A couple of weeks ago Colin and I (and Ellie!) took family photos in Prague. We headed off to Vysehrad, a castle you should definitely check out when visiting Prague, and then down to the river for sunset with our awesome photographer.
Taking family photos in Prague was something we put on our bucket list when we first moved here. We both thought it would be such a fun way to remember our expat year abroad. And, it’s something we’ve never done before! Save for weddings and school photos, neither of us have ever had professional photos taken. We were really nervous, but it ended up being a super fun experience!
In preparation for the photo session, I had my make-up done by a lovely woman named Marta, who was offering free makeovers on a Facebook Group that I am part of. I am someone who wears absolutely no make-up in my day to day life; I’m a Chapstick-only kind of gal. So it was such a treat to get all glammed up courtesy of Marta.
To be honest, the make-up was a bit severe for me, I think because I’m not used to wearing any at all. So I don’t think I’ll start putting on a face anytime soon, but it was a cool experience and I’m glad I had my make-up done by someone with experience for our photo session.
Full of nerves, we met our photographer, Kemal, on a Saturday afternoon and walked over to Vysehrad all together. Right away, Kemal made us feel perfectly at ease. He was super friendly, very encouraging and gave direction without making us feel too stiff or posed. He’s also a dog lover, and was awesome with Ellie. He even brought her treats!
We walked around Vysehrad, stopping for photos wherever Kemal recommended, and then headed down to the riverside for sunset. It was really fun to explore the castle complex again, finding new spots we hadn’t seen before. We basically spent the whole time laughing – holding hands, wrangling Ellie and laughing until our cheeks hurt.
Despite the many, many selfies on this blog, neither Colin nor I enjoy being the centre of attention or having our pictures taken. We’re uncomfortable in the spotlight. Even when we are posing for selfies or taking photos on our travels, we just snap one and we keep going. We don’t stop to pose, try different angles, set up a tripod or take a few different shots. I don’t say that as a judgment on other bloggers or travellers; it’s just not something Colin or I are super comfortable with doing.
So it was very odd to dedicate almost two hours to taking photos of ourselves. I thought we’d be uncomfortable and awkward. But we actually just had a lot of fun! Any nerves I had seemed to melt away after just a few clicks of Kemal’s camera. And instead of worrying about how I looked or what people thought of us, I just focused on having fun and trying not to trip over Ellie’s leash. By the end, our only complaint was that our cheeks hurt from smiling too much.
And what an end to our family photos in Prague! We finished the photo session down by the river just in time for the most gorgeous sunset. There were swans swimming by, a bridge in the distance, and the most beautiful purple, pink and orange sky.
We got a sneak peek of our photos just a day after the session and all of the photos back less than a week later. Kemal was so quick!
To be honest, I had mixed reactions when we first got our photos. I loved the lighting, Ellie’s hilarious expressions, and the big smiles on our faces. But I’m not used to seeing so many photos of myself, especially not full-body shots or close ups of my face not taken from a flattering selfie angle. It was difficult. My inner critic came out to pick apart every piece of my body I’m not in love with.
But I don’t want to look back at this fun experience, and this memory of our year living in Prague, only thinking about all of the flaws I see. I want to look at these photos and just see the joy – which is so much more important than anything as boring as a body flaw. I want to see the big smiles on our faces, the adorable expressions Ellie is making, and our sweet little family having the year of our lives in Prague!
If you’re looking to take some family photos in Prague, or any couple/solo/wedding photos, I cannot recommend Kemal enough. We had an amazing time with him and you should definitely get in touch with him via his website!
In fact, we had so much fun, I think we might have to do family photos more often in the future!
Have you ever done a family photo shoot? How was your experience?