Family portrait sessions can be fun, crazy and hectic. Sometimes just the crazy part! Coordinating outfits, making sure everyone arrives clean and happy and ready to go, it can all be a massive undertaking.
Naturally the most important photo at any family session is that one great image of the whole family together. Once you've got that, you want to make sure to get a shot of the kids together and then each of the children on their own. Sometimes its fun to grab a shot of mom with all the kids and then of course dad with all the kids too. But there's one photo I always want to capture at every family session and this is a nice photo of mom and dad together without the kids.
As soon as children enter the picture (pun intended!) something happens to a couple and suddenly all the photos, conversations, and pretty much everything else revolves around the little people. It's so easy to forget what started the family to begin with...two people who fell in love!
Too often when I ask a mom or dad if they'd like a shot of just the two of them, they look at me perplexed then turn to each other to see what the other person thinks and its clear that neither of them even considered it as an option. Sometimes they shrug it off as not important which I have to admit breaks my heart a little bit, but other times they embrace it as a wonderful opportunity. In everyday life one of those parents is usually taking the photos, so while a complete family photo is rare, couples photos are even more so. More often than not I hear that the last professional image they have of just the two of them was from their wedding.
So photographers, make the suggestion! Encourage your clients to grab a quick shot of the two of them together. Get them smiling together, laughing, and remembering what started the beautiful family you're working with today. If the couple has young children and there's a concern over keeping an eye on them, encourage them to be your helpers. Kids love to come by the camera and "help make mommy and daddy laugh" and because adults know how to listen this pose is usually a nice quick shot but the results could mean the world.
Moms and dads, don't let this chance pass you by. At your next family session, if your photographer doesn't offer it, ask them to grab a shot of just the two of you. You won't regret it!