Posed vs. Coordinated
I recently had a lady call me to book a family portrait session. She told me that she knew just what she wanted, which is always good to hear. She said that she did not want pictures that looked posed, but ones that made her family look “natural”. “Great” I said. “Those are my favorites”. Then I asked her my standard set of questions; how many people are in your family, what’s your idea on what everyone will wear, and if she wanted an indoor session or one outside, where the portrait was going to be displayed (hung)… She confided that she had not really thought about all of that, except for what to wear. Not an unexpected reply, really.
I understand that when most people call me for portraits, it’s not after calling WalMart, or Target. They’re looking for something that’s different and special. They want to tell the story of THEIR family. Something unique and definitely no standing on the “X” and saying the dreaded “Cheeeeese”
This is where “Coordinating” the session comes into play, which I do before every family session that I book. It does not matter so much if my clients are standing, sitting, lying down. What does matter is that they look good doing it. We’ve all seen the pictures where everyone is wearing one color and the oddball is in the bright yellow tiger print, so clothing matters. Indoor portraits have a different feeling compared to a portrait created at the beach, so location matters. Perhaps most important is where you plan to hang your portrait. This can make many of the other choices easier, too. Can you imagine going to a friend’s home for dinner and seeing a maternity portrait displayed in the dining room? (Let’s hope that’s a quick dinner.) Of course not, that’s where the family portrait goes. Those great maternity images are in the baby’s room or bedroom. Where you’re planning to display your portrait matters.
All of planning and coordinating can seem like a waste of time until you see the portrait of YOUR family, beautifully displayed exactly as you hoped for, better than you imagined, because you took the time with your photographer to make it happened.