How to be more ‘in the moment’ during your family photo session

Here’s the thing…getting in front of the camera doesn’t feel natural for most of us. In fact I’d go so far as to say it makes us feel awkward and puts us way outside our comfort zone, BUT there are a couple of tricks that you can use to distract from your discomfort and help you feel less self-aware and more ‘in the moment’ during your family photo session.

family of four standing on the beach looking at the ocean during their family photo session. Little girl in her mums arms looking at the camera

1. Touch

Touch is an important part of human connection. Just like in real life, touch has many benefits when we bring it into our photo sessions. Using touch points within your photos helps create connection within the frame. It’s calming and reassuring for our shy kiddos and can be grounding for our overstimulated little balls of energy.

Consciously using touch during your session also brings an element of emotion into your images, PLUS it gives you something to do with your hands so they aren’t left awkwardly dangling by your sides.

Some ways to use touch in your photos: holding hands, touching a face, holding your dress, snuggling, playing with someone’s hair, playing games like ’round and round the garden’ or ‘this little piggie’.

Family of four dressed in blue and white coordinating outfits snuggling on the beach during their family photo session with Stacey McCarthy Photography

2. Movement

Creating movement in in your images can be so much fun. It avoids the weird static poses where you’re not really sure what you’re supposed to be doing and prompts genuine expressions and a feeling of carefree. 

Movement also makes you less conscious of the camera being pointed in your face and more focused on the playing or activity you’re engaging in.

Some ideas for adding movement to your images: Sway, spin, dip, dance, twirl, run.

Mum wearing a white dress laughing and spinning her daughter around on the beach

3. You don't have to look at the camera (unless I prompt you to)

Family photos doesn’t mean looking at the camera and smilling the whole time. Of course I’ll gently pose you and prompt you for some more traditional portraits, but after that it’s play time.

I want you to be less aware of me and my camera and be more in the moment. Engage with your loved ones, do whatever feels natural and have fun with it.

Where to look when you’re not looking at the camera: look down at your babies, snuggle in close and close your eyes, look into your partners eyes, look out into the distance, watch the birds or traffic passing by.

Don’t worry, I don’t expect you to remember all of this and still relax and be your fabulous selves. It’s my job to guide you through your session and make sure you have an amazing experience finished with a gallery full of beautiful memories.

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