Get In Front of the Camera – Not Just Behind It

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Today’s feature is from .

Alan says:

“Lee is a local photographer and our daughters are friends so we connected that way. Like many photographers Lee was great at shooting other families but her own family had been neglected, especially when it came to having her in the photos with her family.

So the session was set to go play and have some family photos as well as some cuteness from the kids. We are lucky to have a heap of great beach locations around us and were able to find a quiet beach so we would only have to contend with the dog walkers at sunset.

And of course the weather ended up being very warm so it turned into a very busy beach. Some preconceived ideas were forgotten about and the fun of improvising started – including how to get great family shots of just the family and not everyone else at the beach.”

Alan’s Photography Tip:

Honestly, my biggest tip for this shoot is to and get family portraits of yourself and your family every year, and get it done professionally.

If this is what you love to do, make sure you get in front of a real camera (selfies don’t count).

Get to understand what goes on at the other side of the session, as it will help you sympathise more with your clients on things like deciding what to wear, getting the kids ready, talking the partner into playing along, sorting out what props to bring, and also what it is like being directed, how it makes you feel, what you like and don’t like about the experience, etc.

Understanding these sorts of things will improve the way you shoot and handle your clients.

Once the session is over, the anticipation to see the images beings!  I guarantee you will want to see the photos ASAP, so it gives you a reminder that you need to turn around your images quickly for your clients. Don’t let the excitement fade!

Plus in the future, your kids will have photos to look back on like all the other families you’ve taken pictures for in your career.

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Alan used a Nikon D600 with a Nikon 50mm 1.8 lens, a Nikon 85mm 1.8 lens, and a Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 lens to capture these images.

Alan Moyle is a Melbourne, Australia, and International Wedding and Portrait photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Client Direction.


Like Alan said, family portraits are a great thing to pass on to your children. Leaving them the digitals is great, but the best way to do it is with physical prints and canvases.

However, getting your client to understand why this is important is hard. So start small – just start by showing them how great the prints will look displayed in their home.

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