Posing is more than just placing people in a specific position and having them hold still. It is about using your skill (and a few tricks) to help your subjects look their best in your photos. Here are 3 simple tips that will help you get better, natural and more authentic family portraits.
It is common to receive an enquiry requesting for a two to four-hour long family shoot. People tend to have the impression that you get more out of longer sessions. However, that is usually not the case. At Stories, most of our Lifestyle packages are an hour long. Some people seem to think that’s too short but do remember that if it involves children, you’ll be surprised that a single hour can seem like forever to them! I tagged along on some family sessions and here’s why I think an hour is really good enough, especially for an outdoor shoot in our beloved country.
1. Humidity Even if it isn’t a terribly sunny day, you can be perspiring within five minutes of starting the shoot! On one of the shoots, the perspiration showed through the dad’s dark blue shirt. Fortunately, his wife had insisted he bring along an extra shirt to change into! Mum and child were neither not spared from the icky feeling of sweat. Can you imagine spending three hours posing for photos feeling like this? Believe me, an hour is just right. We all love our country but not the humidity.
TIP: Always bring along some extra clothing and a small towel for outdoor shoots. A hand fan can be very useful too.
2. Timing of shoot If you’re a local, you’ll know that our tropical weather is quite unpredictable. Due to the heat, outdoor shoots should take place in the early mornings or late afternoons. However, certain months are prone to rain in the evenings so if you plan for an afternoon shoot, it could end up a washout. The other thing about being surrounded by greenery is that it’s perfect for creepy crawlies and mosquitoes to come out and play! You won’t be able to enjoy your shoot if you’re being eaten alive by mosquitoes.
TIP: Check the weather forecast nearer to the shoot date and speak to your photographer about contingency plans. Bring along some insect repellent too!
3. Attention Span Children are usually quite excited at the start of a shoot but that initial excitement fades very quickly. They don’t like being told what to do, where to stand or where to look! Most of the time, young children start getting fussy even before the hour is up. Tantrums are common when children get tired and an hour will seem like too much to ask from them.
TIP: Bring along some snacks (but nothing too messy!) for your child. Food usually helps to change their mood. We also usually start the photo session with the large family photo so that we get the safe shot done!
Now if you were thinking of doing an outdoor shoot, don’t let the negative aspects frighten you. Come prepared and you will have an enjoyable experience, plus beautiful photos in the park to last a lifetime. But if you’re toying with the idea of having a three-hour family shoot in the park, maybe you should reconsider shortening it. An hour really is sufficient.
The studio was abuzz with excitement over a styled shoot we were doing in collaboration with The Wedding Scoop, Shaun Teo Creations and Marble & Co. It was exciting because this was a Unicorn Galaxy – Themed Wedding Dessert Table styled shoot!
When the unicorn cake was brought out, everyone let out “oohs” and “ahhs” in unison. It was so pretty! And the cupcakes, cake pops, chocolates and pudding cups were equally as mesmerizing. The folks from Marble & Co went to work with laying out the lavish dessert table with all the goodies while we snapped away and videoed the whole process.
Nobody could bring themselves to cut into the unicorn cake but the honour went to the man who made the masterpiece, Shaun. We can testify that the cake tasted as good as it looked! It was such a fun session which was brought together by The Wedding Scoop, and we think a dessert table like this at your wedding would look stunning!
We rarely photograph families with children with special needs like autism, and we wondered if it was because parents were simply too intimidated by the whole process. We decided to work with the nice folks from Early Autism Project Malaysia to equip ourselves as well as make a video to provide some tips on how to manage a family photo shoot session with a child with autism.
We started off with an interview with Jochebed Isaacs from EAP Malaysia who gave us some insights into the specialised therapy offered at their centre for children with autism. We were later introduced to Juan and Nancy, who welcomed us into their home for a photo shoot session with their sons Danny and Tommy. The experience proved to be quite tough but we soldiered on and even received hugs from Danny at the end!
Here are some of the pointers we picked up through this experience:
1. It is important to communicate with the child Prepare in advance before the session. Communicate clearly what is to happen and what is expected of him. The use of visuals like schedules, social stories and role-plays help to familiarise the child to the event and venue, the people involved (especially if they are unfamiliar to the child), the flow of events and the special equipment used (like the camera!). It should also spell out the rules and expectations. Continue Reading
Every pregnancy is a journey of self-discovery for the mother. No matter how many times you have gone through it, the experience is never the same. Recording every single milestone of this beautiful journey can be an exciting project, which you can share with your children in time to come.
There are mothers who are a little shy and insecure about looking frumpy in their maternity photos, but fear not! Here are some tips for you to achieve more beautiful pregnancy images. Of course, if you can hire a professional photographer to shoot your maternity pictures, that would be ideal!
1. Timing If you’d like to keep a record of your baby bump growing, try to take the same shot with the same angle every month so that you can compare the size as your belly grows. Alternatively, if you are hiring a photographer for your maternity photos, the best timing to shoot would be around the 7th month as you are still energetic after your 2nd trimester. You can still choose to wait a little longer if you want to photograph a larger belly, but don’t leave it till the last minute!
2. Outfits Choose outfits that accentuate the shape of your belly, or even expose it. You can opt to wear a short tube top paired with a skirt, a body fitting dress, or a sexy shirt, unbuttoned at the bottom. Sexy lingerie does the trick too. Don’t hide your protruding belly… it is what makes pregnant women so beautiful!
3. Good lighting Keep it natural. Take photos next to windows or in areas that has lots of natural light. Avoid taking photos in fluorescent or down lights, as they create an unflattering, yellow-coloured cast on your belly. If there isn’t much natural light in your home, your house porch will do the trick!
For an outdoor shoot in the park, try not to head out when it’s too hot. The best timing would be in the morning before 9am or late evening after 5pm.
4. Props Perhaps you might want to incorporate some props into your photo shoot, like letters that spell your baby’s name or cute little shoes. It’s a great way of personalising your photos.
5. Pamper yourself Lastly, you should believe that you’re beautiful even when you’re pregnant, despite the swollen legs and probable weight gain. Before your photo shoot, treat yourself to a nice bubble bath and get a makeup artist to give you a makeover. If you feel beautiful, you’ll exude confidence through your images!
Maternity photos can be a special way to help you cherish the moments as it unfolds!
If you are interested in doing a maternity shoot, now is the perfect timing as we have a maternity & baby combo offer till the 11th of August. Read here to find out more.