Getting all the family members at the same time in the same place can be pretty hard. Adding to that, organizing all of them for a family photo can be a nightmare. Family photos can be shared between the family members and can be hung at their homes to cherish the memories spent with your loved ones. There are many free apps for sharing family photos.
When it comes to photography, family photography is a staple for any photographer. Most shutterbugs would have given family photos a try at least once in their career to broaden their portfolio.
So why’s it so common? Because, just like any other ceremony, family life is a short-lived moment. Parents are well aware that their children grow up quickly, and photographing special moments with them is a brilliant idea.
What Is Family Photography?
Family photography is about capturing a moment with family members. They are basically group portraits. The family photos can look very similar to the ones taken for wedding photography. Showcase your family’s personality by exploring unique and fun family photo ideas. Most of the customers prefer a mix of candid and posed shots. This photography style can range from a single couple to a large family gathering with grandparents, relatives, and pets. You should modify the composition depending on whoever is being included. There are a ton of intricacies to doing a family photo. No, it is not as simple as you thought.
So, what are the challenges? The models in front of the camera aren’t experienced. So the photographer needs to be in control and make them feel comfortable. How is it different from other styles of photography? Since you will be shooting a group of individuals, you will need to get an idea about their relationships, like who gets along with whom, to make them feel more comfortable. You also need to have a say in the shoot’s organization part, like outfits, shooting location, etc.
From a business point of view, there are a lot of opportunities for a family photographer. Clients might require to update their portraits frequently when new members of the family come around. If you are a wedding photographer, you will naturally be doing many family photos as well. You might want to offer a repeat customer discount to the clients to keep the business growing. Also, build an online portfolio with Strikingly. With numerous template designs, you have got a wide variety of choices to choose from.
Important things to consider
Try to choose a location with significance, something to connect with the family, to add an emotional depth to the portrait. Otherwise, any open space with no distractions in the background would work.
The choice of location plays an essential role in deciding the kind of equipment you need. If your client wants traditional studio portraits, follow all of the usual portrait guidelines. You will need a tripod, softboxes, reflectors, backgrounds, and furniture. If your studio cannot accommodate a large group of people, you will have to make some arrangements for that. For outdoor shoots, your focus should be on mobility. Since most shots will be handheld, an on-camera strobe with a good diffuser may be preferable. You also need to be alert throughout the shoot as you will be shooting candidly as well as posed shots and the best candid shots come in between the poses.
There are no hard and fast guidelines when it comes to the camera that should be used. Make sure to use manual settings in poor lighting conditions and keep the files in raw format to ease the post-production process.
When it comes to photography, lenses are more important than camera selection. There will be a lot of background disturbances during an outdoor shoot. To avoid that, you will want a wide aperture lens which can give a nice bokeh effect in the background. At a minimum, either you would require a wide-angle, a standard and telephoto lens, or a high-quality zoom lens, like a 24–70mm or a 28–135mm. It all depends on your budget and style of photography.
Is it necessary to be color coordinated in a family portrait? No, but it gives a better composition to the portrait. The final decision on the wardrobe is on the client, but you can help them make the right decision.
Choosing a color is the hardest decision to make. Black and white colors lead to problems in exposure. Lively prints will add more elements to the photos. Velvet should be avoided as it is difficult to light.
Before deciding on the color of the costumes, the location must be considered. If the background is dull and dark, pick something that can brighten the entire composition. If the background is bright, wear something that can neutralize the color of the background.
Creative family photo ideas
Now, let us discuss a bit about some family portrait ideas. For a better portrait, here are some posing and wardrobe suggestions.
- Make it fun
It is the photographer who has control over the shooting atmosphere. You need to make the members feel at ease. Any tensions will show up in the pictures. Take time to know each member of the family and be friendly with everyone. This will make them relaxed, and you shall be able to capture their best.
- Go outdoors
Outdoor family photos are a million times better than indoor ones. There is always a benefit of natural light and relaxed people. Children are much happier and more comfortable outdoors, and it shows in the pictures.
- Keep it short
If the job is done fast everyone will look fresh, happy, and relaxed. As time passes by, people would start getting grumpy.
- No hangry kids
Ensure that your children are well-rested and fed. Toddlers do best right after their naps. So everything should be structured around their nap schedule. Make sure to carry snacks and extra clothes.
- Appropriate poses
The poses you chose for family photos should be apt. A good example is that photos with the individual’s head tilted towards one another are considered romantic or intimate. It is best suitable for just engaged or married couples than grandparents.
- Eye-level photography
Getting down and shooting on the same level as the subject creates a connection between the viewer and the subject. Your camera lens should be parallel to the subjects. It doesn't matter whether you're sitting, crouching, or lying on your stomach; get that lens parallel. Also, keep all your subjects at the same level. This means getting the adults to crouch or sit down while the kids stand. With babies, the parents can lift them up.
- Golden hour
The unique time at sunrise or sunset when the light is diffused is known as the Golden hour. This is the perfect time for photography. The warm sunlight adds a surreal feeling to your pictures which are otherwise hard to replicate. Having sun at a lower angle can cause some harsh shadows. So make sure you bring an off-camera flash or a reflector.
- Capture the special moments
The trick to creating a unique family photo captures those interactions between the family members. These pictures show people more relaxed when they are sharing jokes or stories with their close ones. They will continue to look natural as long as they are unaware that they are being photographed.
- Focus on special relationships
It is a good idea to highlight the special relationships in the family. It can be anything from capturing a moment of interaction between the grandparents and the grandchildren or between family members who rarely see each other. This can create a very heartwarming image.
- Stop trying so hard
You must understand that happiness is better than perfection. There can be a lot of imperfections around you. Your hair might be out of place, your kids might not look at the camera, but none of that matters. Being happy is perfect.
- Use a drone
The drone can add a unique perspective to your pictures. Fly the drone overhead to take straight-down shots. Using a drone is a great way to capture the scenic as well as the family.
- Black and white portraits
Black and white family photos are getting popular these days. It is considered better suited for family portraits which can do away with contrasting wardrobe issues. It can add a special artistic flair to your images by emphasizing the people.
- Watch for small details.
Pay attention to minor details that are going to be glaringly apparent in the final photos. You need to pay attention to the small details like cloth tags, shirt buttons, dress and accessory adjustments, and cell phones in your hands or pockets. Look for the odd one out and decide if it can affect the final output.
Building a family website to share pictures
A private family website is a website that is dedicated to your family. Family photo websites serve as a connecting point for your family, and you can share photos, events, videos, and other latest updates with your family members. Having a private family website is the best way to share your life with everyone in your family, no matter where they live. Strikingly can help you make a family website. It is effortless to create using our existing templates. Family photo websites strikingly are safe and secure. A family website can act as a backup to store your memories. Unfortunately, if anything happens to your computer or hard drive, you can still have peace of mind knowing that your memories are stored in a safe place. Most family photo websites offer various features, including creating an album for each event, editing the photos, and sharing family photos with other family members and friends.
Family photography is a fun challenge. One part of the job is about technical excellence like lighting and exposure. But an equally important part involves soft skills like taking control of the situation, managing the group, or making people comfortable. You need to be good at working with kids and the elderly. It is a privilege to capture those special moments of the family.
How to build your family photo website with Strikingly
Strikingly, for example, allows you to create your own websites for free and without writing a single line of code. These platforms provide you with a website template that you can personalize and transform into a one-of-a-kind online space. Individuals who want to try their hand at website design and creation should consider using a website builder.
- Register for a free account.
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- Choose a website design template.
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- Customize your template as per your requirements
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- Pick a name for your website, create your content, and then publish it.
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One of the best features of Strikingly's website templates is how easily they can be customized to suit a variety of industries and website content. Don't restrict yourself to the ones we have mentioned. Feel free to look at our other cool features and experiment with them to find the perfect design for your family photo website.