Our epic laneway family photos with Jennifer Horner Photography
Jen – you did it. You overcame my fear (complete loathing) for family photoshoots.
Ever since our early years of pixifotos, and then venturing into lifestyle shoots, the thought of family photos made me want to vomit. Or at least get me admitted to a cardiac ward for blood pressure monitoring.
All the “what ifs”race through my mind. What if the kids are being all silly/crazy/screaming/fighting/yelling/uncooperative and/or partially nude (so just a normal day really) and it’s a total disaster and the photographer vows never to take another photo again because we scar her so badly.
If you haven’t noticed, I tend to over analyse every potential situation in preparation for worst case scenarios.
But you know what? They don’t have to be perfect, and I think that’s where I was going wrong all these years.
Jen (Jennifer Horner Photography) showed me that the best kind of images are perfectly imperfect.
They are the moments where everyone is being themselves (crying and whinging fits into this category too. From the kids, not the adults. Although….)
And it was all based on the 6 p’s: Prior preparation prevents p*** poor performance.
But ultimately, when it comes to family photoshoots, you really have to add another P. Yep – prediction. Because there’s no way you can predict what your kids will do on D-Day.
Seriously – I wasn’t even sure Rhys would wear both shoes. He has a tendency to rock one shoe at a time only. I think he’s trying to make it a thing.
We met Jen in the city on a lovely Tuesday at 5pm (yep, witching hour).
Time for some laneway family photos
The funny thing was that in the elevator on the way up from the random car park we found, I let go of the worries about the shoot not “working” the way I’d hoped.
Because I realised that we had no chance of calm twilight laneway family photos.
The kids acted like they had NEVER been taken out of the house before. I’d need to get the CCTV footage of that elevator trip to show you exactly what happened, but the only way I can describe it is by the reactions of witnesses.
I’m pretty sure that people thought we’d been in a frozen state for 850yrs.
Anyway, we met Jen at the funky Burnett lane.
And yes, I was a tad unco in my heels (totally out of practice). Other than that, everyone was comfy in their awesome threads and kicks.
Kids shoes from Cienta Australia
Kids personalised tees supplied by Grunge and Lace
Josh’s shorts and Sophie’s skirt supplied by Love by Five
Rhys and Sam’s shorts from Kipp Kids
Adam’s shorts – Global Kidz
Husband – Random stuff from the cupboard.
Jen chatted with each of the kids, making them laugh, giving them little jobs and generally making them feel comfortable. She showed them her camera, and answered their relentless questions and talking over the top of each other.
All the while, she snapped photos, effortlessly capturing the kids and us just doing what we do for our theme of laneway family photos.
Then, like a true boss, she brought the big guns out when they started to get a little bored of it all.
She brought GLOW STICKS. Just a little flash of them with the promise of them after the photoshoot was enough to get 5 tired kiddos to the end of the session.
Meanwhile, Nick and I had bribed them with Maccas on the way home. I think I like Jen’s bribe better for the budget and the healthy factor lol.
Tips for great family photos
Plan plan plan.
When you’re investing time and money into capturing beautiful and timeless pictures of your family, you’re probably not just going to book it and not think about it.
Have all the outfits ready before (I even IRONED for this. No kidding – I was committed), and your time frame planned out for naps, traffic, toilet stops etc.
Pack bribes, food, drinks, favourite toys, ipads – whatever you think will keep you and the kids happy.
Then on the day, relax and let it happen.
When you get to wherever it is you choose to go – it’s out of your hands.
You’ve done all you can – everyone is clean and dressed (hopefully).
But most importantly, everyone is there.
Have faith in your photographer that they’ll be able to work around difficult moments. After all, if they are a family photographer this probably isn’t their first tantrum rodeo.
The majority of my favourite pictures are those ones that I can relate to the most, and they’re not the perfectly posed Brady Bunch family photo with everyone looking and smiling.
Instead, it’s Josh with his black eye (yep, that happened 2 days before the shoot). Then there’s Rhys with a massive big egg on his forehead from a collision at kindy.
And Adam and Sam wanting to dab and do peace signs in every photo. Then of course, Miss Sophie, laughing at her crazy brothers, embarrassed to be out in public doing photos, all the while looking beautiful and grown up.
That’s us. Done and dusted.
If you’re Brisbane based or surrounds – chat to Jennifer Horner Photography.
(Jen is still available for shoots because we didn’t scar her for life – woohoo!).