Before They Fly the Nest: Family Portraits with Teenagers
I won’t lie if I say that family photography is my favorite. As a family woman myself, I like meeting close-knit nuclear families, big or small. They are the best material to work with (pardon my professional jargon). While shooting might become a bit of a mess (in a positive way), the result is always worth all the efforts. Glowing with affection, care, and love to each other, these people help tell my camera the story of their happiness. The most precious ones are, perhaps, family portraits with teenagers in photographs. Why? Teens are always bristling with ideas and strong opinions. Therefore, working with them is a real adventure.
Javier, Laura, and the Bunch
Joint portraits are not something new for this happy family of five. A while ago, when the kids were younger, Javier and Laura, the parents, have introduced them to the wonderful world of photography. Back then, the couple had to hire not one but two photographers to make the kids laugh and feel at ease. And now, when the kids are all grown up, it was time to repeat this joyful photo experience.
It is actually curious how I met Javier, the head of the family. One of my clients told him about my services and he turned to me for headshots. As Javier was pleased with photos for his business, he came up with a great idea to take his entire bunch to update their family portraits.
When spilling out into my studio with a positive and energetic attitude, I realized it was going to be something. My instinct didn’t fail me. We had mom and dad portraits, full family pictures, and the kids-alone shots. We even ended up in my favorite place for a nice on-location photoshoot. Each family member took on a couple of images – all dressed-up for joint studio photographs as well as more casual looks for the outdoor setting.
Family Portraits with Teenagers to Convey a Strong Bond
When crossing the threshold of my studio, the family had it in mind to convey the feeling of unity and happiness through the pictures. Well, they surely do so. Despite the fact that the kids are almost adult now and probably they will soon fly the nest, the bunch remains tightly-knit. They enjoy spending time biking, traveling, camping, and going outside the city. Perhaps, photoshoots could become one more thing they like doing together. Especially, when the children grow up so fast and soon, they will hardly resemble yesterday’s selves. To capture every stage of their evolution – this is what photography is for.
Challenges and Excitement of Teenage Photography
Creating exciting family portraits with teenagers is simultaneously a challenging and rewarding adventure. It is because these soon-to-be-adults are so unpredictable. Some will gladly model hours on end while others are less than enthusiastic. I always try and find the right approach to timid and self-conscious kids because their parents have high expectations. Besides, it is my goal to capture every person coming to my studio from the best angle whether they are willing to cooperate or not.
Almost-adults tend to ride an emotional rollercoaster at times. Right now, they are eager to get involved in a session with their families and the next second they feel awkward and retreat into their shells. My duty is to find the right words and the right actions to help them let their hair down. When it works, we get the truest and the most sincere pictures.
Tips for Family Pictures with Teens
The mood of a family photo session starts with you. If your son or daughter just doesn’t want to come, forcing will make even worse. You might be able to make them arrive on set but bored and pouty, they won’t fit in with your ‘happy family’. If you see the lack of enthusiasm in your kids, the best thing you can do is change the strategy. Things that may help include showing them pictures from previous photo sessions. They should reassure them that taking photos doesn’t hurt.
What’s even better, we can arrange a shooting outside the studio, in a location where they feel in their element. Maybe it is your garden, a skate park, workshop, etc. It must be a place your teen likes and considers their comfort zone. Sometimes, they pick surprising places and it is actually a huge benefit for pictures. Photographs in the off-the-beaten-track locations are most thrilling. Especially for teens who adore everything leftfield and unexpected.
Speaking of unexpected, family portraits with teenagers don’t have to be ‘classic’. If she or he doesn’t want to join the traditional lineup, allow them to do it in their own way. Let them sit, lie, or stand on their heads, whatever they feel like doing. You will get some pretty awesome pictures, your kid won’t feel forced, and everyone is happy. It is a win-win situation.
Finally, to help them loosen up at a photoshoot, let them show the things they are passionate about. Encourage your youngsters to bring ‘props’ aka the things they are proud of. He likes football? Then let a ball complement your pictures. She is a musician? There is a room for her violin or guitar in my studio. They are crazy about pets? The four-legged friends are welcome!
Create Photo Memories of Your Family
Capturing the milestones of your family is a cool way to preserve good memories. Kids grow up fast; parents go through transformations, too. Stopping the changes is not in your power but you can immortalize the precious moments in photographs. Family portraits with teenagers will help stop the time and remember them on the thresholds of adulthood.