Family Photographer Newport Beach
When clients book me for the first time, they ask…can you really get good photos in 20 minutes? The short answer: YES.
I love working with little kids because they are so authentic. They don’t mince words and once they’re on my side, we’re winning. I can get them to create the images I know their mom and dad will love while they think we’re playing a game.
The Best Time to Take Photos at the Beach
There’s always the scheduling debate when it comes time to take photos at the beach. Do you take the photos in the morning or in the evening? Many people would automatically assume sunset because of the beautiful golden lighting. I love sunset lighting. BUT, I think people with kids should always consider doing a morning beach photo session.
The time is conducive to kids’ schedules. Normally kids are fresher in the morning, so getting great photos will be a little easier. Chances are (in Southern California) the beach will be overcast in the morning. I love overcast lighting because it acts as a giant soft box for the sun.
The light is naturally diffused, so the color is very evening. While sunset lighting has contrast and is very dramatic, I think that best suits an engagement or maternity photo session.
Of course, any time you take photos at the beach, you have a beautiful scene behind you. But, IF YOU HAVE KIDS, consider the morning at the beach!
I got to celebrate baby A’s arrival with her family at their home. At home sessions have more of a lifestyle feel than studio sessions. Clients will ask me about which is better. I advise them to think about the pros and cons of each.
A studio session has more controlled lighting and access to all my newborn blankets and props. But, keeping toddlers occupied in a small studio for an extended amount of time is difficult. Not to mention having to pack everything up and drive when you’ve just had a baby.
An at home session can be a little trickier with light. Sometimes certain areas of the house can be dark and won’t work for photos. But, if you’re willing to be flexible, you definitely feel most relaxed in your own home.
I photographed this family in their bedroom because we got good light and there was enough space for me to set up my bean bag for the baby. They even had a nice neutral wall to use for photos of mom and dad with baby.
I met this sweet family at the Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes when they were visiting from out of state. They love staying at this resort…who wouldn’t! It’s so beautiful! And they had maternity photos taken several years earlier at this exact location.
So, we update the family photos now that the little babe in the tummy is now THREE! It was quite a cold and windy day, but the perfect place to walk the grounds. We tucked into all their favorite little nooks and of course spent some time down by the ocean.
The last little series of mom and daughter were taken on the bluff where she had taken maternity photos. Such a sweet way to document time.
More family photos from Kristin Eldridge, Palos Verdes Family Photographer.
My best photo sessions happen when I can focus on present over perfect. Photographing kids can sometimes be like herding cats, so it’s better to go with the flow than against it. If everyone is looking and smiling at the camera, GREAT. If everyone is happy, but not looking at the camera, AT LEAST NO ONE’S CRYING.
But seriously, when we can relax into the rhythm of what a family is (ie: not perfect) things will be better than perfect. I love working with this family because they appreciate the in-between moments.
It’s hard in the middle of a stressful situation (like a photo session!) but try to remember to stay calm. Attitudes are contagious and when parents set the tone, the kids will follow. I love to see families laughing, joking and just having all kinds of fun. Even if they’re not looking at the camera, it’s perfect.
family photographer orange county, Kristin Eldridge
The secret to photographing toddlers isn’t in a fast shutter speed. It’s not about your ISO or what type of lens you have. The secret to getting the best photos of a wiggly and FAST toddler is to work with them instead of against them.
I learned a long time ago that you cannot make a baby, toddler or child do something they don’t want to do during a photo session. I learned that you must make your idea their idea and run with it. Sometimes this shows up in the form of manipulating the situation. If I see a little one that enjoys pushing the limits, I might tell them…you better not smile at me. Or I’m going to come get you!
And if a toddler just want to move, we MOVE. I will have parents swing them until I count down to a pause so I can take the photo. I will have one parent chase them into the arms of another parent.
Whatever your method, just remember to make all the energy work to your advantage. Making a wiggly toddler sit still is a fool’s errand. Use all that energy to play hide and seek, so you get the biggest most authentic smile when you find them.
And for more fast and furious toddlers, check out this guy’s session at the beach.
We were all there for the moms getting in the photo movement. It was the wake up call that we didn’t have as many photos of our moms that we wanted. Moms realized their kids didn’t need them to be anything other than present. I’m so lucky to have client moms that are not only willing, but excited to get in the photo. And when you’re happy and content, it shows. Your kids will thank you now, in 10 years and when they are a mom themselves!
Photos by Kristin Eldridge, Los Angeles Family Photographer
What to Wear for Family Pictures
I love helping clients with all the small details for their photo session. Sometimes they already have a vision for what they want. And that’s awesome…more power to you! But other times, people feel stuck. They don’t know what will look good and how to organize clothing for the whole family.
Try to stick several main colors. If you’re not sure what colors you should choose, I’m happy to help. In my last post I talked about how I love soft colors and neutrals for the beach or photos at sunset. It’s so beautiful to have tone on tone. The end result is a watercolor-esque look.
But, some locations are great for a POP of color or dark tones. Today, I’ll suggest some dark tones for park that has a bit more color in the greenery. The sample photos I’m showing were taken mid-day, so they have a bit more contrast. And that’s really nice with dark to medium tones.
This particular location is located close to Long Beach, and you can click here to sign up for a photo session this fall!