates possible issues that you may run into. The last thing that I usually do to prepare for a shoot is to go and “recon” the area where pictures will be taken to get an idea of the land to see where a nice photo could be done and how the light looks there in advance of the photoshoot. You should do it a day in advance, but if that is not an option, then you should go an hour or two before the client is due to arrive. I personally take pictures of the area because you can take that back with you and show future clients the area to suggest it for future shoots if they don’t have their own location in mind.
Here are some before shots of some of the spots that I scoped out and the after photo: