Outdoor Family Photo Shoot in Philadelphia | The B Family
Every year, for teacher’s appreciation week, I do a donation to give a teacher a gift certificate for a photo shoot with their family. It is so important to support our education system and the teachers who shape our future generations, and I love to donate to support the clients who work in our public schools. This year, the winner of our October giveaway was an Afton elementary school teacher here in Philadelphia, her husband, and two sweet kids. Shortly after the session, the father of the family was in an accident, and while thankfully he is okay, these photos instantly became that much more precious.
This family is loads of fun, and you can see the beautiful love they have for each other in every photo. The brother and sister are the best of friends, so it wasn’t hard to capture sweet moments where they played together in the park where we had the photo shoot. Kids at this age are so fun to photograph because they are excited to follow directions and sometimes can even contribute new ideas for how they want to be pictured.
In the sibling pictures, I wanted to highlight the genuine smiles and softened some of the backgrounds to help the two kids stand out. Even when these two inevitably fight or misbehave, no matter how they may drift apart in the future, they will always have this photographic evidence of the smiles that always came from being together.
Favorite Family Picture Poses
In this photo shoot, I walked the family through the series of poses that I have found are best with younger, elementary aged children. First, we spend some time talking and getting to know the kids’ personalities. Chatting and loosening up the nerves (getting your picture taken can sound intimidating!) helps everyone feel more at ease. I like to get an image or two of the family holding hands, as seen in these photos. The links between each family member present the family as a unit, strong and unbreakable in the face of any difficulty that comes along.
Jumping photos can be fun with kids because the movement is very exciting, plus the kids love it. Children have inherent energy that really shines through when they’re not standing still in a picture. Running and jumping and playing just like every day helps the natural youthful energy illuminate any photo.
We tend to start as a complete family unit in the photos, and then break off to do individual portraits and smaller groups after everyone feels more comfortable. With kids, it’s important to let them act the way they normally do, to giggle and move around so that the pictures look authentic and less robotic.
Just like the holding hands’ picture, the family group hug shows how deep the love in the family is. Closeness and coziness are so important in a family session, and snuggling is always encouraged. We did several poses where Dad swings his daughter up in the air on his shoulders, or Mom squeezes her son in a big bear hug. These are natural, everyday motions, so they really embody the reality of the family experience.
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