Summer break and the winter holidays are the busiest for extended family photo sessions for me. I love getting to photograph big families, especially ones that haven't seen each other in a while! I grew up with a large extended family and we got together for every occasion. All my cousins are grown and have families of their own and mainly know each other through social media now. My husband is in the Navy, so we've moved several states in the last few years which has brought me farther and farther from my hometown. I cherish the photos I have of when everyone was together, which makes photographing other families that much sweeter for me!
Running a photo session with 10+ people can be tricky! But if there's some planning ahead of time it can be a fun experience for everyone involved.
Typically when I'm contacted about an extended family session it's by one person...they become the point of contact and my biggest help with coordinating everyone the day of the session. Once all the details of location, date, and time are worked out, they are usually the ones to reach out to the rest of the family and make sure everyone knows when everything is taking place.
Outfits! It's sometimes hard to coordinate a family of 5's outfits...it's definitely hard with double or triple that number! But it can happen! It use to be trendy to have all family members wearing the same thing...not so much any more. Choose a color scheme that has 3-4 colors for everyone to pull from. If you need help, Pinterest can be your best friend! Check out my blog post on What to Wear to your Family Session or my Pinterest Board on What to Wear. You'll find lots of examples and it will be easy to share with your family!
What to expect during your session:
Coordinating a big family can get out of control very quickly! But don't worry, I break it down into steps that will make sure we get all of the combinations. It's ideal for everyone to arrive by our agreed time, but things happen and I completely understand! I like to spend the first few minutes introducing myself and making sure to chat with all the kiddos involved. I typically start with a large group photo just to warm everyone up, but if not everyone with there just yet, then I'll either take some candids of the kids playing or start with family photos of those that are there.
Once everyone has arrived, I'll be posing you all as a group, individual families, couples, individuals of the kids, cousins, kids with grandparents, and all others we've discussed!
So breath and don't sweat it...I'll do the sweating! Let's make this a fun experience that is just another activity your family will get to do together!
*Allyson Ward Photography will be relocating to Sheboygan, Wisconsin early 2019! Contact me to book your Spring/Summer session in the Sheboygan County area.