12 Dos and Don’ts of Family Portrait Photography
Taking a candid family photograph that exudes raw emotion and looks stunning and mesmerizing at the same time can be challenging. This is because working with a group of people from different age groups requires special skills that even professional family photographers often struggle with.
But once you have that Christmas-card-worthy family portrait with the authentic family dynamic captured in a still, you will always have that memorable moment frozen in time to look back and reminisce on.
A good family portrait requires proper planning, good lighting, and some props and themes that can elevate your family photography to the next level.
Here we’ve rounded up some dos and don’ts of family photography after talking to the experts.
Family Photography Dos
1. Squish Family Groups Together
When you squish the family group together, you are more likely to capture the intimate moments between the family and get a glimpse of their family dynamic.
When taking a family portrait, it’s important to set the tone right, and what better way to set the tone of your portrait if not by having the family members stand close to each other?
A squished family picture will emanate warmth and love, especially if they’re holding their children in their arms or laps.
2. Encouraging Engaging Conversations
Most people are not used to getting their professional photographs taken, and it might feel awkward for them to stand in one pose for a long time.
This is why the photographer needs to ensure that everyone is at ease and not feeling out of place. You can do this by starting some interesting conversations with the family members and asking them about their hobbies, lives, and pets. Try to get the children to dance, play, or hide behind a tree.
This way, you will be better able to capture the family members more naturally. Don’t force any poses in which they feel uncomfortable. Assure them that they are in charge and can pose however they like.
3. Coordinating Clothes
There is nothing quite as adorable as taking a family portrait where everyone is wearing color-coordinated clothes. Before getting ready for the family photography session, ask the family about wardrobe preferences.
Following a color scheme will look wholesome and improve the overall homey quality of your photograph.
4. Set Your White Balance to Auto
For the best picture, we recommend setting your white balance to auto. Since you’ll be working in different lighting and backgrounds for different photos, you might not find the time to keep changing the white balance. But setting this to auto will save you from continuously changing the camera settings, and you will have more time to connect and have fun with your family.
5. Start Earlier for Better Results
Planning a photoshoot early in the morning will allow you to have more time and get much better lighting. Early morning light is perfect for capturing pictures with a magical element because of how soft the lighting is.
The midday sun can become too intense to work under, and your family members might get annoyed standing directly under the hot sun. Try to take group photos either in a shady area or earlier in the morning for best results.
6. Find a Captivating Backdrop
It’s essential to find a captivating backdrop that has nostalgic elements attached to it for a family portrait.
Try to take the portrait with a wider view and incorporate storytelling elements in your picture. For example, taking your family to the family cabin by the lake, taking pictures of the parents with their baby in the baby’s room with their toys.
There are so many ways to creatively use your environment and turn it into an enthralling backdrop perfect for a family photo.
Family Photography Don’ts
7. Don’t Show Up Late
Make sure that you arrive earlier for your photoshoot than later. This will enable you to find the time to do any last-minute touch-ups, fix your hair, and position the camera equipment appropriately before the bright light dwindles.
If you have small children in the family, getting everyone in the mood for a family portrait can be difficult. This is why we recommend leaving earlier, so everyone is ready and well-prepared.
8. Don’t Forget to Get Prints
We know how tempting it is to post your pictures online the second you get them. But apart from posting them online, make sure you’re also getting prints of all your memorable family photos to accumulate nostalgic memorabilia.
Whenever you pass by a framed photo of your entire family in color-coordinated outfits in your home, you’ll feel a sense of joy.
9. Don’t Do Anything Last Minute
It’s never fun to do anything last minute, especially when it comes to family portraits. Take your time planning everyone’s outfits, plan the backdrops that you would like to have, and if you’re hiring a professional portrait photographer, make an appointment well ahead of time.
10. Don’t Forget to Document Milestones
Remember to document every milestone as your family grows. This means you should remember to plan a photography session when you’re bringing a newborn home, when it’s your child’s birthday, when your child is taking their first steps, etc.
11. Don’t Leave Behind Any Important Equipment
Make sure you pack everything that you need for your family photography session before you leaving. Pack your camera equipment, different types of lenses, extra batteries, tripod stand, etc.
12. Don’t Hesitate to Book a Professional Photographer
If you’re finding the task of taking a family portrait overwhelming, there’s nothing wrong with hiring a professional photographer.
Searching for expert family photographers in Vancouver? Get in touch with Artin Photography!
With more than twenty years of experience, Artin Photography utilizes a state-of-the-art camera and lighting equipment to capture the most intimate moments between families. Their ability to pay attention to detail and take beautiful portraits that are unique and one-of-a-kind is simply worth trying out.
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