4 tips for taking a great family portrait
No matter if you are planning a photoshoot for 40 people or just a small family – you need to be prepared. Eventually, the family wants to be proud of their portrait hanging in their hallway for decades to come. To meet those expectations here are 4 tips that can help you.
1.What to prepare
First, find out what kind of shoot the family wants. Ask the family how big the family is and how old the kids are. This gives you an idea of what is feasible and what advice you can give to the family. The parents should make sure that everyone has eaten and slept enough to be ready for the shoot.
The more coordinating the clothing of the family the easier it is to set up the lighting and layout for the day of the shoot. If possible keep the following in mind for clothing
Avoid clashing colors
Avoid strips and designs on clothes
Keep the clothes pastel colors wherever possible
Ask the family to coordinate their clothing as much as possible
Keep a theme in mind wherever you can - even the basic things like simple props can make a huge difference.
2.Where to shoot
Additionally, to the preparation speak to the family about the location. Ask them about places that mean something to them like the place where the couple met for the first time. If this isn’t possible or they don’t have any ideas, offer them some solutions you find attractive. If the weather is okay one of the best places is a park or a nice outdoor area. Look for interesting areas like wheat fields, brick buildings or an old barn. Be creative and flexible!
3.How to have fun
Having set up the family and the location now the spot is on you. Time is valuable as kids get easily bored. Become comfortable especially with the kids. They should enjoy the shooting and feel that this can be fun with you.
Photo sessions don’t have to be painful. Especially for kids it can be fun. If the kids are having fun it also makes it easier for you. Encourage the family to be creative too.
For instance, let the little one in the beginning choose his position independently. Most often their ideas are the best.
One of the most important questions you should ask yourself is what you are actually capturing in your family photographs.
Do you and the family want something that just looks good but is totally static and boring? Or do you prefer the more valuable option: A photo that captures a moment where people naturally feel good and you can see the positive atmosphere.
Try to capture the loving relationships and vivid interactions of the family. To achieve this, you can position their heads close together. If the family is sitting or lying you can achieve this very easily. Especially if you photograph small and tall kids sitting on the ground brings them closer together.
4.How to shoot
As already mentioned we all love these spontaneous shots where it seems that the people just live the moment and forget the camera. Still we want to catch at least one “must-have” photo where everyone is sitting gently together. From experience, it is much easier to tick this off from your checklist at the beginning of the shooting. This will make your job much easier and for the rest of the shooting you can focus on the candid and honest photos.