A Family That Wants 'Unique, Uposed" Portraits? And I've Never Done Family Portraits?


TPF Noob!
Jan 11, 2015
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So I got a call from a family the other day that wants unposed family portraits, with this kind of lighting (they saw me post these on instagram)



They specifically requested they wanted their portraits to "look like" these.

So I guess they mean they want the sun behind them, which is all well and good when shooting one model. Or animals.

But I've never done family portraits, and they don't want to be traditional. Anyone have any tips?
Don't take the job?

Seriously - it sounds as if you have reservations about your ability to do the job, and there's nothing wrong with that. No one is an expert in all areas, and if your specialty is singles, and not groups, so be it. Just because you have an enquiry does NOT mean you have to take the job. There's nothing wrong with a, "Thank-you for your enquiry. While I would love to work with you, family portraiture is not an aware in which I normally work, and I would be pleased to recommend <Other photographer's name> as someone who specializes in that field."
Pretty good advice above from tirediron. Your profile doesn't say where you're located, but nice golden hour sunsets like the ones above are not guaranteed this time of year in many places, plus the light level is low, very low. Group shots can be challenging, and you don't mention the age of the children. At some ages, children can be very difficult to photograph, especially in a family shoot situation. I would not do the shoot if you have even the slightest reservations about it.
.. unposed family portraits,
Technically, they would be "informal" portraits.

Unposed would mean candid, which I am guessing is not what they want.
Sounds like you need a lot more information from this family. If they want a photojournalist/day in the life type shoot where you spend several hours with them shooting long lens, it would probably work, but they would have to be ready to pay a full day rate for the work.

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