It was famously said that photographs help us to ‘understand what our lives mean to us’, and this idea feels particularly relevant when looking at a family photograph, of a special moment, big or small, caught in time. But so many of the photographs we take don’t pack such a punch, and if you’ve ever tried to get family members in the same place at the same time, whilst making sure everyone is smiling (or at least not hysterically crying), you’ll know that attempting to capture that ‘forever moment’ can seem like an impossible task! But don’t worry, by following a few simple tips to family photography, you’ll produce truly awesome snaps you and your family will treasure for a lifetime!
Don’t say cheese!
The best way to avoid the headache of a staged family shot, is to avoid it all together! We say, forget the awkward ‘who’s taller?’ line up, and have a go at taking some documentary-style shots around your home. When the family comes together for Sunday lunch, have your camera to hand and photograph some everyday family moments! This is a much less painless way to capture family life and enables you to record relaxed expressions and your loved ones’ natural characters: after all, the best portrait photographs manage to portray who someone is, not simply what they look like!
It’s all about the eyes
When taking any portrait photograph, you’ll almost always want to place the emphasis on the subject’s eyes. So, whether you are using your phone or your camera, take the time to think about the position of the focus spot. If you are taking a group shot (around a dinner table for example), it’s best to try and concentrate on just a few people, rather than the whole gang, as your picture may turn out crowded and a little bland. Tell a story with every image, and don’t be afraid to include blurred figures in the scene, as this is a great way to portray movement and liveliness at a family gathering!
Black and white photographs have a timeless quality, and when successfully executed in family portraits, it can produce a striking and poignant image. By eliminating colour, you can really focus on the expressions and action in the photograph, not to mention that black and white portraits are usually rather flattering! There are two ways to take your black and white snaps, either by converting the image during the editing process; allowing you to choose images that are best suited to black and white, or by applying a setting or filter (on your camera or phone) whilst shooting, so you can view your black and white scene in real time.