You know that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you're at a family gathering, and everyone you love is there? Well that’s what my extended family photoshoots in Edinburgh are all about.
You can bring up to thirty family members, which is usually enough to include pretty much all the leaves on every branch of your family tree! Aunties, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, grandparents, great-grandparents. People you see every day, laughing with people you might not have seen for years. “Look how big you’ve got!”, and “do you remember when…?”.
And when you look through the photos in years to come, it’ll be like opening a family time capsule. You’ll see faces you haven’t seen for decades, faces of children you know as adults. You’ll see all the cousins together when they were young. And be able to show your grandchildren photos of you cuddled up to your grandparents. It’s not just a family day out, it’s a way of carrying your family history into the future.
Now hopefully I’ve piqued your interest a little?! So here’s everything you need to know about my extended family photoshoots in Edinburgh, and just a few of the reasons you’re going to love them!
I always find it’s best to work out how many of your extended family are coming before you settle on a location for your photoshoot.
For smaller groups, it can be nice to have it in a family home. The house where you all go for Christmas every year, or in someone’s lovingly cared-for garden. For larger groups, I usually recommend a local park. Simply because there’ll be tons more space for you all to spread out and for the kids to run around.
Either way, decide on a place that works for you all as a family and we’ll take it from there. If you’re having trouble choosing a place, let me know and I’m happy to make some suggestions of places I know work well.
I’ve had quite a few families tie their photoshoot in with a family day out. I love the idea of having an extended family photoshoot in the morning, and then having a huge family picnic afterwards to celebrate.
Firstly, because it’s a great way to make the most of all the effort it took to get everyone together in one place! But mainly because then they won’t just be photos of the family, they’ll be photos of the day you all had together. There’ll be memories and an experience attached. You’ll love the photos anyway, of course, But making a day of it just makes them that little bit more special.
And as sad as it is to say, if you have elderly relatives, it might even be the last day you were all together as a family. So bring some games, bring some food, and stick around after I’ve gone. Family time is precious, take as much of it as you can get.
I’m not a fan of exactly matching outfits (except maybe for comedy value!) But the photos will look a lot more naturally stylish if you’re all colour coordinated within a certain palette. It can be difficult to find a colour of clothing everyone has in such a large group. But I usually find everyone has something blue.
Aside from that, my wardrobe advice for extended family photoshoots is the same I give for all family sessions. No dazzlingly bright colours, no loud patterns, no big logos. Basically, because you’ll be looking at the photos for decades, so you want your clothes to age well.
But don’t worry too much about that for now. When you book, I’ll send you my welcome pack, which you’re free to share with the whole family. And there’ll be loads of tips and advice in there on what you can wear to get the best photos.
A lot of extended families have at least one dog. And while some families find it easier to leave their pets at home, some can’t imagine having their family photos without them. I want to give you photos that let you remember your whole family, and pets are family members too, right?! So bring them along!
But if you are bringing your pets, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, think about what they might do to your clothes! Puddles, light-coloured trousers and jumpy dogs don’t mix! It’s also sometimes a good idea to bring a friend who could take them for a walk. Just in case they get restless and bored before we’ve finished the session.
Logistical complications aside, pets (and often dogs especially) are like members of the family. And it’s always so important to get them involved if we can. Besides, I can never resist a good belly rub (for the dog, that is, not me).
Large families can be confusing to wrap your head around when you’re meeting everyone for the first time. And so for really large groups, it’s always handy to have a designated ‘helper’.
Every family has at least one ‘organised one’. Someone who’s on the ball, who’ll know whose kids are whose, who’s whose cousin and so on (wow, that was a bit of a grammar gauntlet!)
Anyway, having someone who can help organise the family will make it a lot smoother, a lot more enjoyable for everyone, and help you get the most out of your time. It’ll also give me more time to concentrate on taking photos rather than tumbling through the branches of your family tree!
As much as I want the shoot to be an enjoyable experience, I also really want the photos to become a part of your family history for you to look back on through the years.
So I always do my best to capture all the different dynamics and groups within your extended family. Photos of parents and children together, siblings, cousins, grandparents and grandchildren. I’ll even get a portrait of each individual (are you starting to see why I might need a designated helper?!)
It may sound like a family photography conveyor belt, but I promise you it’s not. It’ll be a really fun, relaxed and genuinely enjoyable experience for everyone. The only reason I take so many photos is because I know how much they’ll mean to you in years to come. Family photos always gather value over time. And photos of the day when the whole family were together will mean the world to you one day.
Believe it or not, my extended family photoshoots are the same price as my smaller family photo sessions. And of course, you can share the cost out between your families.
As a bit of a sentimental softie, I really love the idea of giving extended family photoshoots as gifts. I love the idea that you’ll all have the same photos on the walls in your house. And even the ones you’ll frame of just your household will be from the same day, and in the same style as the ones the rest of your family might have on their walls.
But extended family photoshoots are about so much more than just the photos. They’re about coming together as a family, and celebrating generations of love, history and friendship. It’s a memory you’ll always have together, and an experience that brings you all closer together.
Whether you’re buying an extended family photoshoot as a gift, or you’d like to book on behalf of your family, I’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch today and let’s chat.