Aaron and Angie wanted to take advantage of the fall foliage for a family photo session. Both have two children of their own and they wanted a session that showcased their combined families. Angie picked a great little park in Mishawaka, Indiana. Battel Park was the perfect setting for capturing fall photos. With a waterfall flowing through part of the park and the river walk trail following along the St. Joseph River, photo opportunities were abundant.
The shoot started off with a problem with one of the kids but after some coaxing, we were able to move on with the session. I have found interacting with the kids and allowing them to be kids is the key to great photographs. It also ensures a smooth and timely session. In order to get the kids to cooperate, I promised them “if you smile for the camera then you can act like monkeys for a few shots”. That trick worked wonders as everyone gave me their best smiles.
One of my favorite parts of this session involved throwing fall leaves. This was not only perfect for fall photos but also excellent at engaging the kids. They loved gathering up their bundle of leaves and waiting until just the right moment to release them. Smiles all around on that one.
When it seemed the kids were losing interest I suggested some photos of the couple only. This gave the kids a play break at the nearby playground. In turn, giving Aaron and Angie some adult time and photos of just the two of them. They are such a cute couple and it showed in all of their photos.
Our plan to take a few additional photos at a nearby park fell through when we discovered it was closed. Lucky for us there was another park right across the road, which also followed the river.
After shooting a few group photos and individual parents with their kids it was time to wrap it up and head out. The sun had started to set and the temperature was dropping. One of my favorite photos was their last group photo. I asked them to bear with me for just one more. For this one, I asked them to hug it in to stay warm. The moment was priceless. Sometimes the “just one more” makes a perfect photo.
Tips for family photos with children:
Allow plenty of time for the photo session. Rushing a session will turn out photos that look just like that, a rushed session.
Be patient with the kids, allow them to play and be silly. Not every photo has to be the perfectly posed family photo. Some of the best photos are those that just happen.
Pick a location that has a playground nearby. This allows some downtime for the kids and some adult only time. Most parents rarely have the opportunity to have photos taken of just themselves.
If at all possible bring along a teenager or relative to keep an eye on the kids during the adult photos. This ensures the couple can truly enjoy themselves and not worry about the kids.
Most of all, have fun! Your session is just as much about having fun with your loved ones as it is about capturing great photos. If you enjoy yourselves it will show in your photos. Thus making my job easier and making you, the client, happy