Question from a reader friend about family portraits

Happy (almost) New Year!
I am still on hiatus for the Holiday break but got a question from a FCF Reader Friend that I simply couldn't ignore! I didn't catch her email address so I hope Renee Zerangue sees this somehow! Here's what she asked:

Hi Jordan,

 I would love to hear your ideas on how I can get a quality family portait/photo for fun, cheap, or free.  Here's the hard part….My son has a diagnosis of Asperger's and taking photos is simply not his thing.  I imagine that we would need someone to take a bazillion photos before we captured the “perfect” one.
Thanks, Renee Zerangue

Well, Renee, I am no photography expert but have a few ideas for you and am happy to help as much as possible!

First of all, I have worked with children with Autism before. They are sure sweethearts, but it can be difficult to do something organized like a photo shoot.

I would suggest making the photo shoot catered to him by doing a ‘lifestyle photo shoot'. These are quite popular now, and are a great way to capture life's moments in an authentic, stress-free way. It's basically where you do an activity you enjoy, and the photographer does basically an entire shoot of candid shots, capturing you enjoying the activity as a family. It could be playing at the beach, going on a picnic, playing back yard football, jumping on the bed, eating a favorite meal together, folding laundry, anything!

Photography sources HERE

What does your son enjoy? Maybe he likes to ride his bike, play video games, read, or likes trains, for example. If he likes trains, find real train cars and do the shoot climbing on, watching, and exploring the trains. Reading? Pull up a blanket in a park with all your favorite books and read away! You will be surprised at the beautiful photos you can capture while doing something relaxing and candid.

You may be surprised at how cooperative your son will be when he's in ‘his element'.

To find a Fun, cheap, or free photographer, I would ask around. If you are on Facebook that is a GREAT resource! In your status say something like, ‘I'm looking for an affordable lifestyle photographer to do a shoot for my family who is patient, creative, and experienced. Know of anyone?' if you have friends on Facebook, I guarantee you will get a response! Don't be afraid to post it more than once.

Not on Facebook? Simply ask around. What city are you in? Maybe a FCF reader has a referral for you!

So while you may not get the traditional studio-style family shot, you will most likely get loads of great pics that are more relaxed and natural. It not only will be a fun day with your family, but you will get more bang for your buck!

I hope that helps. Good luck, and let me know how it goes!

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