Ideas for making your family pictures more creative
Summer is gone, the kids are back in school, and it’s your chance to catch up on those projects that you’ve put off for the past few months. Like capturing some family photos. So how do you make sure that your family photos stand out this year?
If you’re tired of static family photos, get moving! While this probably isn’t something you can both photograph and be a part of, you can easily swap roles with another photographer and snap their family while they capture yours. So get off you behind and get active! Here are a few suggestions:
- Play a game: Tag, ball, hide and seek, etc. Get moving for natural expressions, rather than smile-grimaces.
- Go for a run: Run towards, then away from the camera. For an extra fun photo, place a marker where you will all jump at the same time (this may take some practice).
- Throw: Encourage action by throwing something. Balls, leaves, stuffed animals, balloons, anything!
Prepare for Candid Moments
This is a particularly salient tip if you have a shy child or a dad who shuns the camera. Once you get the family involved in an activity, look for candid moments where family members are interacting with each other.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be a picture-perfect-positive moment – families have their ups and downs!
When your family first gets together, the kids might have some excess energy to burn off, so find an area where they can run around, with or without parents, while you capture some candid photos (hint: use a telephoto lens and a faster shutter speed). Once they’ve settled down, you can get a few more structured photos.
While you’ll want at least one true family portrait with all members, there’s no hard and fast rule that says every photo has to have every family member in it. So feel free to experiment with some combinations: mom + oldest child, dad + youngest child, all kids, all parents, etc. It can help to call a “break” from posing in the middle of the photo shoot and let everyone interact organically – but keep your camera ready, just in case a good moment pops up.
Extra Tip: If you have grandparents nearby, have them stop by 20 minutes into your photo shoot, they’ll add a spark of “yay, grandparents!” and let you get a few more combinations, as well as a generational photo. Also – if the kids are busy feel free to photograph just mom and dad together!
Telling kids to “smile for the camera” is often a good way to kill natural smiles, so don’t despair if you get a few neutral, grumpy, or downright miserable faces. Once kids relax and are allowed to interact with you’re the photographer or their family the smiles will come!
Of course, if this all seems a bit much to learn at the moment, and you really must get some great family portraits, then it’s time to talk to a great family photographer to book your session!
When you’re ready to book your next photo shoot with Jane, call 917-744-3310 or fill out the contact form here.
Related photography articles:
- 5 Tips for choosing a Fantastic Family Photographer
- Tips for Great Family Christmas Portraits
- Tips for dressing for Family and Kids Photography
Please note that this article may contain affiliate links
Recommended Products – What’s in my bag?
I love this stylish and functional camera bag. It’s sturdy yet stylish – who could ask for more?
Now this is one sturdy carrying case – it’s built so well to hold all of my gear – it’s especially great for traveling with my gear. I couldn’t do my job without it.
Oh the latest Canon 5D – it’s a dream to shoot with and I love it so much. It’s my second child! It builds on the powerful legacy of the 5D series, offering amazing refinements in image quality, performance and versatility.
Whoever said zoom lenses aren’t amazing didn’t have this one. It offers a great zoom range (perfect for moving targets like toddlers) yet it has a wonderfully large aperture throughout its focal length.
I love this zoom lens – especially when you are further away from the subject – great for capturing your kids playing sports.
A fantastic prime lens perfect for portraits
The lens is suitable for any shooting situation, with a lens coating and construction type that are optimized to minimize the ghosting and flare that frequently occurs when lenses are used with digital cameras. The lens also offers an ultra-large aperture that produces a narrow depth of field and the type of soft background blur so loved by photographers everywhere.
OTHER EQUIPMENT and GOODIES
This speed lite delivers impressive power, responsive performance and advanced, wireless communication for those who demand the very best in flash photography
I love the Gary Fong diffuser – helps to give your speedlight flash that wonderful diffused light on the go!
You can never go wrong with using a reflector for fill light – I like the Neewer 43inch for portability and size.
- Sleep sheep (to get those newborns to sleep)
If there was one product (apart from my camera) that I would take to every newborn shoot it has to be the Sleep Sheep. Press Ocean sound and babies love it as it is so calming!
I always get asked what consumer camera to buy and I have found that the Rebel t6i is by far the best for my clients to take gorgeous, high-quality photos and videos that are easy to share
Map of Jane Goodrich Photography in Westchester County, NY