Emma Godfrey

Teepee family photos | Lausanne and Lake Geneva | Henry

Planning the perfect teepee family photo shoot

Stéphanie booked me to shoot a summer family photo session with her two and half year old, Henry and husband Guilio. We have done quite a few photo shoots together, right from maternity photos through newborn and Henry’s first year. Stéphanie always picks a fabulous theme for her shoot, trying to capture the different stages in Henry’s childhood. Right at the moment he loves his kids teepee and so this was the beginning of how we decided to tell his story.

We are basing Henry’s latest photo sessions around the seasons and so we wanted to capture a sense of the summer. At the end of the four sessions we will have summer, winter, autumn and spring for Henry’s Storybook photo album. And along the way the family get to download their favourites and display them at home.

Making your shoot personal

Stéphanie chose props that were personal to her and things that Henry loves at the moment. Both are big fans of Beatrix Potter, Winnie the Pooh and a childhood free from technology, so getting outdoors on a sunny Sunday morning was the perfect fit. To make sure that she knew what she wanted, Stéphanie shared her inspiration with me via email and we chatted about how we could take the ideas and make them unique to her family. As well as her many props I always encourage her to leave half the session aside to just get pictures of the family interacting together. It’s so nice to be able to see how people change as they have children and then learn to be a family together. I love to capture those moments between dad and son or mother and daughter that are just about them.

Keeping your toddler happy and engaged

One of the best ways to make sure your family photo shoot is a success is to plan it as a family day. Build some anticipation and get everyone excited. Don’t worry about everyone being on their best behavior, just plan for some fun and the rest will come. For my part I like to get to the location a little bit early so that I can find a few places where the light is good and the atmosphere right. I will have a few fun activities in mind too, but am always really flexible when working with kids. Sometimes the thing they want to do the most makes the best photo.

For the more styled part of her shoot, Stéphanie had brought toys and books to entertain Henry and he was already really excited about setting up his teepee play tent in the woods. He loves being with his parents and we must have surprised a few joggers with mum and dad singing songs behind the camera to make Henry laugh. With some little boy portraits in the bag I encouraged mum and dad to join in and love the sense of play and make believe that comes through.

Climbing trees and paddling in Lake Geneva

As dad took the props back to the car, we headed down to the lake to find a spot for a much needed snack and some serious paddling. This was early summer and the lake can be really cold but the first thing Henry wanted to do was kick off his shoes and get his feet wet. Stéphanie told me that paddling in the lake and the sea was one of his favourite things to do so it was great to be able to capture this memory for them.

While Henry was preoccupied with having his shoes put back on, I sneak a couple of portraits in the perfect light. All smiles and giggles he was a perfect model. Looking for a slightly different background and light for a few more family shots we found a weeping willow grown into a fabulous seat. A true little boy, all Henry wanted to do was climb and there we found the essence of childhood that Stéphanie wanted.

A summer family photo shoot

For this teepee family photo shoot we split the session into two parts, one styled and one more natural. Making sure that our two and half year old was occupied and having fun kept the shoot light and enjoyable for everyone. We made time for a snack and kept things interesting by paddling in the lake and climbing trees. A perfect family Sunday to add to their Storybook photo album.

I offer a lots of different collections for family photography in Switzerland. Whether you would like albums, canvases, prints, cards or downloadable high resolution files I can help you find the perfect gift for your family. If you would like to book a family photo shoot, please get in touch for collection pricing and availability.

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