Why I Love Photographing Families Outdoors

I was so excited when my friend asked me to photograph her family of four, her brother’s family of five and her sister (plus dog) at a lake reserve. This would be the largest group I’d ever photographed for a lifestyle shoot. I’ll be honest, I was a bit nervous! I’d done large events before, but they are normally candid documentary style, which do not require any guidance from my end. This would be a whole other ball game.

Weather Plays a Big Part in Outdoor Photography

We organised for a Saturday afternoon shoot. It was summer and I was confident it would be nice weather. A week leading up to the session, my weather app was showing me rain and clouds! Oh No!! Melbourne weather, here we go!

The morning of the shoot was so rainy! I opened up my app and Tada! There was my little hope showing up. It would be clearing up that afternoon! Yes!!

Outdoor Photography at Coburg Lake Reserve

At 4PM that afternoon, I drove to the shoot location – a beautiful lake reserve in Coburg, Victoria. The sun was out and the breeze was cool. Perfect day for an outdoor session, I thought to myself and thanked the universe.

I love photographing families outdoors, because kids can be free and run around. My friend’s family was first on the shoot list. The kids were so excited so I let them run wild and I began to capture the fun. At one point, I asked them to jump on dad, which resulted in such a beautiful moment where the daughter put her hand on dad’s face as he kissed her on her cheek. While the kids run around some more, I turned to the parents and asked them, if they remembered a time when it was just the two of them. They smiled and I asked them to get closer to each other as I snapped away. A little kiss on the cheek happened, which was a bonus! I love those moments.

Photographing Older Children

The second family arrived and I took their older kids, so that they could relax and bond with me a little. I told them not to look at me and chat amongst each other. This loosened them up a bit. Then the little cousins joined in and there were some fun, natural moments of play and interaction. I love nature and incorporating it into my family shots is one of my favourite things. I asked all of them to sit by and look out to the lake as I captured them from behind.

Next, was the big kids with their parents. We walked over to a nearby bridge. I told them to take in all the nature around them. I directed them to walk towards me as I captured some lifestyle family shots. Bear in mind, this was my first time meeting this family and look how relaxed they appear! I love that the mother is in the centre, because as we all know, mothers are the life and soul of a family.

Next was the Aunty and her cute little dog joined by all her nephews and nieces on a park bench. The different dynamic here was a lot of fun to capture. The younger kids were still so excited and the older ones were trying to be cool. Natural interactions and connections occurred as I snapped away giving some guidance and direction. It’s ok that sometimes one or two look at the camera as that naturally gives the photo an interesting touch.

Photographing this family outdoors provided me with the flexibility of different backdrops within the one location. It was a great 1 hour session, don’t you think?

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7 Thoughts

  1. I can’t believe you managed to capture all these moments within just an hour! Amazing work with such a dynamic group of people!

    1. It was a challenge for sure!! I think being at the location earlier than all of them helped as it gave me time to calm my mind.

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