Krystal and her family recently relocated to Olive Branch, Mississippi. Like us, it was quite a busy season. With three kids, it was tough for them to find time to slow down and cherish a moment or two. Since Krystal is also a student, they were really looking forward to hosting their family for Thanksgiving. This is where I came into the picture to capture their extended family photography.
There was no telling when everyone would be together again, so Krystal was hoping to schedule something within a few days of the holiday. Planning during this weekend can be tricky – especially if it rains. So good communication is always helpful. One of the things Krystal mentioned was the nap schedule of her relative’s kids. Since we ended up moving the shoot back one day, this secured the window of time she wanted.
Setting Up the Photo Session.
When it came to ideas for her extended family photography session, Krystal simply wanted to capture the fall environment. They weren’t too familiar with the area and didn’t need anything extravagant. So, it only made sense to host the shoot. Our property is spacious and full of trees with lots of fall colors. It’s also nice to have a place to take the baby or kids for a potty break.
Things I Consider with Groups.
A photo shoot is always a bit challenging when the cooperation of several little children is involved. This is especially true for large groups. So I like to try to get the most difficult shots done first. Getting everyone to smile on cue is more difficult that it seems. Someone is always looking away, blinking or annoyed.
So, I like to count down and ask everyone to humorously giggle out loud. This usually gets their attention. Then I’ll say something corny or tell a fart joke. Kids always think this is hilarious and most adults can’t help but to crack a great natural smile too.
Managing the Extended Family.
Since it was a little chilly and babies usually get fussy faster, I thought it would be best to get the family with the baby out of the way first. My rule of thumb is to not make grandparents and littles stand around too long. Older children are a lot easier to manage with genuine, play-based interaction that gets them out of a funk. It even works on adults sometimes! 😉
Keeping kids moving and engaged is also a good way to ensure you’re going to have great smiling pictures. I had some leaf piles ready for this extended family photography shoot. You never know who’s going to show up or what type of mood they’ll be in. But these kids were great! The autumn leaves actually gave us some unexpected shots too.
Takeaway's From the Family Shoot.
My favorite part about the shoot was really just getting to know each member of the extended family. Ordering people around and capturing personal moments after just meeting them can be awkward. So I do my best to not remain strangers. After asking a few questions, I was able to learn so much about them all.
Taking Photos Should Always Be Fun.
I think Krystal and her husband enjoyed the experience and being able to capture the photos they were hoping for. I was able to give them a few options for all of their “must have” photos!
Krystal, thanks for trusting me for your extended family photography session! Having just moved to Olive Branch myself, I didn’t have as much credibility as other photographers in the area. So it really gave me an opportunity to branch out and start building trust in new relationships. It was a pleasure working with you all.