Shooting Lovely Family Portraits

Two great family holidays are coming soon: Christmas and New Year. That is why we devote this article to taking joyous family portraits. The blog post contains a number of tips on posing and taking photos, that any photographer will find useful, including amateurs who prefer taking photos with their phone.

Snowmen family

Small Secrets of Shooting Group portraits: If It Bends, Bend It

When you take full length photos of your family members in the yard, on the walk or at home, pay attention to the way they stand. There is a well-known tip: if it bends, bend it. When you see that models are keeping tense and unnatural poses, you should help them get relaxed and correct their posture. Tell your family members a joke or two and show what posture they should copy. They can, for example, bend their hands and put them on waist (belt) or into pockets (keeping first finger out), cross their legs, or put weight on one leg, leaving the other one relaxed.

Photographing Groups of People: Do Not Arrange Them “in Size Order”

When taking a group photo, pay attention to how tall your models are. Do not arrange them in columns or straight lines, as it can spoil the composition of the image. Of course rules exist to be broken and there are some bright exceptions. You can think of people’s heads as of points on an imaginary line. When you recommend which posture to take, try to make a curved line, not a straight one. Ask somebody to sit or kneel down, or otherwise stand up on a chair, a footstep or any other kind of an upland.

Parade family portrait
When They Want to Look Slimmer and Smaller

Heavy and tall relatives should stand in the second row. If you want to make them look shorter recommend them keep their feet apart. To make somebody’s face look thinner and more elegant take the photo a little bit from above and ask him/her raise the chin and stretch it out. By the way, it is preferable to shoot aged people from this position as it makes them look younger. For families with little children you can ask parents to lie down on a warm carpet and invite kids to climb on top. It will be very funny!

Family having fun in winter
Shooting Indoor: the Question of Lighting

Try not to use the built-in flash light. Turn on all lights in the room, bring some candles in, shoot in light surrounding and ask your models to come closer to the source of light (e.g., candles, window or fireplace). If you still lack light try raising the ISO and use HDR mode on your camera. Built-in flashes often spoil images as they produce severe shadows that make faces ugly.

Family near the fireplace

Keep Your Team Spirit High

Make sure that everyone looks into your camera, even your little brother who would rather eat the cake than get photographed. Joke and make faces, turn a small photo shoot into a really fun game.
We hope that our tips will help you take bright family photos and you’ll never join the brave ranks of awkward photographers, whose photos you’ll find on the Awkward Family Photos website.

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