Your family probably makes lots of memories together. However, it can be difficult to capture and preserve those memories. This is where a family photoshoot can do the trick! A family photo shoot can be a great way to capture precious moments and milestones. Whether you decide to pull out a high-end camera or simply take some photos with your smartphone, you can document the meaningful times in your family’s lives through family photoshoots. How do you go about this? Here are some tips for family photoshoots that can help you capture superb photos that your family can enjoy for years to come.
You probably know the importance of planning things already. If you want to have a successful family photoshoot, you need to ensure that everyone will be available, especially when there are kids involved. You don’t want to get to the photoshoot day, then some people are missing for the entire day, or the janitorial services are around, and the house is too disorganized. The first thing you need to plan is the timing. Avoid having a photoshoot when some people are likely to be busy or tired. Choose a time when everyone is available and fresh. You can do this preferably after lunch on a weekend when no one is going to the family eye care center or cosmetic dentistry appointment. Kids won’t be at school, and you will likely not be at work. You must also keep the session a bit short to avoid boredom. If you are a large family, you may want to prioritize kids’ photos first as they can get bored quickly.
You also need to plan the photoshoot location. Are you going somewhere to have the photos taken, or are you doing it at home? If you want to do it at some other location that is not your home, you will need to go scout good spots first. Aim for areas that are well-lit, not too busy, and with an uncluttered background. Preferably, it should be a wide space. You can imagine the different kinds of photos you want to take and if the locations you are looking at would work out. If you are going somewhere where you need to pay, you might want to make a reservation in advance. You don’t want to just show up on the day of the photoshoot to find the place booked or closed.
Remember the Importance of Lighting
Lighting is one of the most important factors to consider when taking photos of any kind. If you want your family photos to come out right, you need to make sure the lighting is on point. Lighting can be tricky, especially if you are shooting indoors. You need to focus on getting low exposure and soft lighting and make sure the timing is right. If you just get these three right, you can manage to get some amazing family photos indoors.
You should always try to maximize natural lighting seeping in through the windows. Also, try to use a calm, pastel background so you can easily focus on the subjects. If you are opting for indoor shots, you may want to ensure that you take them during the day. Daytime indoor shorts are easy because you can get a glow of sunlight in your pictures. This means you may also want to pick a sunny time. Get everyone to huddle together and let the sun do its magic. If you are doing the photoshoot indoors, make sure the environment is clean. You may even want to hire a carpet cleaning service and a dry cleaner, so the pictures are perfect.
If the plan is to do the photoshoot outdoors, make sure the landscaping is on point. You can even get a landscaping company ahead of time so the yard will be ready on the day of the photoshoot. Outdoor photos are great. There will be a lot of light and more space. However, you need to be careful with things like exposure. If you haven’t taken a lot of photos before, it may be a good idea to watch some instructional videos on how to take great outdoor photos before the day of the photoshoot.
Use a Tripod Where Possible
Thinking tripods are too retro for your style? Well, think again. A tripod might be too heavy and cumbersome, but it makes for some lovely family photos. This is especially true if you have a lot of kids. They can be quite difficult to keep still. You may even want to take pictures of kids in motion. Think photographing children running. A lot of people are generally nervous when they are being photographed. Some can even be scared, while others would go so far as saying they dislike their photos being taken. This means your job when taking family photos is more than just pressing the shutter button. You also need to help your subjects feel a bit more comfortable and relaxed. That can be a bit difficult to achieve when you are also nervous, and you don’t have a lot of experience with portraits. That’s why you will benefit a lot from placing a camera on a tripod.
A tripod forces you to slow down, and when you are taking photos, that is a good thing. You will be able to check your settings, preview the exposure and review the composition calmly. Basically, it gives you the chance to ensure that you have everything right. It can be quite easy to get carried away once you place the camera at eye level, only to realize later that you didn’t have the proper white balance and your ISO was 6400. Even worse, you can end up shooting tiny JPEGs instead of standard RAW files. Having a tripod at your disposal will ensure that you slow down and avoid that costly ‘Oops!’ moments later. It also helps to ensure you have your eyes away from the camera so you can make contact with your subjects. People generally feel more comfortable looking at someone than into a lens. Having them stare at you will enable you to get their attention, especially if there are kids in the shot.
Always Shoot in Manual Mode
Want more tips for family photoshoots? Assuming the family photoshoot is planned well in advance, chances are you have control over all the elements. This means that once your setup is complete, you may not need to change the exposure and such. Unfortunately, if you try to use your camera on Shutter Priority or Aperture mode, it might make adjustments on its own and change the exposure automatically. That means you may end up with a different exposure for each frame, and that will lead to some inconsistencies.
Consistency is very important for a successful family photoshoot. If you just take photos randomly, there will be a lot of post-processing work to try and even out all the shots. Underexposed photos can end up with more noise, color shifts, and several other undesirable outcomes. Manual mode will enable you to keep the exposure consistent on all shots. You must just keep in mind that each time you change location, or even the pose, it may be necessary to check the exposure again. You just need to fire off a test shot, check the histogram and, make adjustments if necessary, then continue.
This is a general rule when you are taking family photos. People tend to stand rigid and still just before a shot. Instead of taking photos like this, get them to bend a few body parts. That will make the photos look more natural. In normal circumstances, no one stands still as a board, and no one should do so in pictures. There are several poses your subject can adopt. For instance, you can get someone to shift their weight to one foot and stick out a hip away from you. You can also get them to place one of their hands in a pocket and then put their thumb out. This will avoid a situation where they shove the entire hand down their pocket and all the way to the bottom. Again, this creates an unnatural look.
Here are other poses to consider for your tips for family photoshoots.
- Get a subject to lean forward a bit while in a seated position, then place their weight on a single hip.
- For those who are standing, one can put their finger through a belt loop or hook it on their belt.
- Get a subject to stand against something and cross one foot over the other with their toe down.
- Sitting males can put one knee up with the other foot flat on the ground. However, get them to rotate, so you aren’t directly facing their crotch.
The best way to get people to do these poses faster is if you can do them yourself. That way, you can face them and demonstrate how you want them to pose. That way, they can mimic the exact pose. Some people may be a bit stiff, so you will need to be patient. Just do your best.
Let Kids be Kids
Most parents want to control how their kids pose, telling them things like, ‘You need to be good and smile’ during a photoshoot. For the majority of kids, this puts too much pressure on them and can make them nervous. The best way to get good photos of kids would be to just let them be. That way, the photoshoot will be lots of fun for them as well. Just tell the kids you are going to have some photos taken, and it’s going to be fun. That’s enough. No need for further instructions.
Want more tips for family photoshoots? If the kids expect nothing else but fun, you will probably get the best photos. If you are the one taking the family photographs, you need to prepare yourself. Bring some props along and take some of the kids toys with you. The photographer can even hold a hand puppet in their hands. Also, if the children are not smiling, you mustn’t force them. Let them be. If they want to run around for a bit, that’s ok too. You can get great photos from that. Make sure the photoshoot is fun. You will be surprised that a few minutes later, they will start cooperating, and they will agree to sit for a bit.
Want one of the best tips for family photoshoots?/ When you are photographing kids, you may want to make a total idiot of yourself. Make funny noises and sing songs. Even if you are bad, it doesn’t matter. Make fish faces and play peek-a-boo behind the camera. You can even run to the camera and back with a hand puppet. The moment kids start having fun; you should be ready to start capturing.
When taking family photos, leave no man behind. It’s all about getting every dad, brother, sister, cousin, and mom in one photo. Even if you are working from a phone camera, don’t worry about it. That’s why phones come with panorama mode. It’s important to immortalize the early years of your children. They grow up so fast, and soon they won’t be looking like the little balls of cuteness you have at home. All precious moments and memorable events need to be captured by family shoots. From the time your child is born to when they get braces or Invisalign aligners for teenagers, you’ll need something to remind them of these childhood memories. Speaking of aligners for teenagers, you may want to consider dental or orthodontic treatments before a photoshoot to ensure that everyone has their best and brightest smile.