Every year on Mother's Day I plan a photograph of my children and me, and ask my husband Stef to take it for me. I realised this week that this is not something we do on Father's Day and that is such a shame, so this Sunday we will be changing that and making sure that he has an annual portrait with our children to celebrate him being the amazing and brilliant father he is.
If you are celebrating with a Dad this weekend, then here are my tips for creating a beautiful portrait.
1. Plan A Location
Your location doesn't have to be fancy but it's worth thinking about where you want to take the photograph. Your garden might be lovely if I you have one or a local park. Or you might be going out for the day and could find somewhere suitable when you arrive.
I always find that portraits work much better when the location has been thought about in advance, especially when it involves more than one person. Unless everyone is super excited about having their photograph taken then you need to work quickly, so preparing your location in advance is always a good idea!
2. Check The Weather
Keep an eye on the weather. If it's going to be sunny then you don't want to be taking photographs at midday in June! You want to go for early morning or late afternoon/early evening if possible.
If it's going to be raining then you need to either work around the rain and look for a stop in the rain or plan to do the portraits indoors. It's good to be prepared and not feel disappointed on the day.
3. Think About Outfits And Props
You don't have to all be co-ordinated but thinking about what you are all wearing really can make the difference in a portrait.
Perhaps think of a few complimentary colours and see if everyone can wear those colours. I usually lay all our clothes out on the bed and take a quick iPhone snap to check they look together.
You might like to use hats to bring outfits together. Have fun with it, be creative and enjoy exploring your wardrobes.
One word of warning about this though. If your child doesn't want to wear something then don't force it. A happy photo with whichever clothes people are wearing is way better than a sad styled one!
4. Get Children Involved
Children usually enjoy a photo shoot a lot more if they feel involved with the process. If they know it's a special photograph for their Dad then that usually helps them co-operate! Or they might help you pick the location.
You could also ask one of them to take a photo with you in too!
Always be as patient as you can when it comes to children and portraits. Once you lose your patience it's very tricky to get them back on board!
5. Make Sure Your Camera Battery/Phone is charged
Be prepared the day before and get the camera battery charged or if you are going to use your phone then keep an eye on its charge during the day. If you have a battery pack make sure that it's charged and with you. You don't want to go to all this effort and then miss the opportunity.
6. Don't Forget To Print It Out
After the shoot make sure that you print your photos out. So often we are all guilty of leaving our photos on our phones and computers. Make a point of printing some of your favourites. Pop them in a frame or stick them on the fridge. Send one to grandparents. Share the love! xo
PS If you share any on Instagram please use the hashtag #makelightportraits, so that I can see them.