Are you afraid of bad pictures? So am I. For years I avoided any kind of photo operation for my family because everywhere I looked I saw stiff and uncomfortable people posing for photos. It did not seem like any fun. But then I found out that there was a whole different way of doing this. I found Artistic Family Portraiture. Fun, carefree and full of emotion. It was love at first sight.
Now not only do I always source this kind of photography for my own family, but that’s what I offer my own portrait photography clients.
Here are the main differences in approach between artistic portraiture and traditional:
Artistic family portraiture is for documenting people authentically
Do you ever feel like you had your picture taken by someone but it just didn’t feel like you at all? Or maybe your kids had their picture taken at school and it was like someone just crushed their little soul and sealed it in a box? Yeah, that’s because a lot of traditional styles of photography are not about the person in front of the lens at all. It is simply about getting what the photographer perceive as “the perfect photo”.
For me, the perfect photo is the one that feels like you and your family, drenched in love and care. It looks beautiful because your personalities and your essence just comes through. There is not one specific look to it.
This kind of photography is not for the faint of heart. The photographer has to really dig in and find the way to your heart. And that is a lot of work for us, for sure. But it is to worth it.
When the pictures are done and I can see all the emotions and amazing energy coming through the pictures, I just know that these are images your family will cherish forever. And that is what I hear from my clients over and over again.
Don’t be afraid to show your feelings
The most important thing I can tell you if you want your photos to be artistic is, don’t be afraid to show your feelings. Feelings are absolutely essential when it comes to making art.
When you look at any artwork (like these incredibly emotive ones) that stirs you inside and makes your heart sing, I can guarantee that a lot of feelings were involved.
It can sound a little strange and even vague to hear you should bear your feelings in front of a person who you are not very close to, like your photographer. That’s why I take the time to get to know my clients before we meet for the photo session.
First you will answer a questionnaire to give me some basics about your family. Then we will do a video call where you and I (and anyone else in your family who wants to be there) can chat, talk about how the session will go and get to know each other a little.
These steps are really important in helping you family to feel at ease and I absolutely believe they are part of the path to amazing photos.
Perfection is overrated
Perfection has no place in this kind of photography. The less we worry about perfection the better your photos will turn out.
Simply put, the pursue of perfection goes against everything I said in the paragraphs above.
If you and your family members are worried about behaving perfectly, or looking perfect, you will not be able to relax. If I am worrying about making your photos look perfect, I will end up missing out on real moments of connection that would have turned into stunning images.
My approach is to focus on making sure your photos make you feel those amazing feelings when you look at them.
Nostalgia, joy and even that little sliver of pain that comes with realizing that our kids are growing. Feelings are way more powerful than perfection.
Want to get started with planning your family photos? Here are some tips for you