Family portraits are a HUGE part of our studio and income, and not just during the holiday season. We are photographic families in Idaho, Colorado, Tucson and the surrounding states all year round. Over the hundreds of family sessions we have done we’ve come up with a workflow and a process that helps us get through them in no time. We’ve also discovered that there are a few poses and groupings that ALWAYS sell.
1. Whole Family Together – Mom, Dad and Kids
This can be taken in two directions. There are families that want the traditional portrait with everyone looking at the camera and smiling and then there are those that want the more “candid” shot of the family. We sell both equally and shoot for both scenarios. With younger families the candid shot seems to be the more popular, especially if there are young kids involved. The image above is one that is a best seller for us – kid looking at the camera with the camera being focused on the child and parents looking towards the kid.
2. Adults only – Mom and Dad no Kids
Busy families, especially those with two working parents and active kids always purchase a Mom and Dad photo, even though they are usually reluctant to take the image during the session. Mom and Dad usually have a ton of images of their kids on their phones; however they never have many of the two of them together. If you only have one shot to take of the parents, go the formal route on this, with both subjects looking at the camera. However, if you can, pose them a little. Our parents end up loving the posed, engagement like images of themselves and usually purchase a few.
3. Mom and Kids
Get at least one image with mom and all the kids. This is always a best seller for our studio, and usually one that Dad will purchase for his office as well. With younger children, it’s great to get the adult on the same level as them, so either sitting, kneeling, or crouching. Having the kids act silly and/or give mom kisses always results in a big natural smile or laugh from mom.
4. Dad and Kids
Dads are a little bit harder to work with, and tend to be more serious, so we try and get the kids to act serious as well which in turn makes dad laugh, especially if the kids are younger. We find that with dads, having the standing is a better seller, so we tend to have this image be more formal.
5. No Adults Allowed – Kids only
The kids only image should be a no-brainer. If we sell nothing else, the kids only portrait will sell. The above image is one that we do with our younger kids, having them lean against something makes them a bit more comfortable. This pose is also great for both boys and girls and an easy one for them to mimic.
Family Portraits is an area of photography that a great deal of photographers forego or try and avoid because they feel that they cannot make as much money as they can shooting a wedding or photographing a high school senior. However, family portraits are our most profitable sessions when it comes to time spent verses dollars made.