How to Shoot a Family Session in 5 Minutes - camillamyrrha

How to Shoot a Family Session in 5 Minutes - 5 MINUTE Fall Family Session at Squaw Peak, Provo Canyon - Villanova Family {Camilla Myrrha Photography - Utah Valley Portrait Photographer}

Provo, Utah - October 17, 2017

Photo by Camilla Myrrha

This was LITERALLY a 5 MINUTE family session. On my Youtube channel, Foto Dicas, I created this series called "Desafio 5 Minutos" ("5 Minute Challenge") where--wait for it--I have 5 minutes on the clock to photograph whatever type of session it is. 

Is it challenging photographing a family of 4 in just 5 minutes? Yes. Is it doable? YES! This was my first time photographing a family for this type of mini session and it was actually quite satisfying to do it. 

In order for a session this short to be efficient, here are some tips I would like to share as a photographer:

-Have your settings right from the start. 

Don't waste ANY time adjusting your exposure settings on your camera. Figure it out with a couple of test shots and go for it.

-Don't reinvent the wheel.

This is SO important. If you want to be efficient while photographing a session (especially with kids and/or impatient adults!), don't try new things for the sake of trying new things. Stay "safe" by shooting the way you usually shoot, with the poses you naturally go to, and in the style you usually like.

-Have a plan of action.

If you are really short on time, create a plan of action that will guide you through the flow of things. As for me and this specific Fall family portrait session up Provo Canyon (Squaw Peak Road), I decided I would spend 1-2 minutes with all family members together in 1-3 poses, then switch to kids with mommy, then kids with daddy. The timing was just enough to capture these!

-Variety. Variety. Variety.

You will accomplish this by exploring different angles and compositions of the same pose, by flowing naturally from one pose to another, and by moving around like a crazy person. Totally worth it. ;) 

-Less time DOES NOT EQUAL less quality.

I have done pleeenty of 60-90min sessions, as well as 15-30min sessions, and now with these 5 minute challenges I have come to realize that less time is simply that: less time. Sure, the shortness of it may get you anxious and nervous to ensure you have captured "enough" or what you set out to capture. Still, with less time, you are giving your clients and yourself more time for other things.

As much as the experience may be to enjoy each other for a full afternoon, evening or day while taking photos, there is also something to be said about providing a fulfilling experience that captures those essentials in that little time. I am not saying that less time is always better, or that long photo sessions are a bore (because they are not!). What I am saying is that not every client will have all the time in the world on a Wednesday to spend all afternoon with you and your loyal camera. 

To illustrate my point, here's what the dad in this session said to me right after we finished taking the photos: "This was the best session--I can't believe we did family photos in just 5 minutes! As one who hates being in front of the camera, I really appreciate this." 

Here's to efficiency AND quality.

Stay Beautiful,


Villanova Family - Fall FamilyPortrait Session at Provo Canyon

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