Hunter Valley Family Photographer

by Adam Cavanagh

Hunter Valley Family Photographer

As a Hunter Valley family photographer, I know that there is nothing better or more rewarding than taking beautiful photos of a family. Because I know how important these photos will become years in the future. Since we recently started a family of our own, we know how quickly children grow up and change. You don’t notice how quickly they change until you look back on photos. And if you are anything like us, then you probably have hundreds of photos of the kids, but none of the whole family.

You also probably have hundreds of photos of your children taken on your phone. And let’s face it… phones are getting better. So let me tell you as a Hunter Valley family photographer, that they just don’t have the quality and clarity of professional photos taken on high-end professional cameras.

You may also think that it’s all about the kids and you don’t need to be in the photos. But when you get great photo of the whole family, the photo is not necessarily for you… it’s for your kids and their kids. So you can look back years from now and see the whole family together.

I love taking family photography and I would love to do more of it. Here are some of my favourite images over the past couple of years.

Australian Family Photographer
Australian Family Photographer
Australian family photographer
Australian Family Photographer
Australian Family Photographer
Australian Family Photographer
Australian Family Photographer
Australian Family Photographer
Australian Family Photographer

Hunter Valley Family Photography

All family photography sessions are based around fun and play. There is no serious posing and staring at the camera. I play games with the whole family to get great expressions and natural smiles. Especially if you have a young family. I find that when a family is relaxed and having an awesome time, then you will get beautiful photos. If a family is stressed out and frustrated… well you know what sort of photos you will get 😉

Best time of day for a Hunter Valley family photography

As a Hunter Valley family photographer, I can tell you that photography is all about light. The best time for portraits is at sunrise or sunset. The light is much softer, golden and more beautiful. The worst time for photos is in the middle of the day. The light is flat, harsh and unflattering.

As a rule of thumb, when the sun is low in the sky we can get beautiful portraits. When the sun is high in the sky we shouldn’t shoot. This means that during seasons like Winter, we can shoot almost any time of the day. While in Summer, where the Australian sun is high in the sky for most of the day, we can only shoot very early in the morning or quite late in the afternoon/evening.

You also know your children best. So if they are happiest in the morning, then aim for a morning shoot. And likewise, if they are best in the afternoons, then we should try for that.

Where do we shoot?

All shoots are done outdoors on location, generally at a park, forest or private property. If you have somewhere that you love to go as a family, then we can definitely go there. As I am based near the Hunter Valley so we should try to aim to do shoots around the Hunter Valley region. Other areas may incur a travel fee.

The location should be fairly quiet. You don’t want to shoot at a park or beach that is totally packed with people.

Parks are great because the trees offer shade. Shade is really beautiful for photos. And if we are shooting in bright, sunny conditions I will generally look for shade as the shade will give even light on your faces. If you want to do a session on a beach, then you have to schedule the shoot at sunrise or sunset. Otherwise the light will be too flat, harsh and unflattering.

Who can come to the family shoot?

Our Hunter Valley family photography sessions are only available for one family at a time. Ie Mum, Dad and children. BUT Grandparents are welcome to join in. Oh and if you have a dog or pet who you consider to be a part of your family, then you should bring them as well.

We wouldn’t recommend including other members of your family like siblings, cousins, uncles and aunts. The session become less about getting fun natural photos of your family and more about doing different combinations of family photos (like at a wedding) and the results are much, much different.

What to wear

As a general rule, you should wear whatever you look and feel great in. Here are some tips:

  • Dress as individuals, not exactly the same. ie don’t all wear white shirt and blue jeans.
  • Wear like colours, but not the same.
  • Avoid bright, bold colour and crazy patterns as they are distracting and your eye will be drawn to it in the photo.
  • Avoid shirts with pictures, words or logos and they will also draw the focus of the photo.
  • Go for colours that are more neutral. Neutrals don’t just mean greys and browns… there are neutrals in every colour.

Other tips

  • Feed the kids before you come, and bring more food to the shoot. You don’t want them to get “Hangry” (hungry/angry).
  • Don’t feed them high sugar sweets, like lollies, chocolate etc before you arrive. There is a temptation to ‘bribe’ them so they co-operate during the session. But I find children can get too hyper during the shoot and then crash mid-way and then it’s over. If you want to give them a sweets reward, give it to them at the end of the shoot.
  • You can incorporate an activity you like to do together as a family and do it as part of the shoot, or towards the end of the shoot. Horseriding, swimming in the ocean, walking the dog, building sandcastles, food fight, bubbles, jumping in muddy puddles. The crazier and more fun, the better.

If you are looking for Hunter Valley family photography, please have a look through our images at the top of the page and get in contact with us if you would like to book a session in.