Capturing Your Special Moments: Family Photography

3 sisters - family portrait
Image by TréVoy Kelly from Pixabay

With the holiday season just around the corner, what better way to decorate your Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa homes than with the perfect family portrait?

Family photos are the perfect way to welcome the holidays by sending them out as holiday greeting cards, decorating mantle places, and using them as precious gifts for family members.

Family photography is perfect for other occasions as well. Commemorate the newborn in your family, or perhaps the addition of your new “fur” baby.

Family photographs are especially cherished as our loved ones age and pass on. These memories will last a lifetime.

Capturing your most treasured moments is now easier than ever, as Toronto offers a variety of photography studios that specialize in family photography.

Family Photography Locations in Toronto

Although there are a great deal of general photography studios all over the city, Toronto also has a few studios that are geared toward family photography specifically.

The Junction, Humberside, and High Park in the west end, Riverdale and East York in the east end, and Davisville in the north are all options for family photography studios in Toronto.

Outside of the city, Woodbridge and Brampton have studios as well.

Finding the Perfect Family Photographer

With the sheer volume and variety of Toronto family photographers, it may be overwhelming to make a final decision.

However, these days most photographers offer websites with online portfolios. Many also offer links to their social media accounts, such as Facebook and Instagram, for easy access to additional photos as well.

Reviews of family photographers can easily be found on Google and Yelp.

It is important to find a photographer that you are comfortable with, because feelings of discomfort are easily seen on camera. In addition, you should be confident that the photographer has the skills to represent your family honestly.

Next, decide if you would like a studio shoot, or a location shoot (outdoor or in home).

Types of Family Photography

Most photographers offer a choice of in studio or on location photography –  outdoors, or in the comfort of your own home.

Shooting in a studio vs. on location each have pros and cons.

  • In studio – Shooting in studio allows for a more controlled photoshoot, which can result in better quality photos. In addition backdrops, props, and more photography equipment, such as lighting will be easily available. No need to worry about lighting and weather outside.
  • On Location –Shooting on location can make people feel more relaxed and natural, especially if they are in a place that has special meaning. In addition, children are freer and can run around; this allows for more candid photos.

Keep in mind to schedule sessions at least 1-2 hours before sunset.

Ideas for posing on location are endless and include forests with changing fall colours, meadows, backyards and front lawns, and streams.

A reputable and experienced photographer will know the best-hidden locales, with the best light, so do not hesitate to browse through portfolios for inspiration. The possibilities are endless!

Documentary Family Photography

The newest trend in family photography is veering away from the overly posed and uncomfortable looking studio sessions made famous in the late 1990s. Nowadays, families are opting for documentary style photography sessions, as they live their daily lives. Baking cooking with Grandma and fishing with Granddad are memories that the grandchildren will cherish long after they are gone. Dad helping his daughter with homework, mom cutting son’s hair; these are all regular everyday moments that can be beautifully captured.

Documentary photography tells the family’s story in a way that a portrait studio session never could, making it so much more meaningful and authentic.

Tips for Taking the Perfect Family Photograph

Natural poses are best. Relax and have fun!

Eat beforehand and make sure to be well-rested.

Think about your clothing choices. They must be attractive and comfortable. However, choice of colour and texture depend on the look you are aiming for. Is it bright and bold, or neutral and subdued?

Family Photography Cost

The cost of family photography varies. Photographers in the downtown core typically charge a bit more than those in the outlying areas and suburbs.

Many photographers charge approximately $475-600 (plus HST) per session and include a digital album of about 100 edited images.

Shoots last about 1-2 hours. Prints are later available for purchase, or high-resolution photos are available on USB for an additional cost.

Some photographers even offer the option of ordering hardcover photo books of your sessions.

Note that many photographers limit the session to 4 people/pets.

Family photography is a wonderful way to preserve your most cherished moments. A variety of Toronto photographers are available to take whatever style of photography works best for you and your loved ones.

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