TIPS: How to improve your family portraits!
So you have this new camera and you want to take family pictures, or maybe you are just getting started in family photography. Either way below are a few tips to help you along the way.
"Eye contact is not always essential in a family portrait. Having some people looking at each other or away from the camera if there is a large group will make it look more natural."
1. Lighting is Key. As with all photography lighting is key. If you are shooting inside and can’t afford expensive lighting use the most flattering and cheapest form of light there is – sun light! Position your group facing or parallel to a large clean window, if it is a particularly bright day cover it with a thin veil of material, such as a net curtain or peg a white cotton sheet across to act as a diffuser for softer, more flattering light.
If you decide to use flash indoors, beware you will get a yellowish cast in certain light.
2. Using outdoor lighting.
You can really let your imagination run wild when it comes to photographing family portraits outside. Remember to see where your light is as the sun can cause unflattering shadows to fall across the face. With the sun behind the subjects you’ll get a creative silhouette or you could add some fill in flash to fill the details. Try using the Golden Hour rule if it is possible.
3. Clothing and Props.
Tie elements together – to say ‘yes we are a family!’. Suggestions include: matching splashes of color, props or even aspects of the environment around them.
If you want to style the shot in a more traditional or relaxed fashion then ask the family to wear natural or pastel shades. Try using bright, bold or clashing hues for a more energetic, fun shoot.
4. Mix up the poses. As well as shooting the family sitting and then standing, experiment by having half the group stand and half sit. By splitting the group into different levels: the viewer is offered a more dynamic image forcing the eye to jump around the scene. Incorporate props, especially if you have children in the frame.
5. Mix Black & White with Color.
If you know ahead of time you want to do a mix, have a child wear a colored bow or scarf that can be left colorful while the others are black and white. You can incorporate colorful flowers that can be left with a bright color or even part of the background.
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