Photoshoots with teenagers can be really fab, because when they feel comfortable, teens are often clever, funny and interesting.

Getting them on board for the shoot can be the biggest hurdle, but once you’ve convinced them to turn up, you can relax and leave it to me: it’s my job to bring the best out of them and make the whole experience a lot less painful than they anticipated.

Here are my top tips for arranging a family shoot with teenagers…

1. Give them a good reason

“Ugh! Why?? Do we have to??”

If your teens are anything like mine, that will probably be their first reaction.

Having a reason for why we want to do the photoshoot helps pre-empt arguments.

Presenting it as a much-awaited birthday present for mum, dad or granny is a perfect opportunity to appeal to their goodwill, especially as it might save them the trouble of looking for a present, so it’s a win-win!

Staff headshots meet the team
sunset photo shoot with teenagers

2. Choose a quiet location

For self-conscious teens, the idea of bumping into someone they know during the shoot can be mortifying.

Doing the shoot at home (a mixture of indoors/garden) or at a quiet outdoor location really helps. There are some good options in and around St Albans, lovely outdoor locations with very little footfall. 

3. Avoid early mornings

 The best light for a family photoshoot is early morning or late afternoon, when the sun is lower in the sky.  Unless your teenagers are early birds, I’d definitely recommend making the most of the late afternoon light, avoiding Fridays and Saturdays which might clash with their social lives.

Early evening on a Sunday or midweek during the school holidays is the perfect timing for a family photo shoot with teenagers. 

sunset photo shoot with teenagers
family photo shoot with teenagers

4. Let them pick their clothes

 Don’t push your teen to wear something they don’t feel comfortable in, especially if they are super fussy about what they wear. Be prepared to negotiate and accept that they might have strong opinions too.

If budget allows, a great solution if you can’t come to an agreement is to offer to buy them a new outfit you’re both happy with. A bit of bribery can go a long way!

 5. Get a dog!

Just kidding, you don’t have to get a dog just for the photoshoot BUT including the family pet in the session really helps diffuse the tension, be playful and bring the focus away from just “smiling nicely for the camera”.

We don’t have to include the pet in every photo, far from it, but they can bring a positive distraction and lift the mood.

corporate photography in Hertfordshire employee meeting
recruitment staff headshots

6. Don’t share the photos without their consent

Finally, and this is a big one, make it clear to them that no photos will be shared on social media without their explicit consent. Yes, I know it’s frustrating when we have a gorgeous photo of our teens that we’re dying to share, but maintaining that trust is essential. 

If they know that a photo won’t end up on Facebook or Instagram without their say, they are much more likely to be relaxed about the whole experience. This also goes for photos we snap on our phones!

Ready to book your family photo shoot?

I offer fun family portraiture for families with teenagers in St Albans, Harpenden and throughout Hertfordshire.

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