Sasha McGregor
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Getting Ready for Family Pictures: What You Should Know

Some Things You Need to Know About Family Portrait Preparation

Getting ready for family portraits can be a lot more work than people would imagine. First, most portraits demand a clean look. Second, you will need to decide what kind of background or scenery you want. Third, you will need to decide whether you want to use props. If you have children, you will probably want to decide whether to let them include a favorite toy. If you have pets, you will also need to decide whether to include them, and how you will want to present them.

First Steps to Preparing

Most family photographers are willing to work with a scenery that has a lot of meaning for you and your loved ones. If you’re going to do your shoot outdoors, you will need to be careful that the weather will permit it. In case it doesn’t, also have an indoor location in mind. Most require you to book your session at least two weeks in advance. This can be an advantage to you in several ways, from being able to get in extra workouts to extra spa sessions.

Including Pets

Most photographers understand how much pets are a part of the family. As a result, most are willing to work them in. Again, a clean look is essential. If your pet is a dog, it is essential that you take it in for professional grooming from a few hours to a day before your session. After a grooming session, you will need to check for any small stray debris that could stand out in the pictures. In order to ensure the best results, don’t hesitate to search for dog grooming tips to keep them looking their best.

You will need to let your photographer know if you want standalone pictures of your pets. Pets are not always cooperative, so this will help your photographer know how to use a camera with a very fast point-and-shoot. Your photographer will also need to work with you to reduce distracting stimuli—unless you want a picture of it playing. If nothing else, you probably want a good portrait of its face. Pets can make funny faces as well as funny tongue expressions.

Most cats are not as high maintenance, and don’t need as much preparation. However, they are more independent than dogs, and it can be very difficult to get them to hold still. As a result, it may be better to follow the cat, and what it’s doing instead of trying to make it fit into a certain scenery. It is also preferable to wait until the cat’s relaxed to start the session. Also, know your cat’s behavioral patterns toward various scenery and objects. You may want to include something that it likes such as its favorite toy, food, or its favorite place.

How Long Is the Average Photo Shoot?

On average, family and child portraits can take up to 80 minutes. This feels like an eternity to most children. As a result, it would be a good idea to work out your child’s needs with your photographer. Perhaps you could arrange snack and bathroom breaks. Better yet, you could work with your photographer about doing some that are poses, and others with them in their natural play.

If you have a newborn, and you want to do standalone with him or her, that can take up to two hours. As a result, you will need to arrange for feeding and diaper changing breaks. If you’re going to shoot your baby in more than one outfit, you will also need to arrange for a few breaks to change outfits. With a baby, it is best to either do the session at home, or somewhere that he or she is very familiar with, such as a local park.

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