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Smile, Dad! Breaking Down the Resistance to a Family Photoshoot

Updated: Mar 4


Confession - I hate having my picture taken and I'm a ..... photographer. It's laughable is it not?!

So, Dads in photos. I get it. You're thinking, 'Why would I want to stand in front of a camera and look like I'm enjoying myself when I'm really counting down the minutes until this torture ends...'

A family photoshoot may not be dads top choice for a weekend family activity.

So, let's explore 5 reasons why dads are resisting the family photo shoot and how to reverse that mindset into more of a 'Why would you NOT want to do a family photo shoot?!'


1. "I Can Do It Myself"

Let's start with the "I'm the family photographer" myth. You think you can do it all with your trusty smartphone. You may indeed have a knack for capturing those candid poses however, it creates a slight problem. Unless you want all the family group photos in your album to be taken with a selfie stick,

this means you're often missing from those cherished family moments. This applies to Mum too of course.

Which leads me into the fact that 85% of people who contact me about organising a family photo session are women. Why is that? Women tend to be more sentimental, wanting to record the story of their family, which is why they often push for photoshoots, hoping that you, dad will get on board. Many dad's do of course, but anticipate that they won't enjoy the experience and that they'll do it 'just to please mum.' Is that you?

From my own experience, despite being a family photographer myself, it seems impossible to get the whole of my own brood smiling naturally in a photograph. Why? Because your kids know you and they know how to push your buttons. You could be putting yourself through a load of uneccesary torture when you don't have to. Take 14...

2. How much?

Let's address the elephant in the room: the cost. I'm sure you've heard it before – a professional family photo session can be seen as expensive and yes, I agree even a luxury, given the current cost of living crisis. But, you don't need to empty your wallet for priceless memories.


Think of investing in family photos as being a life choice. Some families like yours may prefer to treat themselves to a Disney + subscription, others a new sofa which is fair play. If that photo session has the family vote, it's an emotional investment that will last generations.

I want my photography to be affordable for families like yours. For a third of the price of an average 3 seater, you can comfortably get some wonderful family photos on display at home. Plus the memories will last way longer!

3. Stiff, awkward poses? No thanks.



I don't own a studio. All my sessions take place in the great outdoors, in an environment that is way more relaxing than that of a clinical indoor space where it may feel like there's nowhere to escape. No need for awkward, contorted positions. You and your family can relax and be yourselves and it's up to me to convey this through the images I capture.

Imagine you're running around with one child on your shoulders and the other being chased by Mum, who's giving out threats of tickles upon capture. Outdoor sessions are where the fun begins. This could be a local woodland walk or somewhere that you just love to be. Say goodbye to formal attire – think comfy jeans and relaxed sweaters. I want you to feel like you.


This is important. For example, if you don't want to appear in any 'looking at the lens shots', let me know. If I don't know, you won't get the photos you want. You don't need to look at the camera to get amazing pictures. I actually prefer this. Focus on your kids, interact with them, pretend I'm not even present. (I'm just lurking in the background waiting for a perfect off the cuff moment to hit that shutter release.) Quite often I'm using a zoom lens so shoot from a distance so I'm not invading your personal space.

It's at these times that the natural and effortless smiles come because you're simply having fun with your family.

You don't have to stand in a row. Anything goes!

4. There's too much to think about and organise.

Let's be real – orchestrating a family photoshoot can seem like a logistical nightmare especially if you've never done this kind of thing. Who has the time and energy for all that planning, right? But here's the thing: it doesn't need to be complicated. I do all the hard work for you.


I feel the more you are prepared the more you will enjoy the experience, knowing that everything is in hand. Trust me, I'll be with you all the way. All you need to think about is where to have the photo session, and when. Then just turn up on the day, enjoy every minute and let me do the rest. More info here.

Edinburgh and the Lothians boast some cracking locations for your photo session. If no-where comes to mind immediately I can give you plenty of suggestions. Click here for some suggestions, perfect for Autumn!

I'll send you all the details you need on how to be best prepared in the days leading up to your session including what to bring and what to wear. I want you to get excited! Some families are quite happy to wear whatever they feel comfortable in and if you want those authentic images that capture you just as you are that's great. Some on the other hand find deciding on what to wear very taxing, worried they choose the wrong thing. That's where this information is extremely appreciated. Read it or not, it's up to you.


This is the bit you've been looking forward to - seeing your images. I know you'll be excited. When it comes to viewing and ordering your images it's made very simple for you by way of an amazing gallery experience. I'll be on hand to offer ideas and suggestions to make any decision making an easy affair.

My job is only done once you're holding that wonderful frame in your hands.

5. The best gift for your children.

Lastly, this has to be the number one reason you SHOULD appear in the family photo album. Your kids will thank you for these images one day.

I love seeing those childhood pictures of me with my parents. I was lucky, my dad was a great photo enthusiast and used an old Olympus SLR to capture some of the simple every day activities like me getting washed in the kitchen sink at home!

Left to right: My dad and the two of us (that's me on the right), My husband and our daughter at home, Dads can relax and interact with the children during a photo session.

He was the chief photographer, taking many of the pictures, so my mum was ever present in photographs. However, he did love getting out the tripod and using his timer to get pictures of the 4 of us. I always chuckle to myself when I remember him dashing back from behind the camera after he'd pressed the shutter release hoping he'd make it to his place in the group before the picture got taken. I'm sure that he was a blur compared to the rest of us on many occasions and there were groans to be heard when we had to do it all again.

It's the opposite in our family. I'm the photographer of course and am the one who may not appear so often but I make sure that in some way or another I am present. I adore showing our kids the albums I've put together each year.

It will mean so much to your children for them to look back and see you were there.

Throw giggles, tickles and silliness into the mix and it's a recipe for some great natural photos.

So, dads, no need to run for the hills. A family photo session can be an enjoyable, effortless, and deeply meaningful experience. You don't need to pose, worry about your smile, or even look at the camera. Leave it to me to capture your authentic, candid moments outdoors. Your future self and your family will thank you for it. Embrace the joy, the laughter, and the love – that's what real family photos are all about.

Have questions? I can answer your common ones here.

Are you sitting on the fence? Have some out of date photos crying for a refresh? Get in touch for a no obligation, non salesy chat and we could start to put some plans in place.


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