Booking a lifestyle photography session for you family shouldn't feel like a photoshoot. The aim is to capture you and your family just being your most natural selves, capturing real moments and real connection. These activities will help you and your family forget about the camera, so you can just focus on having fun and being you! The photographer will do the rest.
Often scavenger hunts will start with a list but when you're doing a photoshoot you don't really want to be carrying around a piece of paper and becoming too focused on the activity. As the adult (sometimes even the photographer will get this started for you) look around the environment and think of things that can be easily found. It could be something specific like "Can you find a yellow flower?" or something more broad such as "Can you find something tiny/hard/soft/pretty?". The more open ended it is, the more special it is to see what they find. This can create intimate moments by sharing the special thing, holding it up to show off or even to smell if it's a flower.
This is a great game to capture some sweet cuddles and cheeky giggles. One person starts by thinking of a word and has to whisper it to another person. That person then passes it on and the last person shouts out the word! The trick is to see if the word stayed the same or if it changed along the way from person to person.
For just two people one person can think of a word or phrase that they think will make the other person laugh.
One, Two, Three, Swing!
This is a great activity for all younger kids, especially the reluctant hand holder! If your child is going through that phase of wanting to be independent and not hold anyones hand, this can be a fun way to get them involved. Start with each adult holding the child's hand, with each step count 1, 2, 3 then swing the child as you walk after three. The before and after shots of this game can be really beautiful and it can take a couple of tries for them to warm up.
Often it's not as much about capturing the swinging as it is about the sweet moments in between, holding hands.
Seeing the world from Dad's shoulders is truly a view like nothing else. It's a great activity for tired legs and also for big smiles. Don't try this one if you have any pre-existing back injuries and tell your photographer if you're not comfortable.
Duck, Duck, Goose!
Select a family member (ideally a child) to walk around the group pointing at each person and saying "duck". They have to choose one person to call "goose". That person has to chase the first person around the circle.
You could also use the old "Ring-a-rosie" or even just ask the children to chase each other around the grown ups.
I see some of the most beautiful dresses on mothers and daughters in my sessions. What better way to show them off that with a twirl?!
Just like the old version that you might have played when you were a child.. everyone holds hands and slowly moves in a circle. I've adapted this game a little bit so instead of "we all fall down" (and ruin our outfits) it's "we all jump up!" so because everyone is already standing, it's just a big jump in the air.
Parents in the middle
This game captures the reality of parent hood. Trying to steal a kiss, or a loving gaze while the little ones run wild. For this game, ask the kids to run around mum and dad and see if they can catch the other. When someone is tagged, swap directions so as to not get too dizzy!
It's important to make sure whoever is doing the lifting is comfortable and always ask permission before suggesting this activity. One parent lifts the child into the air like they're flying.
For this game, everyone is it. As soon as one person is tagged by someone else, that's the end of the game.
I'll continue to add to this post as I think of more, so make sure to check back from time to time for more great family photoshoot activities!