HANG IT ON THE WALL
Having the proper techniques to successfully photograph a family portrait is a must and is often considered the bread and butter for up and coming photographers. With that being said, ask any proven photographer and they will tell you it most certainly is not the easiest thing to do. With these 6 steps you will control your vision and provide a priceless photo to be hung on the wall for ages.
Don't miss out on future posts like this one ─ subscribe to Pixxbee | The Photographer's Blog.
1. What To Wear
Long gone are the days of everyone wearing the same colored shirt and matching khaki pants. You do want to coordinate colors but be careful. Limit patters and avoid having any one person stand out more then the rest of the family. This can be distracting and take away from the feel of the photo.
Also be sure to accessorize. Have the man wear a tie for the woman to hold or give the kids a hat to play with. Scarves and belts are also a great way to add a little texture to your photo.
2. Consider The Background
The wrong background can ruin your photo before you even start shooting. Make sure to coordinate the background with the cloths and accessories your subjects will be wearing. This is especially important when shooting on a white backdrop to avoid floating.
3. Squeeze Them Together
You will find that a lot of families will space themselves apart when asked to get together. Maybe its just a personal space thing but for me this has always been an issue. Having them get closer together shows more warmth and adds to what a family photo should be like. Consider aligning people at slight angles with their shoulders overlapping. If you can get them to rub shoulders then your final photo will look like more like a model family and the overall composition of the image will be more finished then a typical snapshot.
4. Try To Be Funny And Get Some Real Smiles
Nothing breaks the tension like a cheesy one-liner. This actually works surprisingly well. Ask everyone to "get in focus" or "strike a model pose". Once they are comfortable with you they will open up and your photos will look more genuine. Have them do things they would normally not do. Try having them jump up or run at you. Whatever you can think of. If you have a one-liner or creative pose you have used successfully, please comment below for the rest of us.
5. Check For Blinking
Check your photo preview and scan for anyone with their eyes closed. The last thing you want to do is to not check and spend hours in post editing to photoshop Uncle Dan's half shut eyes. Make sure to scan after every shot and take more photos then needed.
6. Be Professional
Avoid saying things like "Let me figure out the lighting" or "This isn't working". If you are having problems, rephrase it to something like "Great, lets try a few more" and then try the shot again. If you sound like you are seeing great results then the family will continue to give off the good vibe needed to get genuine family photos.