6 Feb 2024
If there is one thing that the best communion photos we have seen over the last few years in photographers’ portfolios have in common, it is the smiles of their protagonists. Because getting 9 year old children, who in many cases don’t know you at all, to smile in front of the camera in a natural way, is the basis for making your communion portfolio much more appealing to families who are looking for a communion photographer for 2024.
And to make this year’s communion images even more fun and original, in today’s article we are going to give you a series of tips and recommendations so that these endearing photos are perfect for families who are already looking for a communion photographer.
For this season 2024 be ready to take unforgettable communion photos.
- How can you take communion photos that are truly unforgettable for families?
- 1# Offer families communion sessions in beautiful outdoor settings
- 2# Carefully prepare the pre-communion studio reports
- 3#Communion photos à la carte? Why not?
- 4# Plan your first communion report and leave nothing to chance
- 5# Organise an afternoon of games for communion children
- 6# Offering extra services for communions in 2024 is always a good idea
- 7# Photo shoot on the day of first communion
- 8# 9-year sessions for families not celebrating communion
- Are you ready to offer the best communion photos of this 2024?
- Arcadina goes with you
How can you take communion photos that are truly unforgettable for families?
Whether you are a family photographer and you are considering offering your clients a series of communion photo sessions or you have been doing these photo shoots for years, it is important that before you start promoting them you keep in mind several recommendations to make your 2024 communion campaign a success.
And although taking communion photos may seem like a simple task if you are a family photographer, the reality about this type of session is that, although the children may do their best, you don’t always get those communion images that you would like to share in the gallery of your photography website.
In order to stand out from the rest, to get your little models in your pocket and to offer families a service with a wide range of possibilities, it is important that you take into account a series of recommendations when taking first communion photographs, as we are going to show you below in this small guide with 8 simple steps.
1# Offer families communion sessions in beautiful outdoor settings
One of the options that parents of children who are going to take their first communion like the most are studio photographs. It is the most classic and safest way for children not to spoil their costumes before the big day. If you want to go out of the ordinary and offer families an alternative to studio sessions, opt for outdoor photography.
On this subject, there is no doubt that communion photos in a natural setting (countryside, mountain, beach, etc.) taking advantage of the sunset, are the most common and that all families fall in love with. But as well as offering this option, you can also plan other types of pre-communion photos in different outdoor settings. Here are some ideas:
- Urban report. The idea is to walk around the city’s most emblematic monuments.
- A day at an amusement park. The child will love the surprise and so that there are no surprises, you can take a few photos in the costume and then take the rest of the report in a different costume.
- Double session of best friends, cousins, etc. You can organise 2 separate mini sessions and finish the photo shoot with several photos of the friends together, it will be an unforgettable afternoon for them.
- A fine art style shoot where fantasy knows no bounds.
- Night photography session (you can take the first photos at dusk and then play with the play of night and lights).
- Report with the grandparents.
Look for charming locations for outdoor communion photos
As we were saying, when creating your packs for this temporary session, you can offer your clients the possibility of having an outdoor first communion session. Here the search for an idyllic setting will ensure 75% of the success of the reportage, especially if you want to focus on a more natural environment. Here are some extra ideas that may help you:
- If you live on the coast, it’s very easy. You can go to a beach, the dune area or even the seafront. The sea, the good weather and a spontaneous smile will be the only ingredients you will need to take the best communion photos of this 2024.
- If, on the other hand, your photo studio is located in an inland area, no problem. You can always find a wooded area nearby, next to a small stream, in a poppy field, or simply in a beautiful park where you can take a photographic report.
- Outside, you can also create a small decoration. Find a couple of trees and hang some garlands, lanterns or tulle fabrics. You can also use a teepee, which is so popular at children’s parties.
- If there is a botanical garden in your town, don’t hesitate to suggest it to families. The variety of spaces and the tranquillity of its walks will make for unforgettable communion photos.
- An abandoned train station can be a very interesting location to give a vintage touch to the photo reportage.
Check what the weather will be like on the day of the photo shoot
Spring is one of the most beautiful months of the year for outdoor photo shoots. The days are longer and the temperature is warm enough to spend more time outdoors, but sometimes sudden storms and weather changes can also play tricks on you.
If you already have an outdoor first communion session scheduled and rain is forecast, always have a plan b organised.
As an idea, you can talk to the families about changing the date, although this may disrupt your entire schedule of communion photos. You can also offer to take the communion photos in the studio or look for a location where the inclement weather will not affect you, for example, a sports centre, access to a museum, a greenhouse, etc.
2# Carefully prepare the pre-communion studio reports
When planning a pre-communion photo shoot in your studio, if what you want is to offer a different product from the rest of your colleagues. A good idea might be to have a short interview with the parents beforehand to “personalise” (as far as possible) their child’s photo session.
This does not mean that you have to do your photo shoots à la carte, as this would take up a lot of preparation time and the communion sessions would not be profitable for you. But what you can do is to have several scenarios planned with different tones, props, decorations and styles so that the parents can choose 1 or 2 (depending on the package contracted) on the day of the photo shoot.
Other extras you can offer, in addition to the possibility of choosing between 2 different sets, can be:
- Communion photos with the rest of the family (dad, mum and siblings).
- Communion photo shoot with the family pet.
- A change of wardrobe of the first communion child with more informal clothes. With this small detail you will be able to increase the number of photographs that families buy from you when you show them in their private gallery.
- A mini session at home. Although these communion photos can be the least colourful of all. Since you won’t find the same lighting conditions in your clients’ homes as in your studio. You can offer it as a complementary service to your main reportage. This reportage can be focused on keeping a souvenir of the communion dress, the accessories and to show how the child is going to prepare for the big day of his or her first communion.
3#Communion photos à la carte? Why not?
Another modality of outdoor first communion reportage, much more exclusive, can be the possibility of organising an a la carte session. You can “sell” it to the family as a gift for the child who is going to make his or her first communion.
Talk to the parents and help them surprise their child with a double gift. You can talk about their child’s biggest hobby or wish and help them organise a surprise photo session.
It could be going horse riding, going to the football field of their favourite team, going to a skate park, visiting a special place or even preparing a communion photo session with a more special theme. The images from these sessions will be pure spontaneity and happiness and we assure you that they will become the best communion photos for the family.
4# Plan your first communion report and leave nothing to chance
In this type of session, even if they are temporary, it is important not to leave any detail to improvisation. If, for example, you are going to do the photo shoot in the studio, have everything ready before the families arrive.
Choose the scenery and props very well, look for accessories that the child who is going to do the session that day might like, have the lighting and all the equipment you will need ready and prepare a large dose of patience.
If the communion photos are going to be taken outdoors, it is also important that days before the 2024 communion campaign starts, you go and take a look at the locations you have chosen this year to make sure everything is to your liking. Prepare some games, props or accessories for the children and always bring extra material to avoid unpleasant surprises at the last minute.
5# Organise an afternoon of games for communion children
For the more shy kids who you find it harder to let go in front of the camera, you can have a series of fun little games prepared to give them confidence and help them forget about the camera.
You can use a ball, a diabolo or a simple balloon to draw their attention away from the camera. Or even, in the pre-shoot meeting with the family, you can talk about your little one’s hobbies to try to make sure they are present that day in the communion images.
6# Offering extra services for communions in 2024 is always a good idea
For these sessions where the family photo is almost a must, you can offer a series of extra services that can be very useful for the parents, such as: a professional make-up artist for the mums, the possibility of inviting a special guest to the session (for a fee) such as the aunt, the grandparents and their best friend, a double communion photo shoot with the best friend of the girl who took the communion, etc.
In addition, before the day of the report arrives, it is interesting that the parents can consult your communion dossier with all the products they will need for the day of the communion, such as: communion reminders, signature books, copies and enlargements, a photo booth for the day of the celebration, special packs with several reports, etc.
And once the photographic report is finished, don’t close the door to the sale of new products. If you share the communion photos through a customer gallery, the parents, in addition to selecting the photos they like the most, will be able to buy more images than those they had agreed with you at the time.
7# Photo shoot on the day of first communion
This type of session on the day of the celebration a few years ago was a classic and the most common. In fact, they were almost the only images of communion that were offered to the families.
Nowadays, however, due to time constraints and the fact that some churches already have an arranged photographer, it is becoming more and more fashionable to take communion photos before the day of the celebration. And the truth is that many families miss having a memory of the day when their children will actually take their first communion.
Here, you will have several options. The photos in churches, as with weddings, tend to have a certain “exclusivity” and the most common is that there is only 1 photographer during the celebration. If you don’t have the opportunity to work in churches, you can also offer the families a series of other small photos during the day, for example:
- Pre-session at home while preparing the first communion girl.
- Photo session at a location near the church before or after the celebration with the rest of the family.
- Mini session after communion at a location close to the reception venue.
- Communion photos in the restaurant.
Offering these other types of communion photography will open many more doors that other partners will not open. Take advantage of the opportunity and become part of one of the best communion portfolio of this 2024.
8# 9-year sessions for families not celebrating communion
Nowadays there are a large percentage of families who choose not to have their children make their first communion but, so that the little ones do not feel bad about their friends and classmates who do make it, many parents are opting to celebrate a 9th birthday party.
For all those families celebrating that their little ones are about to enter pre-adolescence, you can create a special pack for them. It can really be like a normal pre-communion session but with street clothes and avoiding postures and props reminiscent of this religious celebration.
Are you ready to offer the best communion photos of this 2024?
Sometimes, taking good communion photos is not going to depend on the extra training you have or letting your creativity flow. In the vast majority of cases, when you show a product where every little detail is well thought out and planned, the results are much more pleasing.
At Arcadina we offer you a series of tools and business solutions for photographers that will help you in your communion campaigns and other photo shoots. If you want to find out how far you can go, you can try our services for 14 days for free.
This time we want to share with you the interview of Gema Romero from Ilusiones Art Photography, who has a section just to explain how is a first communion session in 2024.
And to say goodbye for today, we would like to ask you a question: What factors do you think are the most important and work best when it comes to creating communion images? We would love to read your ideas in the comments.
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