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Casual Portraits

10 Tips to Prepare Your Kids for a Photo Shoot

Preparing your kids mentally beforehand for a photo shoot may be challenging, but it is an important step. Ensuring they are comfortable, relaxed, and happy can make a significant difference in the outcome of the photos. Here are some tips to help you prepare your kids mentally prior to your photo session.

Communicate Clearly and Excitedly

Talk to your children about the photo shoot in a positive and exciting manner. Explain what will happen, why it’s happening, and how fun it will be. Use simple, age-appropriate language and focus on the enjoyable aspects, like dressing up or playing with props. By framing the photoshoot as a fun adventure, you can build their excitement and reduce any anxiety they might feel.

Involve Them in the Planning

Give your kids a sense of control by involving them in the planning process. Allow them to choose their outfits, suggest poses, or pick their favourite toys to bring along. This involvement can make them feel more invested and eager to participate. When children feel they have a say, they are more likely to be cooperative and excited for the shoot.

Practice at Home

Practice makes perfect. Conduct a few mini-photo shoots at home to help your kids get used to being in front of the camera. Let them pose, make silly faces, and see the pictures afterward. This practice can help them to get familiar with the process and make the actual photoshoot feel more familiar and less intimidating.

Keep it Relaxed and Fun

On the day of the photoshoot, maintain a relaxed and fun atmosphere. Avoid putting too much pressure on your kids to perform or behave in a certain way. Encourage them to be themselves and enjoy the experience. Sometimes the best photos are captured when children are genuinely happy, rather than forced into unnatural poses. Incorporate games and activities into the photoshoot to keep your kids engaged, with simple games like Simon Says or peek-a-boo. This strategy can help capture natural smiles and laughter.

Bring Comfort Items

Bring along some of your children’s favourite comfort items, like a beloved stuffed animal or blanket. These items can provide a sense of security and familiarity, helping them feel more at ease. Plus, these cherished items can make for some heartwarming, candid shots.

Plan Around Their Schedule

Schedule the photoshoot at a time when your kids are usually in a good mood. Avoid times when they are likely to be tired, hungry, or cranky, such as right before nap time or meals. Well-rested and well-fed children are more likely to be cooperative and happy during the shoot.

Prepare for Breaks

Be prepared to take breaks during the photo shoot. Kids have limited attention spans, and expecting them to stay focused for an extended period of time can be unrealistic. Allowing short breaks for snacks, drinks, or simply to run around can help them recharge and return to the shoot with renewed energy. That being said, don’t forget to pack their favourite snacks!

Don’t Resort to Devices

It is easy to resort to taking out your phone or tablet as a bribe when your kids start to misbehave or start to cry during the photoshoot. Although this may help stop them from misbehaving, it is only a quick fix and not a long-term solution. In fact, once the devices are given to the kids they would most likely kick up a bigger fuss if it has to be taken away later. Remember, it is impossible for a photographer to capture a good smiling photo of your child if he or she is looking down at a device, and it is not a solution that can easily be fixed later in Photoshop.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Instead of a device, use positive reinforcement to encourage good behaviour and cooperation. Praise your kids frequently, offer small rewards, or promise a fun activity after the photoshoot. Positive reinforcement can motivate children to participate enthusiastically and make the experience more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Choose a Child-Friendly Photographer

When choosing a photographer for your family shoot, do some research and select a photographer who has experience working with children. Check out the photographer’s family portrait portfolio and their online reviews beforehand. A skilled, child-friendly photographer will know how to engage with your kids, make them feel comfortable, and capture their personalities. They will also be patient and understanding of the challenges that come with photographing children.

By taking the time to incorporate these simple tips, you can help ensure that your little ones will be prepared for a positive photography experience. Just remember to set realistic expectations for yourself and your children. Understand that not every moment will be perfect, and that’s part of the charm. Embrace the imperfections and remember that the goal is to capture genuine moments and emotions, and leave the rest up to your skilled photographer. 

At Stories we have been capturing family portraits and beautiful moments for over 16 years. Do reach out if you would like to know more about how we can help you form the best photo memories with your loved ones.

Top Tips for Photographing Large Families: Capturing Timeless Moments

If you’ve ever been involved in coordinating a family photoshoot, you’d understand the challenges that comes with it. The larger the number, the more stressful it gets! As photographers who have photographed large families up to 40 people, it’s daunting for us as well. Posing large families and ensuring everyone looks their best requires experience and skills. In Malaysia, there are many festive seasons where a family portrait session becomes necessary. If you are trying to DIY a large family portrait at home, these tips will help you master the art of photographing large families!

1. Start with a plan

Before the photoshoot, communicate with the family to discuss their vision, preferences, and any specific poses they have in mind. Consider factors such as location, wardrobe choices, and the overall style of the portraits. Having a clear plan in place will streamline the process and ensure everyone is prepared.

2. Choose a location

Selecting a suitable location is essential for large family portraits. Outdoor settings with ample natural light, such as parks, gardens, or beaches, provide a beautiful backdrop and ample space for posing. However, it can be pretty humid and chaotic when you bring so many people outdoors, so make sure you set everyone’s expectations prior to the shoot. Alternatively, if shooting indoors, opt for areas with neutral backgrounds to avoid distractions.

3. Appoint a leader

A leader is tasked in coordinating and organizing the entire shoot from the start till the end, as well as communicating with all the family members and photographer to ensure a smooth session. Create a chat group so that everyone involved receives the same message and information about the photoshoot.

4. Arranging and Posing

When posing large families, it’s helpful to establish a hierarchy to ensure everyone is positioned appropriately. Start by placing the parents or grandparents at the centre of the group, with smaller family units positioned around them. This arrangement helps to identify the family’s structure more clearly. Instead of lining everyone up in a straight row, arrange family members in layers to add depth and dimension to the photograph. This technique creates visual interest and prevents the image from appearing too flat. You can place taller individuals towards the back and shorter ones towards the front to avoid blocking faces. Utilize props or natural elements like stairs or benches to add dimension to the scene.

5. Pay attention to details

Try to take the time to pay attention to details such as wardrobe coordination, hair and hand placement. Besides that, notice for any distracting elements in the background and make adjustments as necessary. Additionally, be mindful of facial expressions, body language, and posture to convey warmth and unity within the family. Avoid stiff, unnatural poses by encouraging relaxed and comfortable stances. Guide family members to lean towards each other slightly or make physical contact to convey closeness and affection.

6. Experiment with different angles

If you have a really large family like the one below, and find it really hard to get a location to fit everyone, you can try to take a top angle shot! Everyone can be standing on the same level, but as long as they can see the camera, their faces will be seen.

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Family Portraits at Perdana Botanical Gardens

The Perdana Botanical Garden is quickly becoming the go-to-park for our clients! It’s situated in KL City with quite a few of parking spaces available which makes it convenient. It is a really beautiful and family-friendly park that’s perfect for cycling, running, exploring and simply just enjoying the surrounding nature. We have been here hundreds of times, and we never get tired of this beautiful park! There’s also plenty of other parks around the Klang Valley that we have photographed, in case you’re looking for a park that’s closest to where you live.

Josiah chose this park for his family photo shoot. After all, being a three-time Olympian cyclist, he loves being outdoors and doing fun, active things with his family. I had such a fun time with Josiah and Nattha. I am so glad that they love candid shots focusing on play. When you remove expectations for a family portrait to be so posed, perfect, and flawless, you’ll get more natural images that are filled with warmth and connection.

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A Christmas Family Portrait

Christmas isn’t just a date on the calendar; it’s a feeling—a feeling of warmth, love, and togetherness. But beyond the aesthetics, Christmas is about fostering connections. It’s a time when families come together, sharing stories and laughter. It’s about creating memories—whether it’s baking cookies with loved ones, singing carols together, or simply enjoying each other’s company. It’s a great time to gather for family portraits, as almost everyone is in holiday mode (whether or not you actually celebrate Christmas!). If you haven’t scheduled your year-end family photo session, remember to contact us quickly, as peak holiday dates are filling up fast.

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Family Portraits at Embun Luxury Villas, Janda Baik

We love to explore new places, especially if the places are a hidden gem! It’s so wonderful that Malaysia has so many beautiful resorts scattered across the country but what’s even greater is that we have places like Janda Baik which is only an hour drive from the city. This time, we visited Embun Luxury Villas at Janda Baik for the first time! It is a beautiful resort, with a lot of corners for family portraits. We began the shoot at 4pm and spent about 2 hours taking photos around the premise, thankfully, the weather was amazing!

There’s actually a number of beautiful resorts at Janda Baik that are perfect for a family reunion, birthday celebration and as a photo shoot location! We’ve photographed families at The Acres Resort and at Tiarasa Escapes. Both resorts are also highly recommended if you’re looking for a short escape from the city with slightly cooler weather and luscious greens.

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