Over the last few years I’ve been blessed to photograph dozens (if not hundreds) of family portraits all across Israel, and whether it’s family portraits at an event, an old city bar-mitzvah photoshoot, or a romantic couples photoshoot in a scenic nature spot there are a few common takeaways I’ve learned from these experiences over the years; takeaways that I’m about to share with you to help you approach your next photoshoot with complete peace of mind that you’ll be getting your money’s worth and that you’ll receive the best, most flattering photographs that you’ll cherish for years to come. Make sure to check out the RIDICULIOUSLY SWEET offer at the end!
Let’s get started: 1. “HOW SHOULD I POSE”? “WHAT SHOULD I DO”?
This is probably the number one question any portrait photographer is asked and many photographers go about it with different approaches. My answer always is that you don't have to do anything! You’re here to enjoy yourself, have fun, and relax. By having this mindset and by being at ease without stressing over “what I need to do”, you’re much more likely to have natural and authentic photos as well as enjoy your time together so much you won’t believe how fast the time flies. Let’s go to tip # 2 to further enhance your peace of mind to ensure a wonderful experience and photos you won’t want to take your eyes off.
2. LOCATION PLANNING
This is probably the most important part of planning an upcoming photoshoot and for so many reasons. We might tend to think that all we need is a nice scenic place with a nice background and if we really want to step it up then we make sure it’s facing the right direction when it comes to lighting and that's it, we have our perfect location!
But let me point out a few crucial points to consider when deciding on a photoshoot location.
Is it important to have nearby bathrooms available? Imagine how uncomfortable a shoot would be if one or more of the participants needed a bathroom and you were in the middle of nowhere.
Are you planning on doing an outfit change during the shoot? If so, where can you do that?
Is there shade available nearby? When working with large groups not everyone will necessarily be in every frame and we want them to be comfortable when they’re not having their pictures taken (especially elderly grandparents or young kids who are likely to be less cooperative if they’re uncomfortable)
How much traveling and how much walking would the shoot require? Longer car rides can cause unexpected delays as well as cause participants to be impatient, uncomfortable, and just start off on the wrong foot. Therefore I’ll almost always suggest to keep the shoot as local as possible especially when working with larger groups and trust me, there are breathtaking photoshoot locations almost everywhere that eliminate the need for a long road trip. Obviously, if you specifically want to do a beach shoot for example and you live in Jerusalem then a long drive might be necessary but it’s still important to be aware of the potential downside.
If there’s a bit of walking involved we’ll want to make sure that everyone is up for it and comfortable doing it.
3. LOCATION PLANNING PRO TIP
I find this tip to be more useful for couples but it can definitely be applied to any shoot.
Think beyond going to a nice spot. Think about going to a place or doing an activity that you’d want to do even if you weren't having your pictures taken. By doing this you’ll feel right in your element and have such a good time that even on a security camera you’d look amazing! (OK, maybe I exaggerated a little).
By utilizing this tip I’ve gotten the most amazing photos of couples right in their element having the time of their lives and their pictures reflect it. For families, this can be as simple as planning a shoot in a location where there’s a park for the kids to play. Hint: There are lots of places like that in KKL forests all over Israel.
4. PREPARE A LIST OF DIFFERENT GROUP PHOTOS
Arriving at your photoshoot when you and your photographer have a pre-written list of every combination of pictures you want to get makes things run so much smoother and easier and ensures that you don’t miss any important frames. Getting it right while on the shoot is much better than photoshopping people into pictures later on 🤪.
If you have a specific color or outfit style that you want to wear, make sure it matches the colors of your location and fits the theme of the place. Your photographer should be able to provide you with the necessary guidance.
When scheduling the time of your photoshoot, take a few things into consideration:
Does it leave enough time for everyone to be ready without rushing or stressing? Remember, by making sure everyone is happy and enjoying the experience we’re much more likely to get genuine and authentic smiles and joy-filled moments in our pictures.
How does the time work out with sunset? Generally speaking, golden hour is the best time for portraits (or any type of photography) but it’s crucial to leave some lee-way at the end if you might want to extend the time and not end up in the dark after the sun sets. Alternatively, you can plan ahead of time to have the photoshoot extend into dusk and get some portraits illuminated by flashes making for a very different style and giving you a larger variety of photos.
7. AFTER THE PHOTOSHOOT
Now that we’ve touched on all the important information to make sure your photoshoot is a highly pleasurable experience guaranteeing amazing results, here are a few helpful tips for after the shoot.
BACKUP: Make sure to download your images onto a computer and save at least one more copy somewhere else, preferably on a cloud service. I’ve had clients contact me years after working with them saying they lost all the pictures and thankfully I had a backup but for photoshoots, I commit to saving my client's photos for up to 90 days.
PRINTS: I offer high-quality canvas and aluminum prints at affordable prices. Take a look at your wall space and get an idea of how many prints you’d like and what sizes. I can also recommend different places for getting your photos printed on all sorts of gift items and to have them framed.
SHARING YOUR PHOTOS: As an additional service, I offer a password-protected client gallery with all the high-quality photos that can be downloaded by anyone in the world that you give access to. This feature is especially amazing for clients with family members that live abroad.
8. BONUS TIP
If you have young children, I recommend bringing some toys for them to play with. It’s a time-proven method to get some real authentic happy shots!
Planning a photoshoot should emphasize having a fun and pleasurable experience as well as preparing ahead of time to eliminate any stress or discomfort on the day of your shoot. By doing so, you can be at peace knowing your investment in a portrait session will pay off tremendously and you’ll maximize the potential of a rare opportunity.
Did you find these tips helpful? I’d love to hear your feedback. In fact, mention it and I’ll give you 10 percent off your next shoot! Not only that, but I’ll also throw in a 100 NIS DISCOUNT on canvas or aluminum prints AND a complimentary password-protected gallery for up to 7 days! (Valued at 190 NIS)
To ensure a quick turnover, efficient planning, and that every client has my full dedication, photoshoots are limited to 3 a week.