Melinda and I met at Bond Park
in Cary on a warm winter day here in the Triangle
. All Melinda wanted was some pretty maternity pictures with her hubs and little boy to capture the fleeting days of her last pregnancy. What girl doesn’t want to feel pretty and have lovely pictures to look back on when you are old and wrinkly??? However, her husband…was not quite as eager.
If you’re husband is anything like mine…or Melinda’s…..he probably doesn’t particularly like having his picture taken, especially at a professional photo session. Let’s face it, having family photos taken can be intimidating! What should I wear? Where do I look? How do I look? What do I do with my hands? And so on…. Pictures can make dad’s downright grumpy. I definitely photograph my fair share of families where it’s obvious dad isn’t thrilled about being there. But with the right photographer and a little finagling on your end, photo magic can happen. Just look at how amazing Melinda’s maternity photos turned out! You would never guess her hubs was less than thrilled to be there 🙂 So here are a few tips to help get dad on board with the idea of family photos…or at least be able to get him through the session 🙂
Opt for lifestyle pictures
Choosing lifestyle photography over posed photos allows everyone to be a little more relaxed, which is great for dads. The point of lifestyle pics is to capture more natural interaction with everyone being themselves.
Lifestyle photography can be a little more lighthearted and feel more like your everyday complete with playful laughs and snuggly cuddles with the kids, rather than spending your energy worrying about every hair being in place whether or not your little one is gonna smile for the camera.
Lifestyle imagery definitely captures your family as they are and takes the focus off feeling posed and awkward. Even moments like this have their place in lifestyle photography.
Show him what you want
Sharing some good examples of the kind of photography you are wanting can go a long way in building confidence with dads. We can’t expect men to be mind readers, and when they don’t know what they getting themselves into they can be a little more hesitant when it comes to family pictures. So, showing him what kind of photos you want will give him a better idea of your expectations, and give him some indication of what he’s supposed to do during your photo session.
Express how much these mean to you
As I mentioned, even my man hates having his photos taken…and he’s…ahem….my second shooter! Over the years together, I’ve roped him into several photo sessions ranging from our engagement photos to our wedding photos to birth photography when our two babies were born. And, I will say that when I told him just how much documenting this time in our family meant to me, he was a more willing participant. So let your guy know that having your maternity photos, or whatever kind of photos, would mean the world to you. It also couldn’t hurt to remind him of the old saying “happy wife, happy life ” 🙂
Mix it up
Opt for different groupings of family members within the pictures so dad doesn’t have to be in every single picture. Not only will this give you a lot more variety in your photo gallery, but it will also give him a little bit of a break from being in the spotlight, which should help to keep him in good spirits. In addition, you will be able to capture some awesome connection imagery between you and your little ones and their siblings.
Make a trade
I am not against bribery! Sometimes you gotta do what works, and bribery can work with the most photo resistant of dads. Has he been eyeing a new fishing rod? Have his heart set on game day tickets? Go ahead and strike a deal with him if that will help you get your family photos 🙂
So my last suggestion is when all else fails….a good stiff drink may do the trick 😉 While it may seem ridiculous, a little liquid courage may go a long way to make dad feel a little less intimidated, and a little more relaxed. Every time we do any type of personal family pictures…I always promise my hubs he can get a shot, or two, before we take the photos. It definitely helps to loosen him up and keep things fun 🙂
Do you have one of these anti-photo husbands but would love nothing more than beautiful family photos? These kinds of dads don’t scare me. Feel free to say hello and see how we can make your photo dreams come true!