Family photography is one of the most popular genres that do not lose relevance. Family photo shoots are always in demand, because at any stage of life people want to capture important moments that unite the family. Family photo sessions can be attended by babies and children at all stages of life, parents, grandparents, pets. Therefore, there are many important nuances that we will try to cover in the article.
Family photography secrets
The first thing to pay attention to is choice of clothes. Adult clothing should be similar in style and colors should match. You can choose a specific color palette of matching colors, and have different family members choose different colors from that palette. Keep in mind that family photos will be considered in decades, so a healthy conservatism may be appropriate here. However, this is the choice of everyone, and the pictures of the past, which have the style and fashion of those years, are distinguished by a special charm.
Second moment — choice of location and background for pictures. The easiest and most neutral option is in the studio using a solid background. If you plan to shoot a large family, you need to be prepared for the fact that a large space is required. For example, a standard paper background 2.72 meters wide is too small for this.
Interior photo studios with the right decor chosen by designers, they are also well suited for family photo shoots. Clients who are not professional models will find it easier to find objects to interact with (furniture, books, accessories), pose and act naturally. This will help make the photo alive, closer to real life.
The shooting location greatly affects the atmosphere and mood of the frame. For example, on the eve of the New Year, interiors with a Christmas tree and similar attributes are popular.
In autumn, photo shoots against the backdrop of a multi-colored forest are common. The shooting location needs to be thought out and agreed with clients in advance, since you are taking photos for them, and the shooting location greatly affects the look, character and mood of future shots.
When shooting on location, it is important that extra objects did not fall into the framesome extraneous structures and plants, there should be no distracting details in the background — bright spots, debris, signs of neglect. The farther away from the subject the background is, the more blurred it will be in the picture.
When shooting one person, we can, taking into account the small nuances of the black and white pattern on his face and body, build complex lighting schemes using studio lighting. But in group shooting light should be exposed in a simple way, since it falls at its own angle on each person. For example, two symmetrically located light sources on the racks on the right and left. You should avoid harsh shadows, for this it is better to use large softboxes or octoboxes.
Poses and composition are chosen to the taste of the photographer, but remember that the focus should be on the faces of the people. When shooting in a group, you need to place the people shooting closer to each other precisely so that their faces are not lost, not too small. It is necessary to ensure that everyone is in focus, so that no one closes anyone. Always do multiple takes to capture the best expressions on each member’s faces. Then, if necessary, you can combine the pictures in the editor.
How to Shoot a Group Portrait: Composition and Equipment
Family photo hacks
Separately, it is worth talking about shooting angle. If we place the camera below people’s faces, shooting from the bottom up, we get several negative effects. The person’s face becomes visually smaller, the double chin (if any) is emphasized. We don’t want this. If you place the camera higher, then people become visually more slender. And it’s better in portraiture.
In order to photograph a large family, you can use one or another coastersboxes to compensate for the dramatic difference in growth. The sitting position also allows you to shoot people of different ages and heights, but you won’t be able to photograph many sitting people in one frame.
When shooting outdoors, direct sunlight produces harsh shadows. To combat this, the sun must be behind the people being photographed. And for highlighting shadows you can use an additional source, such as a camera flash.
Shooting children is a special case, and for each age there is a different approach.
Infants will not pose for you, the photographer must create natural conditions in which you can get beautiful pictures of such a model.
Babies can spend most of their time sleeping when photographing, and that’s not a bad thing. You need to adapt to this and conduct a photo session accordingly, creating comfortable and safe conditions. Before shooting, you need to make sure that the room is quiet, warm, there are no drafts and dampness.
When photographing babies, you will need parental helpwho will hold their child in their arms and be responsible for him, his calmness.
You can take a blanket or a large blanket and ask one of the parents to cover their hands with this cloth. Then, without removing the tissue, this person picks up the child with someone’s help. After that, we photograph the baby, and this same fabric serves as the background for the picture.
There are also special props for photographing babies: poseurs various shapes, decorative cribs etc.
Whenever possible, it is best to use dim natural light, as the flash may frighten the baby.
Newborn photography: how to photograph newborns
With preschool children a different approach is needed: here the photographer must interact with the model himself. Children of this age rarely sit still for a long time, they are very active. So that the child is not afraid, you can talk about his hobbies, or vice versa, leave him alone for a while. If the child is still small, you can attract his attention with the help of interesting props, toys.
Parents when shooting a preschooler, they must also be present. It is they responsible for its appearancestraighten clothes and help make good shots with fidgets.
As a separate option, you can consider shooting when a preschooler does not pose for the camera, but does what he is interested in, for example, in the park. In this case, the photos will be natural, but the photographer and his equipment also need the opportunity to catch an interesting moment.
Photography student or teenager is no longer very different from shooting adults. Naturally, depending on the involvement of the model in the shooting process, you can preliminarily discuss his wishes, show what shots are obtained, or change something in the shooting concept.
Choosing equipment for family photography
The choice of camera is largely a matter of taste, a lot depends on the budget and habits of a particular brand.
There are two essential requirements here:
- We are interested in the possibility of connecting a synchronizer for studio shooting. To do this, the camera must have a hot shoe.
– It is very important that the camera is with interchangeable optics.
These are DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. It depends on the choice of lens what we will shoot and how high-quality pictures we get.
The remaining parameters are not so important, but you need to know that increasing the resolution improves the detail of the pictures, this is important if the pictures will be viewed on a large screen or printed in a large size.
How to choose a camera for a beginner photographer
So, we have chosen a camera with interchangeable lenses, what lens to buy for it?
The lens must be sharp enough so that all the faces of the people in the frame are clearly visible. Any high quality fixed lens focal length gives such sharpness. From zoom lenses can recommend professional lens series one or another manufacturer, for example, Canon has the L series, Sony has the G series, Sigma has the Art series.
The next important point is the choice of focal length.
When photographing large groups of people, it is tempting to use wide angle lens. With it, the photographer can stand close to the models, and at the same time a large space is placed in the frame. But here the following problem lies in wait for us: those objects that are closer to the camera will appear larger, and this is not what we want. In addition, the wide-angle visually increases the distance between objects, distorting the perspective. Therefore, wide-angle lenses are usually not used for portrait and family photography. Their scope is landscapes, architecture and street.
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The next type of lens to consider is normal prime lenses: For example, 50mm for full frame cameras and 35mm for APS‑C. They give a picture that is close in proportion to what we see with the naked eye.
Good for studio shooting classic portrait lenses: About 85mm for full frame models and 50mm for APS‑C models. Naturally, there may be variations in focal length, it already depends on the taste and choice of a particular camera manufacturer. With them you have to move further away from the models, but they give a clear picture, beautiful background blur and the right proportions.
Moderate fast telephoto lenses also performed well. They give a beautiful background blur, just like portraits. They are difficult to use in the studio, but outdoors, where you can move away from the subject, many photographers prefer them. The fact is that telephoto lenses depict all parts of the object, in this case the face, at approximately the same scale. The proportions of facial features are obtained as in reality, without distortion, without an enlarged nose and reduced eyes. In this, TVs are the opposite of wide-angles.
How to shoot shy and shy people
Many people are afraid to be photographed, they are embarrassed, they don’t know how to behave in photography. For such cases, we can give some advice:
- First, you should ask the person if he had photo shoots before, and which ones. After that, you need to tell how the shooting will take place, at least in general terms, because the unknown can be the most frightening.
- Be confident and correct. You need to know your business, behave like a professional and not show that you are unhappy with something, for example, in the camera settings.
- It is necessary to praise the model more and not discuss its external shortcomings.
- Smiling and laughing is, of course, the main stress reliever for both the photographer and the model. But the main thing here is a good sense of humor and tact. It is better if the joke is abstract, not about the shooting itself. For example, you can tell a funny story.
- You can ask a person to participate in the process. Of course, you don’t need to ask the client to work for you, but you can find out what the client would like to change in the environment, clothes.
- Ask the client to pick up some props. Often people do not know where to put their hands in an unusual environment or in public. Some object in hand will help here, but it must be suitable for shooting.
- Often people are embarrassed by their appearance, you can show a person a particularly good picture of himself so that he knows that the result of the shooting will be wonderful.