Trish Reda. Family sessions 101.
When client books, gather names and ages of all members in attendance. Aunts, uncles, grandkids. Brush over attire quickly explaining to them general guidelines about what looks good in black and white and what doesn’t. Explain to them that your Canon is programed to auto-detect and immediately delete any photographs with adults in matching clothing. Also explain to them that your sessions work best when the session is treated more like a casual family get together. Wine and snacks are encouraged as they help to make the family members forget that they are about to have their portrait taken.
Upon arrival, take your shoes off, put your camera bag down, accept the kind offer for a beverage and pop a cube of cheese in your mouth. As the family organizer introduces you to everybody, they will put their hand out for a hand shake. Hug them instead. Sit on the floor, pet the dog, play with the baby and little kids. Act like you’re the favorite cousin who they haven’t seen in years. The children will already be convinced. Staying focused on the dog and kids, you will hopefully miss any “WTF-who-is-this-weirdo?” glances some of the grown ups might be giving each other as you sit barefoot on the floor now asking the 5 year old about her boyfriend. Pull out your camera and start shooting.
This being reason #497 of why I hesitate to teach. You can’t teach crazy. It’s a gift and I’m super gifted.