Family Photography Studios
"Taking photos is more than snapshots especially at family photography studios. You're capturing memories!"
Setting a specialty can be scary. What if there's not enough work? Family photography studios have a limited market and need to make the most of it. However there is another aspect to consider - you're preserving memories. From the baby to the teen to the family group photos you're documenting a family's history in a way that will last for years.
Even when things are rough people love family photos. It can be the last thing before a sister or brother or father leaves for the military or is unexpectedly killed in an auto accident. Family photography studios thus carry great importance to do the job right. When setting up your studio decide on how you will handle some basics.
Considerations for Family Photography Studios
Family photography studios like any business must be ready to handle questions that come up as well as issues. Here's some things to consider when setting your policies.
One of the issues that will come up increasingly is pets. Will you take them in family shots? This doesn't necessarily mean pet photography, but increasingly for many families the pet is part of the family. If Joe is usually seen with his snake or Patrice has a service dog are you prepared to include them? From the family's standpoint these animals are a solid presence and it would be strange to not have them there. From a photographer's standpoint do you want them in the studio?
Children are often photographed without their parents as well as part of the family group. Sometimes children can be as difficult as pets as the smile can turn to a frown with a comment from someone off camera. If that is the instant the camera captures it can take patience to get a smile again.
How will you handle tension? Remember not all families entirely get along - perhaps one person worked the night before and is tired. Perhaps brother in law doesn't get along with sister - or perhaps everyone does get along but is stressed trying to get a good photo shoot because they're stretching finances to pay you.
People skills are important in these situations. Make it a fun shoot. "Tune in" and if there are parties shooting daggers at each other put them on the opposite sides of the picture
Groups include not only the above but an eye towards colors, putting people in an order that makes a pleasing transition with heights also. Don't be afraid to use props. An antique chair, a step stool for short people or other props can help a photo greatly.
This is something that family photography studios will deal with and it's important to have a plan of how to handle it.
Being flexible can also mean knowing your family. If they're outdoor people consider shooting outside. You might even have a sheltered gazebo or other area available for shooting, or flower beds. These can capture the family in a more natural setting, which further reduces stress and tension.
In some areas there is temptation to spread too thinly and that can lead to rushed appointments, late appointments and eventually missed appointments. Not only is this unprofessional but you owe it to your clients to "bring your best game". Have the tools you need to do the job.
Remember with family photography aside from just portraits there is the possibility of high school portraits, sports teams and a wide array of other situations you may find that is a job possibility. Along with this some can try to do wedding photography which may lead to having to choose. The only time the Smiths can come is Saturday and you have a wedding to shoot - either way someone is upset!
Aspiring models, actors, musicians and many others all may sometimes need a professional photographer, yet too often people don't think about who does their photography. Businesses also can have professional portraits of key people in the company.
In all of these a professional image is needed. For many it depends on getting jobs. It's up to you to give those professional images! These are good examples of things that may dovetail into a family photography business without "competing" with it, and still making use of the same portrait equipment.
The basic studio need not be expensive but does need to be functional - lighting, parking and comfortable work area.
These tips and considerations can help make family photography studios prepare for anything likely to happen within the walls of the studio. That can make a great shoot.
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Family Photography Studios
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