For the last several years, we have visited photography studios in Kuwait and had a series of professional family photos taken. These usually turn out great and serve as beautiful family mementos. The only problem is that the photos can sometimes look stilted and too posed and our two young children really don’t enjoy the process. They find it difficult to sit still, they fidget and get bored and this eventually devolves into whining, surliness or just plain unhappiness which eventually shows up in their faces in the photos.
This year, I decided to take a different approach to family photos. My hubby gave me a DSLR for my birthday, so I wanted to practice and thought why not do our family photos at the park or some other outdoor location? I could practice using the camera and if none turned out well, then I wouldn't have lost anything and the girls would have had a day out. So we chose a place that included great scenery for the backgrounds, play areas so the kids wouldn't get bored and a time of day (mid morning) when the light would be good.
A few drawbacks: As we did the photos ourselves, none of our pictures include the whole family but instead are mostly just the kids and a few with me or hubby. This was ok because it was just for practice but next time I want a professional to capture all of us together. Another drawback, lots of folks are now enjoying the outdoors so be prepared for random people walking in and out of your shot just as you are ready to snap the pic. We didn’t mind and so some of our photos show people walking by in the background.
Finally, as I’m still learning, none of the photos I took turned out like I wanted and I need to practice quite a bit more as you can see from those included. So if you want professional-quality photos, definitely consider hiring a professional or practice a lot.
If you are thinking about trying the outdoors for your next set of family photos, here are some tips on locations. If you aren’t a camera whiz or perhaps don’t even own one, you might consider engaging a freelance photographer to do the photos for you. We’ve added a quick list of some local photographers as well for convenience. Many will meet you at the designated location and do the shoot for the whole family.
Corniche – There are many beautiful spots along the Corniche to choose from. The area around the Scientific Center is really lovely with lots of grassy lawns and the sea for a background. We choose the Corniche seaside path across from Amro Bin Al Aas Street in Salmiya (just down from the Scientific Center) as there are several gazebos, a water fountain, playgrounds and a lovely little creek with shade trees and lots of grassy lawns.
Kuwait Towers – The area near the Kuwait Towers also makes a great background but this might work better for older kids.
Green Island – Recently spruced up ahead of the Hala February celebrations, the Green Island has lots of great spots for family photos, and there are playgrounds, walking tracks but not many grassy lawns. Still you can rent bikes and capture the kids riding or just playing around.
Ahmadi Public Park – Located in Ahmadi, this park is well tended and clean and has lots of space. There are playgrounds and climbing structures, a water fountain, trees and grassy lawns and even a small zoo to entertain the kids. It’s also one of the few local parks that I’ve found to be clean on a Friday morning.
There are a growing body of family photographers who will shoot pregnancy, infant, baby, hospital and family photos and include a range of shoot types including outdoors, cake smash, newborn, hospital and more. Check out this awesome list and find one that's right for your family.
Alaa Makki – Popular newborn and baby photographer that also does smashcake photograhy, location shoots and more. Mobile: 9961-1773
Apache Photography – Renowned local photographer Stephanie McGehee’s studio. Studio and on location photography. Telephone: 2244-5508/9 or visit website: http://www.apachephotos.com/services.html
Caroline Ericson - Swedish family photography living in Kuwait, does baby, family and pregnancy photos. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or check out her gallery of work at www.pixbycaroline.wordpress.com
Chigish Photography Kuwait - Specializes in outdoor, expressive, emotional, conceptional, couple, baby and family photography. - Email Chigishphotography@gmail.com
Fatma Wahedi – Newborn and baby photographer in Kuwait. Check out her Instagram gallery at @fwahedi.photography or call her 6965-8950
Pixies Photography – Baby, children and family photography. Mobile 9409-9144 or Telephone: 2562-0499. Instagram @pixiesphoto
Qumra Photography - Specializes in children’s photography. WhatsApp 5546-4506
Romeo Productions - Studio photography, located in Avenues Mall, phase II. Telephone: 2571-4714
Safiya Ghulam Photography - Specializes in outdoor photography. Contact Mobile: 6045-8008
SayCheeez Photograpy – Children’s photographer Dalal Al Dughaishem takes awesome studio portraits with a variety of props and backgrounds. WhatsApp: 5506-2262 Website: http://www.saycheeez.net/
Tammy Ali Photography – Family and children photography. Visit website: http://www.tammyaliphotography.com/#!/Home
Tania Davies Photography – Tania Davies is a fine art photographer specializing in portraiture, make over sessions and fashion shoots. Check out her work on her website and blog. Website www.tania-davies.com and blog www.thewildorchard.com