Taking family photos is always a different experience, out of a studio, in a new space with multiple variables. This blog post should serve as an example in some things that you might run into and have to adapt to as your shoot progresses.
One such instance was earlier this year. At a families home, they arranged the shoot to coincide with their newborns first birthday. There are many people around as they had me arrive and some of the next points are just some of the things you have to be aware of.
1. When shooting in a new location, or an uncontrolled location, you have to adapt and go with your best option.
Now with this particular house, there was a front yard and a back yard as options as the house is not well lit and has guests. With party supplies all over the back yard and a patio taking up most of the available space (marked in yellow) the only option seemed the front fence side corner of the property. (Marked in red). (Images via google maps)
2. Position and Lighting
I grabbed a light stand weighted down with the sandbag and set up my collapsible soft box, mounting in the trigger and speedlight.
Now that I have the scene set, I am using TTL through the Yongnuo controllers and the speedlight, metering off the subjects face and simply using the exposure lock button.
Which brings me to the third and final point.
3. Time, Location & Light Available
The last thing and really sometimes the least important part of a client's shoot. Variables you cannot control i.e. clients schedule, the amount of time you have to shoot, location and what time of day, these are technically out of your control and just what you have to adapt to.
This particular shoot the variables included.
Time of shoot 12-1pm, shooting around the babies nap time ending, limited space/background options, budget not including rental of larger lighting source, 10-15 minutes total shoot time in-between food preparation and entertaining guests.
With these factors you have to improvise and use previous experience to get the shots you were hired for.
Here are some of those images.