10 tips to great family portraits

one-happy-family

The day is coming and your excitement is growing. You have hired a good photographer to capture the memories of your family. You have envisioned nicely coordinated, candid shots that reflect the true essence of your togetherness. You desperately need to get this right. In addition to engaging an experienced photographer with your desired photography style, here are some tips to ensure an awesome outcome:

1. Prepare in advance
Create anticipation by telling your family members about the upcoming photo shoot. Let them know what to expect. For kids, tell them the session is a big game and promise them a treat if they cooperate and allow the photographer to get some nice pictures while they have fun. Show them a picture of the photographer as well as some of his work.

2. Do your homework
Look for examples of photos that you like in Pinterest or Google images and show them to your photographer a week before. On the day of photography, put these photos in your iPad and brief the family about achieving something of the desired effect.

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3. Coordinate the clothings  
Gone were the days when everyone wore the same colours and looked matching to the core. Instead, pick several coordinating colours (ie. yellow, blue and grey) to play around with. Mixing neutral tones with one or two pop colours usually makes the photos more interesting. The bigger the family, the more colours you can choose from. Rule of thumb is – you can wear one, two or a combination of these colours in various forms or tiny doses such as accessories, scarf, shoes and so on. Make sure the clothes are clean and well-pressed. 

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4. Choose a natural location
Where would you like the photos to be taken? Where’s your favourite family place? You may opt to have the session at home sweet home, or your kids’ favourite park. Bottom line is, choose somewhere that actually means something to the family and allow everyone to relax and let loose.

5. Select a good timing
Pick a time when your kids are usually in their best mood or behaviour. Make sure they are well fed and contented before that. Perhaps mid-morning after breakfast or some time after their afternoon nap?

6. Keep it natural
To get happy, candid shots, stay relaxed and let the kids be themselves and play around. Don’t force them to pose or do a certain something as the calmer and natural-looking portraits will come later. Give them their favourite toy or bring them to their favourite swing. 

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7. Beware of flying hair
Always get the family member with long hair to stand on the downwind side of the family. This will keep her hair from blowing across the face of another person or all over hers. 

8. Optimise the advantage of different heights
Instead of standing or sitting in a leveled line, get the group to sit on a staircase or a small hill with different level of heights, while positioning themselves closely to each other. This will create a differentiated interest in the pose.

9. Take a break
If the children become restless, give everyone a break. This will be a good opportunity to shoot candids of the kids too. Everyone will come back with a smile and ready to give their best again after that.

10. Be yourself
Wear something everyone is comfortable in, add a little more make-up and do a proper blow-out. Behave how you usually do when mingling with the family, don’t be too stressed out about it and enjoy the moment.

 

 

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