How to get dads on board for a family photoshoot

Updated: Jan 16

You can't do a family photoshoot without them (unless of course you're a single-parent amazing mum), but dads are often reluctant participants in family photoshoots. That is, of course, until they see pictures of themselves being exactly what they are - awesome dads.

Here's a few tips to help get dad excited about the idea of having photos taken.

Go to a place he loves

Whether it’s the beach, their fishing shed or just hanging at home, think about having part or all of your shoot in an environment they are super-comfortable with.

People tend to get a bit hung up on locations, but really, great family photographs are all about you and your loved ones and the expressions and interactions between you all.

As a photographer I'm much more focused on finding the most beautiful light than I am on finding a beautiful location.

In fact, give me a wild, overgrown patch of long grass and I am in heaven!

Let him be himself

If the man in your life really isn’t a dressing-up kind-of a guy, then don’t force him to do it. Lifestyle photography is all about capturing your family the way they are and the imperfect is always where the real moments are.

Imagine yourself in 10 years time looking through an album of these photos. Is dad wearing his favourite t-shirt, that he refused to give up until it was more holes than t-shirt, going to make you smile and bring back more memories than if he’s wearing that dressy shirt you actually only saw him in twice?

For many people wearing clothes they are comfortable in makes a big difference in helping them to relax.

Give him something to do

If dad loves rough-and-tumble, playing cricket or reading stories to the kids, then plan these activities into your session. They don’t need to consume the whole shoot, but starting out with a fun activity is a great way to get everybody relaxed, laughing and in the mood. You might all even forget that you’re having a photoshoot!

These kind of action shots really tell your story as a family and can often end up being the photographs you love the most.

Tell him this is Christmas and birthday presents sorted for the next year

When you ask grandma and granddad what they want for their birthday don’t they always say ‘just my family here to celebrate with me’? As we get older we appreciate this sentiment more and more, but we still like to give a gift don’t we! Photographs of your family – whether a beautiful framed picture or an album – are a gift that keeps on giving for many years. While it’s not quite the same as being there, it will uplift their hearts every time they look at it.

Tell him you want to be in the picture

You may have to gently point this one out, but mum is often the one behind the camera recording family life which means she isn’t often in the photos.

#MumsInThePicture has become one of my personal campaigns and I love to inspire all my friends to make sure they get in the picture with their kids and family.

Have a look back through all your family pictures with your husband or partner and both of you might be a little shocked at how little you appear! Now is the perfect moment to say you want to have some beautiful pictures, in which you look fabulous, with all the people you love most in the world.

It sounds counter-intuitive, but every mum knows that reverse psychology works right? If he thinks it's actually all about you, then he can feel like the heat's off him and he can relax a bit.

If you want to find out more about how to get awesome, natural, fun family photographs here's how to get in touch with me.

Want to look great in photographs? Then you need to read this!

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