As a HUGE lover and advocate of professional photography I tend to share our professional prints a LOT.
From a bump shoot in Fairy Glenn, Newborn shoot at home and even a family one at Formby, we’ve squeezed in a few pro photo shoots since Paisley arrived in February 2015!
As a Mum I love capturing the real life moments (even if it’s with my phone and only shared on the family WhatsApp).
As a photographer I love seeing family life in front of my lens.
The ‘ordinary’ becomes a little more ‘extraordinary’, especially after some time has passed and we get to look back at it all (or to cringe at).
If you were to come visit me at our home in Burscough (Lancashire) you’ll find an impressive collection of family descending up the stairs.
From our own personal photos to professional shoots, we really do love to see our photos in print!
Not only to remember those moments but to bring a little smile to everyone who nips upstairs to the loo 😀
But how often SHOULD you have a professional family photography and/or videography shoot?
Can you have too many? Probably not!
I imagine more parents go on to regret not having enough than having too many…?
Those milestones we get so excited about (crawling, first words, weaning, walking…) all seem to come and go in the blink of an eye!
What I felt I was missing out on as a Mum was me being in front of the camera.
Me actually being with my family, not just taking photos of them!
Does anyone else go through their phone and find tons of cute pictures of the other half with the little one and then 1 selfie?
Or worse, a half arsed attempt from someone taking one of you…?
“Motherhood completely takes over when you have a baby!
Sometimes you forget to take the time to enjoy the special time you have with one another.
Your little bundle doesn’t stay small forever!
Its so nice to know you have those little snippets of photos and videos to help you remember those special times you had together.”
So, how often should we consider having a professional shoot?
Well when it comes to family life and those all important milestones we all know how fast that time seems to fly!
One minute they’re learning to crawl and the next minute they’re walking, talking strong willed 2 year olds!
Time really does go fast when our little ones are growing up!
The newborn days seem to be either the ones we document a LOT…
The ones we blink and miss (a few of my friends would argue it depends on whether it’s number 1/2/3 as to who gets photographed the most haha).
What styles of family photography are there?
It’s handy to start by considering what style of photography you’d love.
What would you enjoy on your walls? Or maybe presented in a fun photobook and/or family albums?
Are you after photos of just the baby or kids?
Maybe ones at home?
Or ones from a newborn studio where they’re all posed and curled up in fluffy blankets?
Maybe you’re keen to actually get you all together as a family (despite being nervous about being in front of the camera)?
So then you may want something a little more relaxed so you can enjoy it too?
There’s so many options it’s thinking about what feels right for you.
Enjoy looking over examples of work and see which one makes you feel a little giddy inside!
Then there’s maternity or ‘bump’ photoshoots too!
If you’re feeling really keen to get something professional on your walls it can even help to start thinking about it during your pregnancy.
It may even be worth considering your own ‘bump’ or maternity photography shoot?
Something to really celebrate you growing a little human!
Some families are even really organised and may share their interest with a photographer they love during pregnancy so they can help them plan when to book in once baby has arrived (I know, I was not that organised!)
A lot of photographers will put ‘due dates’ in the calendar and essentially pencil you in ready for the baby’s arrival!
Always a great idea if they’re really popular.
What is the best age to capture for family photography and videography?
Honestly? They all have something amazing about them so I’ll share a few key ‘ages’ for you to consider below.
It’s worth considering ‘milestones’ along the way.
Which ones will excite you the most? Or maybe which ones will you feel most sad about knowing they’re growing so fast…?
For some it’s things like crawling, talking, first foods or first steps. For others the whole first year is important!
As a Mum I certainly wish I’d caught more of those ‘firsts’…
Newborn (0-4 weeks)
The common age for newborn photographs is within that 0-10 day window.
Especially if you’re after the squishy, curled up newborn posed photography.
They’re usually super sleepy so quite willing to chill through a studio or home shoot and get wrapped up in blankets.
A handy tip if you’re having the photo shoot at home is to get the house nice and warm if you’re after the naked photos too!
For those dreading leaving the house those first few weeks (and I don’t blame you) a more relaxed, lifestyle and documentary style family photography and videography is a great option.
Another bonus for a home shoot is that the window for newborn photographs can be a little bigger (usually 0-6 weeks) as they’re not relying on them being super sleepy to create poses, it’s simply you and your new baby.
For video it’s a lovely age to not only hear their gurgles and cute baby grunts but the lovely words you speak to them too.
Seeing those little hands and feet wriggle around is a personal favourite, especially knowing how fast that stage passes!
I’d suggest between 0-4 weeks and a couple of hours in your own home would give you a nice variety of sleepy cuddles, feeds and seeing those big newborn eyes you love to look in to.
It’s a lot more relaxed and can mean less stress if someone was to become a little unsettled during the shoot (and I don’t always mean baby haha).
Some families are more than happy with having the one professional photography shoot for the year and may consider another one for their birthday or before they start school, for example.
Though baby’s first year is a really good opportunity to document all those changes that happen so fast!
Around 3-6 months you’ll find they’re super alert, giving you SO many smiles and some will even be rolling and trying to crawl.
There’s also the fun of weaning around 6 months and if you opt for a home shoot you’ll certainly capture some of the fun that comes with that!
6-12 Months (1 year)
As we get to around the 6-12 month mark you’ll love looking back and comparing the newborn images to how they are now.
In years to come you’ll also find it makes your heart skip a beat looking back at all their ‘firsts’ and things they don’t do any more!
They’re all about facial expressions at this age too so PERFECT for getting that ONE photo you will love to have printed large.
A family video at this age is a wonderful way to remember a few important milestones but it’s also an opportunity to capture that moment in time before it swiftly disappears…
12+ months and in to childhood…
Baby’s first year has it’s milestones that come thick and fast. It’s usually the age that everyone tries to document as much as possible before they’re a walking, talking little mini me!
So although those milestones slow down their personalities do not and after 12 months it’s fun to add in a shoot every year or so to help preserve those growing up years.
I have to admit we had a little break around 2 feeling we were over being photographed but then soon realised there would be a huge gap in our photo books and films not having something.
For some it ends up being a 2/3/4 year old and their new sibling which actually tends to be the perfect time to capture family life as the family grows and adapts 🙂
And, if reading all that makes you think you’d want to capture ALL of that…?
Well, a lot of family photographers and videographers have loyalty schemes or even ‘Baby’s First Year’ photoshoot packages.
These allow you to have ALL those ‘firsts’ captured!
You’ll be left with something amazing to relive their first year. The perfect keepsake.
With the added bonus of it being organised and ready to go in a ‘First Year’ package. It may save you a few pennies in the long run too!
If anything I hope it gets you thinking about ways you could capture and preserve family memories along the way. Not only for you to look back on but for them as they get older!
Now you’ve got an idea of WHEN you could have a family shoot (or shoots if you’re as excited by them as I am) and when you could plan them in.
I’d love for you to stick around as I’ll be sharing a few ideas with you of what you can do with those photos and video when you do get them!
If you’d like to be the first to hear family tips and inspiration then fill in your email below and I’ll pop you on my email list!
(I promise it’s only me and my family work, I’ll never share your info with anyone)
If you’re loving the idea of a family shoot for your own little family then I’d love to hear from you. I have a fancy brochure I can send out with more details and even send a few full galleries so you can see what’s possible with capturing your own family life.