Extended family session in Fremon, CA.

A couple of months ago I was contacted by Shela, she wanted to capture some photos of her complete family: mom, dad, sister, nephew, husband and daughter. Her sister lives in another state, but she would be in town for a very short visit. We planed around the day that her sister would be here and chose a cute location close to home and with easy access, because with 2 toddlers life can be a little crazy. Unfortunately a couple of days prior to our session her husband had a change of plans in the work schedule and can't join us to the session. But even with the unexpected changes we had fun and create beautiful images to treasure.

Tips to coordinate outfits

When you have a lot of people involved on the shoot with their own styles, is always very important to try to coordinate colors. You don't need everyone dressed on the same color, but definitely you need colors that look good together.

To achieve a good look, I send Shela the style guide with some tips about how to coordinate the best outfits for the whole family and give her time to plan ahead with all the family members. We want that everyone feel confident and at the same time blend together.

You can start by choosing neutral colors (tan, beige, gray, sand), this are colors that look great in ay ambient and easy to match any home decor (you want your photos match you home decor when are hanging on your wall). Then you can add a pop of color in a warm palette or a print. Here grandma sweater is perfect, mix the colors of all the members and give that pop to the images!

Accessories are a great way to give that look your own touch, hats, suspenders, little hair bows are perfect! Textures can add a touch too, wool, knits, lace, ruffles. Baby girl outfit is using some of this tips, pretty dress with a knit layering and that hair bow gives a beautiful touch.

Following kids lead

I know that can sound like I'm a crazy person. How will you follow a 2yo lead?!! I want perfect pictures of us and run behind my toddler will not give me that!.... But believe me, you will be happier with unposed candid photos of your kids smiling instead of a posed baby with a fussy face.

In this session, little boy was shy, it's so natural. He lives in another city and arrive just one day prior to our session. Kids needs time to be used to another persons. Trying to force him to do things that he doesn't want will end on a crying toddler. Instead we follow his lead, I let him be with mom, and just try to catch some photos of cousins together in moms arms.

What to expect on extended family sessions

In extended family sessions I try to cover all the possible combinations without stressing family members. I do a lot of candid images and avoid the perfect smiling to the camera pictures. Capturing the essence of every family is my goal in every session.

I separate families and do a kind of mini session of each family, then I start to shoot some mix, like grandparents/grandchildren, grandparents/kids, just grandchildren and more.