As a San Francisco Bay Area based family photographer, I feel like I should schedule some of my sessions in the most iconic location in San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge.
I always prioritize lighting in my sessions because I believe family pictures are meant for the people, not the background ; I scout for locations that have the softest and prettiest light, and I carry my artificial lights to make the outcome even better.
The lighting in the Golden Gate Bridge area is very challenging because the weather is unpredictable along the coast, the sky is either too clear (direct light, harsh shadows) or too foggy for portrait sessions.
A month before I decided to have the GGB in the background for the 2019 Holiday Card Mini Sessions, I visited various locations at different time of the day to study how the hourly light angle changed, what time did the shade appear and if backlit condition was possible. Sometimes as a photographer, you also need to have geography knowledge to serve your clients well! Finally, I picked Fort Baker; the weather condition there would only allow three families to be photographed in one day.
Love Stephanie's family! The little twin boys were super cute and curious about the world. I looooove them!!!
Is posing important in family photo sessions? Or is it better to tell your clients to feel relaxed and be themselves?
To me, posing is super important to make everyone look the best in the photos. If your subjects are too relaxed, chances are the natural poses are not flattering. Candid shots are photos that clients love because they feel like they are themselves; nevertheless, candid shots should first be based on proper posing and then I'll direct my clients to "be themselves".