I need to get something off my chest here. Whenever I get a call about a family photoshoot the conversation goes something like this:

Caller: ‘Hi Warren, It’s Sandy Pogenpoel Erasmus Klugman Smith-Peddington here.’

Warren: ‘Hi Sandy.’

Caller: ‘Warren, I really LOVE your photos and I want to have a family photoshoot done.’

Warren: ‘Uh-huh.’

Caller: ‘But Ineed to lose weight.’

Warren: ‘Uh-huh.’

Caller: ‘And my husband absolutely hates photos being taken.’

Warren: (Starting to fall asleep) ‘Uh-huh.’

Caller: ‘And my mom is 233 years old and is in a wheel chair, any my son is a pain in the butt, and, and, and…

Warren: (Really starting to doze off now) ‘Uh-huh.’

Okay, so now let’s fast forward to the call I received from Sheila Lewin…

Sheila: ‘Hiiii Warren, Sheila Lewin here! My darling I just LOOOOVE your photos.’

Warren: ‘Thanks Sheila, I’m pleased you do.’

Sheila: ‘Now listen darling, my daughter is getting married and the whole family is arriving in SA for the wedding. Can you do a family photoshoot for us, please darling.’

Warren: ‘ Sure thing Sheil’s, no prob, when would you like to do it?’

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And so the conversation went on and the next thing there we all are down at Hout Bay Harbour. An hour later, the shoot is over and we all go on our merry separate ways. Stay with me here because what I’m about to say is very relevant about family photoshoots. You see, the thing is this. Unlike a wedding, for some or other very strange reason, people are actually quite hesitant to do family photoshoots. They find a ton of problems not to do the shoot even though they’re actually quite desperate to do it. (Another favourite is this: ‘I want to wait for summer to come so that I can have a nice tan for the photos.’ To which my response is ‘oh, so you want to look like a boiled crayfish then?’) In the end, most people convince themselves that they’ll lose those extra few kilos or that gran might actually miraculously climb out of here wheelchair and start running the Comrades. So they delay the shoot by a few months and in the end it never order cymbalta from canada actually happens. Which is incredibly sad. In the case of Sheila Lewin, she said ‘bugger that, we’re in’ and the shoot went ahead. Now let’s go to the shoot itself…

At a family shoot, I generally find that most parents get quite uptight about how their kids are behaving (whether the kids are 3, 14, 18 or 25). Take young Pearce  (he’s the cool, good-looking young chap in the pics below). Now Pearce, if the truth be told was having a bit of a bad hair day. He didn’t want his photos taken. At all. Ever. So I just left him to his own devices and asked his folks to do the same. Why? Because I knew that eventually, Pearse would blow off steam and come to the party like a charging rhino. Which is exactly what happened. It always does. Every. Single. Time. (I’ve included quite a few photos of Pearce with his mom and dad, Nathan and Shelley to show you how a ‘Mr. Grumpy-Bumpy’ turns into ‘Mr. yo bro, wazzuuuup-kinda-guy.’

One has to handle family photoshoots in a completely different way to wedding photography. Generally, I just amble around, chat to people and let things unfold by themselves. In fact, very often I believe that people think I’m not actually taking any photos. But I am – they just don’t know it. So here’s the bottom line folks – don’t be silly and wait for better days until you book your family photoshoot. Just book the darned thing and I promise you, you will be so chuffed that you did. If you look back in 10 years and say ‘oh we really should have done a shoot or two you know,’ you only have yourselves to blame. Do what Sheila did and I swear to you, you will get photos that absolutely reflect the personalities of your nearest and dearest. You owe it to them and you owe it to yourselves. One last thing. Sheila pointed out to me that I say ‘hey’ a lot. So Sheil’s, I hope you love your photos… heeeey!


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