Family photography can be a bit of a minefield. Persuading your insecure teenager to pose or getting a hyperactive toddler to sit still while grandma holds her is often a nightmare. The internet is full of cheesy, awkward, and downright disturbing family portraits snapped by amateur photographers. But, it doesn’t have to be quite so painful. Follow the tips below and you will end up with shots you can be proud of.
Get to Know Your Camera
A camera is only as good as the photographer behind the lens. In fact, the best camera in the world will take awful photos if the photographer doesn’t have a clue how it works. Practice using your camera if it’s new to you. Get to know the different settings until you feel confident. Automatic settings are useful for beginners, but your family portraits will be a thousand times better if you master the manual settings.
Use a Tripod
Camera shake ruins many a fine photo. It’s hard enough arranging your subjects, coaching them on why they should smile, without worrying about keeping the camera still. A tripod makes a difficult job a lot easier. You can play with composition, change the settings, and take control of the session.
Choose a Great Location
Think about the best location for your family portrait. Blank grey backdrops are OK for professional portraits, but your photos will look far better if you select a great location. Use the garden or a local park, or travel a bit further and take advantage of a dramatic mountain backdrop.
Create a Dynamic Pose
Arrange your subjects so you don’t end up with a row of heads at a similar height. Older folk will need to sit down, so have some chairs prepared. Encourage people to loosen up. Stiff-as-a-board subjects don’t make great photos. Action shots are fun – we’ve all seen the photos where the photographer captures a group leaping in the air. This type of photo works well with younger groups (hint: don’t ask grandma to jump into the surf if she’s just had a hip replacement).
Flatter Your Subjects
It’s not easy taking family portraits, but if your subjects lose confidence in your abilities as a photographer, the situation will rapidly deteriorate. Be positive, tell everyone how gorgeous/handsome they look. The more you flatter them, the more they will enjoy having their photo taken.
Make it Fun!
Crack a few jokes and have a laugh. With a bit of luck, you will capture some genuine smiles and people having fun.Once you have captured some great shots, hunt for the perfect frame in our store so you can hang your family portrait on the wall for posterity!