Create a Relaxed Atmosphere for Your Members’ Photos

Church Directory Creating A Relaxed Environment For Photos


Taking a family photo can be stressful.
We all love a beautiful photo of ourselves or our family, but not many of us enjoy the process of having our photograph taken. Therefore, taking directory photos of your members can be stressful! While some members are relaxed and look forward to a new family photo, others are anxious at the thought of being photographed. But everyone wants the perfect photo—so, how do you get your members, even the youngest ones, to relax and smile for the camera?

Here are some tips to help make your directory photo sessions more enjoyable and productive. 


Get to know your members.
Knowing your members is the most important piece of the directory photo challenge. Do your homework on each family member or individual ahead of the photo session. When a family or individual arrives to have their photo taken, ask them about a hobby or pet. Talking about something they like will relax them. Help them pose while they are talking, and they won’t realize you’re preparing them to take their photo.

Church Directory Family Photo Example

Smile for the camera.
Getting anyone—whether they’re a child or an adult—to look at the camera can be difficult. Solve this problem by having something fun for them to focus on during their photo session. Have an assistant hold a fun prop to direct their gaze to the camera. Use a prop that will make your members chuckle.

Church Directory Elderly Photo Example


Be sensitive to senior members and members with physical limitations.
Taking pictures can be especially stressful for senior members or others with physical limitations. Senior members may not feel secure standing, so have chairs readily available.  Members who depend on wheelchairs and walkers may not want those mobility aids included in their photo. So discretely take several shots of the family with and without their assistance devices. Let the family decide which photos they would like to use, whether it’s a head and shoulders photo or a full photo.

Church Directory Mother Daughter Photo Example

Consider your approach to members with special needs.
As for your special needs’ members, know that photo sessions can produce anxiety. Reassure the family members that the photo does not have to be perfect. Engage the parents or family for tips and resources on how to work best with their child or family member.

Making eye contact is extremely difficult for special needs children. Instead, try to capture their best features — such as beautiful eyes or a pretty smile— even if the member is not looking directly at the camera.

Have fun with the photos of your youngest members. 

As Murphy’s Law dictates, small children will become fussy during the family’s photo time.  Give a young child something to hold in their hands, like a stuffed animal or book. This will change their focus from being photographed to the object in their hands.  

Also consider changing the photo session setting to the church playground and simply capture the family on the playground equipment! 

The most important thing to remember is that pictures can easily be re-taken, so enjoy this time and think outside the box. When your members see you having fun and enjoying the process, they will follow your lead and enjoy it as well! 

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Author Bio:

Melanie Koenig

Melanie Koenig is a Customer Advocate at Communication Resources, Inc. She is actively involved in her church Sunday school and youth activities – and is always looking for new and fun ways to enhance the Church Ministry and create inter-generational connections. Melanie can often be found at the Softball Field cheering on her daughter with her husband and family.

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