There are families of many types, extensive, single parent, homoparental, nuclear, assembled … But all have something in common, the relationship between its members. Family portraits are more complex than individual portraits for different reasons, they are several subjects, they must be co-ordinated and it is also important to reflect their personality and dynamics and the interaction between all their members. It is very likely that you have ever had to portray yours (they always ask us when they know we are fond of photography) or that you see yourself in this situation sooner or later. There are some very typical errors in this type of photography that are very easily corrected, others are somewhat more complicated, but do not be scared, which is not so much. If you are interested in the subject, .
1. Take care of the dressing room. This first advice may seem of little importance, however it is not. Clothing plays a fundamental role for several reasons.
- It is better for the family to wear classic clothes so that the portrait does not go out of style in a short time, we look for a timeless photo and the “last” clothes can be very good that year, but in two or three, it may make you eye damage .
- It is not necessary that all members wear the same color, but it helps that the colors are very similar and combine with each other. And if for example there are several family members who wear the same color, it is better to avoid them being very different tones.
- In summer it is better to use soft colors, in winter more cheerful colors to give life to the colors that nature offers (we talk about outdoor portraits).
- Not only do you have to combine the colors, but also the style of clothing, or all formal or all casual, the mixtures are not good …
- Avoid the stripes, pictures or striking designs that divert attention.
- It prevents the clothes from showing elbows and knees, because this part of the body is not at all favorable (in adults) and can spoil the result.
- It is easy that you have to face a family portrait in which you have not been able to previously advise on the costumes, do not worry, a trick you can use is to place the members by groups of colors that combine with each other. Look at this example:
2. Find a suitable location. If you are going to make a report to the family, look for a location that they like, a park, the forest, the beach … They are very grateful environments for this type of photographs. If it is indoors or in a house, take care of the background and any element that distracts attention.
3. Create a suitable environment. It is important that they enjoy the session so that they are comfortable and relaxed, so they will be much better portrayed and you can take the time you need. Prepare the session as if it were a game, especially if there are children. Instead of asking them to smile, tell them something funny, some anecdote or a joke, forced smiles are too artificial.
4. Take care of the lighting. This is one of the most important points, but I’m afraid this doesn’t scare you, right? Here we will also extend a little more.
- Indoors use the bounced flash.
- If you are backlit or the background is much brighter than the plane in which the family is, use the flash.
- If you can use natural light, then even better. In that case you have to be careful that there is no part of the family in the sun and another part in the shade. You will not get a good result.
- Remember that the best hours to take photos outdoors are in the early morning or late afternoon.
- If it is at noon, very strong light can cause them to close their eyes, also creates unwanted shadows. Find a shadow but be careful that all faces are illuminated. Placing them on the edge of the shadow can help you.
5. Take care of the placement. Avoid adopting uncomfortable or forced positions, if they are natural the results will be much better. If there are many members, an element such as a door, fence or staircase, can help you organize the composition.
6. Use a proper opening. In portraits, an opening as large as possible is usually recommended (that is, a small f-number), but in this case, it is convenient not to open the diaphragm so much. An f / 8 would be more suitable. If you want to use a wide aperture, make sure that all the members are on the same plane so that everyone is focused. If the group is very large, the most advisable is a small opening (a larger f number).
7. Try to convey the essence of the family. We commented at the beginning of the post the importance of capturing not only the members of a family, but also their personality. You can use boldness or objects that they normally use. The important thing is not that all the members look at the camera, the really important thing here is that the family nucleus is shown as it is.
8. Make a good framing. Remember the composition advice and be careful with cutting the heads or leaving them in the middle of the photo. And if it’s full length, don’t cut their feet!
9. Shoot in burst and many times. When there are several members, it is very easy for someone to leave with their eyes closed or with some unflattering gesture. The more photos you shoot, the more likely you are to get one in which most models go well.
10. Be flexible. It is very likely that you have an idea of how to conduct the session, that is not bad, but do not forget to pay attention to those spontaneous moments, because one of the best snapshots may be of one of those moments of improvisation.
11. Once again, make use of your creativity. Run away from typical portraits and propose something fun, a game, a career, or just change a perspective … You know, imagination has no limits!
12. Use the tripod. That you are part of that huge family group that you have to portray? So don’t forget the tripod for anything in the world! Set the timer or use the remote trigger and … look at the little bird!
13. Capture the emotions. I leave for the end my favorite advice, because emotions are important, because a photo has to cause you a feeling and there is nothing better than capturing an emotional moment, outside of poses or flattering gestures. The interaction between its members and the signs of affection cannot be lacking in a family portrait.
And so far today’s post, hopefully it has helped you and now you see a little easier this to portray a family or your own. I hope I have not left anything, but if you have any questions, do not hesitate to leave your comment. Thank you very much for reaching the end and, if you liked it, share it;). See you soon!