Family photography is simple when there are three, even four people. But what about photographing large families with five, six, seven or even eight members. How do you do that? I have been doing it for a while because my families are growing. Here are a few quick tips.
- Photograph at their home – I have a studio, but for photographing large families, I always take my studio to them. Why? Because it is easier for the family, plus with four or more children, all the supplies the family needs are theirs.
- Allow more time than you think you need. I plan for three hours. Kids need to snack, they need to be changed, and they need to be in the mood.
- Dress them similarly. I need all the kids in the same clothes to create a cohesive look and so that all the kids faces and expressions shine through, instead of the brand of clothing they are wearing. But that being said, if one kid wants their teddy bear in the photo, I go with it.
- Have an assistant. I always have an assistant, sometimes two, with me when photographing large families. They can be that extra set of eyes and ears if someone’s hair is off, etc.
- Time it in the morning, right after breakfast. If possible, get there while everyone is eating breakfast. The kids will get curious about you and come to watch you setting up the gear. This will warm them up to you being there.
- Don’t have too many adults in the room. Children can easily get distracted. I prefer that there is one person behind me working to get them to look. It can be a nanny or an assistant but the others should be quiet and out of the way.
- Photography in bursts. Get the family standing with the kids arranged. And then get crazy. Get the kids looking at you. Get the kids looking at their parents. Then rest, regroup the family, take a break and come again. Most likely you will only have about 15-30 minutes of photography time because someone in the family will become tired. In my experience, it is the kids with the shortest attention span, like the toddlers.
Good luck! Let me know how it goes!