One of our most popular services at Virgin Portraits is our family portrait session. Offered to local residents and visitors alike this is an ideal opportunity to capture family moments in one of Tortola's scenic spots. Our standard package includes a 30 minute session and a small print package, but additional time may be added for larger families. If you are visiting or resident in the BVI for just a year or two this is a great way to capture those BVI memories and keep them forever. If the British Virgin Islands is your home then even more reason to tell the story of your family in imagery.
Interested? Great, here is what to expect from a Virgin Portraits family/children's Portrait Session;
The first question we get asked is where?
Beaches are our most popular choices for this kind of shoot. Besides being associated with most fun activities in the Caribbean, they are wide open spaces that provide wonderful natural backdrops and an obvious choice for island kids. We choose our timing carefully to make use of the most flattering light and to keep things as cool as possible. The ocean and light coloured sand helps the photographer by bouncing available light and filling shadows. We love the beach and its our number one choice.
Another great option is an open grassy area with some shade. This is especially good for tiny tots who either don't like the sand or can't stop eating it.... Small children are usually happiest outside and we reccomend this situation for most baby shoots. Babies and toddlers eyes are more sensitive to light and they often suffer from the glare of the sun on the beach.
As much as we love the beach, we like to mix things up and can reccomend some really charismatic locations for senior portraits or anybody else wanting that different location. There are many historic ruins in Tortola that can be utilized as well as breezy mountain hillsides and several spots with colourful west-indian buildings . The list is endless and only limited by your imagination.
Last but not least your home is an ideal spot to capture the entire family in surroundings most familiar to them and we are always happy to facilitate this.
What to wear?
Another common question. Overall wear something you like and are comfortable in. Loose fitting comfortable clothing is good as we usually ask you to sit , stand or even run sometimes! Make sure your clothes are as cool as possble to keep you comfortable and avoid too much "glow". Colour wise, it is advisable to coordinate colours with others in your group. This does not mean that you all have to wear exactly the same red t-shirt etc.,(this can look like a uniform)
Some members of your group wearing jeans and another with a denim looking shirt will tie things together, different shades of blue and gray with some white thrown in will work or adults in khaki and white and kids in pink and white would also. If you must combine many different colous keep the shades soft. Always avoid very bold colours or loud patterns near the face as these will be distracting. As a general rule avoid t-shirts and bathing suits wherever possible. Logos on shirts also are very distracting and not flattering. We really LOVE denims or other casual fabrics that have texture and variation of tone. we also love scarves and wraps that will blow in the breezes. Hats are great on kids. (if they will wear them) On the beach, no shoes required..unless you want to.
Babies usually look best in white or pale colours, again, hats are really cute on babies. For an at home baby shoot no clothes are required but attractive baby undies are great to cover a diaper.
For the girls..hair and makeup? Hopefully you will be looking at these portraits for a long time so making a little extra effort in this department is a good idea. Typically, make up appears less heavy in photos than in real life so throwing caution to the wind with a little heavier eye make up and some colour in your cheeks and lips will usually pay off. Keep foundation colour as close to your natural skin tone as possible, and if its breezy then pull long hair back from your face to keep it under control. Your final images can be re-touched for blemishes and wrinkles as needed.
What to bring?
Hmmm.. never work with children or animals..well lets just say its always good to bring along a bribe...depending on your children's age ,levels of cooperation can be variable and having something "up your sleeve' is always a good idea to encourage a reluctant participant in the shoot. This will obviously work better with some ages (or personalities) than others. Toddlers will often be pacified with a few cereal treats that are small enough for them to hold without ruining the shot, a small piece of fruit works well too. Older ones can be promised an Ice cream or treat after the shoot. You know your children best so come prepared with a promise if needed.
For babies, please bring a blanket that you don't mind laying on the ground, a musical toy, if they have one or any other favourite toy that will capture their attention. Music generally works well to calm small children whether its mum singing a nursey ryhme or a musical bear. Bring a bottle if they are bottle fed , tissues and a change of clothes if you would like.
For parents, don't forget your patience! really young children are more natural with the camera and the results of a shoot with them can be very rewarding,however, more patience is required with younger children to get them comfortable and to be themselves. As the photographer, we are used to this and will not be shocked by temper tantrums or other contrary behaviour. This is NORMAL and we expect it. Sometimes children need to be ignored for a little while and they usually will change their minds when they see the shoot going ahead without them. When parents become stressed in these situations it usually makes things worse. Most of all it shouldn't be an unhappy experience for you or your children. The best images are made when everyone is relaxed. If a child is out of sorts and totally refuses to cooperate a session can be re-scheduled.
Overall, expect a 30 minute portrait session to take around 45 minutes in total. (this can vary). If you have certain shots in mind tell us at the beginning of the shoot. If you have young children at a beach location, expect to be charging around rather alot and at the end of it all you will probably be tired, sandy and possibly wet! It should be fun but exhausting for all. Proofs usually take at least two weeks to prepare but please check with us a the time for a more acurate estimate. The Portrait session fee is due in full on the day of the booking. Any additional prints, books,cards or other services may be paid for when ordered.