Probably the most difficult image to set up is the group’s family photo. These images only really work when everyone is on the same page, looking at the camera and smiling at the same time. Syncing by getting everyone to say “cheese” is the typical way to make everyone smile. But it doesn’t always work.
Here are some things to think about when trying to make this beautiful family portrait to make everyone happy:
Calm down the group – It is important that all participants in the photo feel comfortable and comfortable both with each other and with the photographer. If the photographer also happens to be a family member, making them comfortable shouldn’t be a problem. With no strangers in the middle, relaxing in front of the camera is no problem.
Move into scene – Don’t be afraid to move into the scene, crop out the background and just focus on the people. For taller individuals, cut off the top of the head to emphasize the bond between family members. Let the drama of kinship and love play out on camera. Allow family members to interact before taking the picture. Saying “cheese,” while always listed as one of the top tips for family photography, isn’t always good and makes people rigid and less open, so sit them down and let them get comfortable. The good shot follows as you watch.
– Blur the background Blurring the background makes the person aspect more dramatic. It puts family at the center of attention, because after all, family is what you photograph.
Openness within the group – At a gathering, there is always someone in the family who doesn’t want to sit for a photo. Today’s small compact cameras make it easy to get pristine shots without having to pose everyone. Keep the camera in your pocket while you work in the room. Find your shot and compose it and shoot fast. It takes practice, but with a bit of thought and concentration, grabshots can be done well.
Take multiple shots – If you’re trying to capture everyone in a group, the only really successful way is to take lots of shots, and do it quickly. Shooting in quick bursts of three or four shots at once will get you the good shot you’re looking for. The first shot is usually a throw away shot. The second or third will probably be the keeper. Take a few shots before everyone is ready. Some of the best pictures are of the actual organization sitting around part of the activity.
timing is everything – If you choose your timing carefully, the shot will be made or aborted. Proper timing, however, can only be learned through practice. Another suggestion that tops the list of family photography tips is that the quicker you learn to compose or know what you want when composing, the better your timing. Try to take the picture within the natural flow of events when the family is together naturally and not artificially posed which makes it more rigid.
lighting – No matter what type of photography, lighting is probably the most important element. In most cases, a small flash is sufficient. However, larger family groups may require more lighting. Shooting outdoors in natural light makes shooting easier and less stressful.
Take control – For the photographer, staying in control of the situation is paramount and communication is key. Keep talking to your subjects so they understand what you want to do and what they need to do to create a happy situation. If you have a really large group to photograph, use a tripod and have someone act as your assistant.
To smile – After all, there’s nothing worse than a grumpy old photographer, so smile. That puts everyone else’s mind at ease. Have fun, pretend you enjoy the process. It’s okay to crack a joke or two to get everyone to loosen up. And don’t be afraid to be creative. Think different. The group can be a group without sitting next to each other with another row standing at attention behind. Emphasize other elements of “family ties”. play with it Enjoy!
I hope you found these family photography tips useful.