Montsalvat is one of my favourite locations for all types of shoots. I have captured so much beauty and happiness here over the years.
By now you should all know how much I love shooting family portraits. The desire to capture precious memories and ensure our loved ones have beautiful photographs to look back on is very near and dear to my heart.
But did you know that family portraits can boost your child’s mental heath?
According to psychologists and experts who have studied it over the years, portrait photography can boost children’s self-esteem. Family photography takes this even further by creating a safe space where children feel like they can be themselves and belong within the family unit.
Family portraits that are displayed on the wall or around the home “have a certainty about them and a protecting quality that nurtures a child. It let’s them know where they are in the pecking order and that they are loved and cared for” explains David Krauss (a psychologist from Cleveland, Ohio) to the Huffington Post.
Cathy Lander-Goldberg, a licensed clinical social worker and professional photographer from Missouri, agrees with Krauss, saying “displaying photos prominently in the home sends the message that our family and those in it are important to one another, and we honor the memories we have experienced.”
Additionally, Krauss recommends having photographs of that child with their family placed in the child’s bedroom so it can be among the last things they see before sleep and the first thing they may see before beginning their day.
“It says we love you and care about you. You’re important.”
Source: “How Family Portraits Boost Your Child’s Self-Esteem” – Design Aglow
Portrait photography is something that many people can feel anxious about, because they view it as a structured and very serious process! With the right photographer and the right preparation, a kind of synergy between everyone, it is quite the opposite. A free-flowing and natural shoot is the best kind – here’s a few tips to help you have one.
1. Choose appropriate clothing
For a beautiful shoot it’s important to consider your clothing choices. At the end of the day, our goal is to ensure that the connections between family members and their individual expressions stand out – not the clothing they are wearing! Try choosing pastels and soft tones and avoid bold, primary colours, checks and stripes – unless appropriate.
2. Visualize the Look
Wash, iron and layout the clothing 2-3 days beforehand so that you can make sure that everything ties in together nicely for the shoot. For example, if it’s a winter look, make sure EVERYBODY is in a winter look. No board shorts and sandals!
2. Toddler Toys
If you’ve got little ankle biters attending, make sure you bring something that’s precious to them (and yourselves) such as a first teddy or blanky, something that will remind you when they’re much older, of that very special time when they were little.
3. Bring a ‘Bag of Tricks’
Having ‘bag of tricks’ on the day is essential! Pack up some wipes, a face washer, water for everyone, snacks (nothing that will spill or stain – steer clear of tomato and beetroot – eek!!), a few bribes to stop misbehaving kiddies and a couple of distractions – balloons and bubbles always work a treat.
4. Pre-planning Appointment
Consider the overall look you want to achieve and make sure you have a pre-planning appointment with your photographer to go over your ideas. One of the best ways to decide what you want is to think about how you are going to use the images – are they going on the wall? In an album? In a portfolio box set? Or are they part of a gift? These factors will affect your vision.
5. Get Involved
Often parents put themselves last, wanting gorgeous images of their children, and try to stay out of the photographs. But consider this – how much do you adore the photographs you have of your parents? How fascinated are you and how much do you love seeing them as they were when they were young, before you really even knew them? Your children will want the same of you. I can’t stress enough how important it is that you are involved in the photos!!!
A note to mums and dads:
By having everything ready a few days before, you can ensure that you have a fighting chance of feeling good and being stress-free. This makes the experience better for everyone. Use these tips to get started!
Finally, be prepared to put yourselves right out there! We want to see giggling, happy, beautiful faces – and you know the best ways to make your little one light up.
It’s proven that family photos on the wall and around your home give children a sense of worth and comfort in the knowledge that they are loved and treasured.
Creating beautiful, natural, joyful images is achieved through collaboration between the photographer and the family, especially in preparation!
If you would like to capture your family memories with Field of Vision and award-winning family photographer Shireen Hammond, you can contact us to find out more about our family photography packages!!