When it comes to family photos, the whole premise of them should be to CAPTURE YOUR FAMILY. And my guess is that 10/10 times you’re not all just standing around looking in one direction and smiling with your elbow gently placed on your children’s shoulders (if this is a regular thing for you guys then you do you… little creepy though tbh…)
So here’s my number one piece of advice for you when planning your next set of family photos!
THINK OF THE HOBBY/ACTIVITY/THING YOUR FAMILY LOOOOVES TO DO!
Is it hiking? Rad! Is it boating? Awesome. Is it baking cookies and causing kitchen mayhem in your PJ’s? Even better!
If these or whatever else first comes to mind are things your family loves to do together, then let’s heckin’ do them! There will be nothing more natural than photos of you guys laughing and enjoying each other’s company in that space you’ve set up!
This is exactly what happened with my session with the Janzen’s. When Shane and Jenna started planning where they wanted to go for their photos, we talked about a few options, but at the end of the day, it came to heading out to one of their happy places: aka. the Mountains. I was 100% on board because a) the mountains are also my happy place and b) the scenery and landscape make an awesome space for photos!
We loaded up the truck, and I got the pleasure to be the backseat companion with Audy – their sweet little girl, and off we were to Waterton! This National Park is one of the most gorgeous mountain stops closest to the Lethbridge area and makes for an incredible spot for photos, however, I do recommend coming prepared for the wind.
We first stopped near a frozen river to snag some photos of them exploring and cozying up with each other and then went and parked ourselves in an outdoor camp kitchen near the lake. It was perfectly sheltered from the wind and made for the best spot to sit back and drink some hot chocolate and warm up!
This was one of those moments that made it perfect to capture their family doing their thing. Whether it was Audy monching on some cookies, Shane and Jenna singing “The Office” theme song for Audy to dance to, or just capturing them interacting with each other like it was a normal outing!
We were able to hit up an awesome space and it allowed them, as a family, to just sit back and relax without feeling the tenseness of holding the perfect smile. These guys were absolute troopers as well when it came to exploring! We went to go get some shots of them on the shoreline (aka the windiest spot with a side of blowing icy mist) and thankfully the toddler smiles continued and therefore so did the parents!!
It ended up being a well-spent afternoon, despite less than ideal weather, and made for an awesome little mini-adventure – which, in my opinion, is exactly what outdoor photos should feel like!