You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take amazing pictures of your family and friends. Smartphone technology has evolved to the point that you can take beautiful family photos simply with the camera on your phone. This makes it easier than ever to snap both staged photos and candid shots with ease.
While you don’t need fancy equipment or training to get the shots you want, it is helpful to equip yourself with the knowledge needed to take the best possible pictures. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you set up that perfect shot.
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How to Take Family Photos
Taking family photos is easy. Follow these 5 simple steps.
Step 1: Find an Ideal Background
The first thing you need for a great photo is an equally great background. You want your subject to stand out against the background without blending into the scenery. Natural backgrounds are ideal if you can time the lighting right. The background should be a complement to the photo and not the star of it.
Step 2: Position Your Subjects
After you’ve found the perfect spot for your photo, direct the subjects into the right spots. You will want to pay close attention to the composition of the photo. If you plan on using your camera timer so that you can get in the picture, be sure to leave room for yourself to hop into the shot.
Step 3: Focus on the Subjects
If you’re using a professional camera, it’s important to focus the lens on the subjects. If you’re using a smartphone camera, make sure the shot has been properly zoomed in.
Step 4: Check Your Lighting
The lighting can make or break a picture. If you’re inside without adequate natural light, you might have to set the flash to engage. If you’re taking your pictures outside, you’ll need to ensure you’re positioned so that you take advantage of the best levels of sunlight while minimizing shadows.
Step 5: Take Practice Shots
When it comes to taking pictures, practice makes perfect. This is not the old days when you only had a limited amount of photos you could take with each roll of film. Because you can take as many shots as you need, be sure to take a few practice shots to ensure that everyone is where they need to be and that you’re getting the best lighting and composition as you can. Even if you think you got the shot that you need, don’t hesitate to take a few more, just in case.
Other Family Photo Tips
1. Take Frequent Breaks
Especially if you’re trying to photograph small children, you’re going to need to plan for frequent breaks. Letting the subjects run around and burn off energy will help them to be able to stand still when you need them to for a shot. You can also let your subjects take a few goofy shots in between all of the serious ones to help to lighten the mood and keep things fun.
2. Choose Candids
While staged photos are great, it’s often the candid shots that elicit the strongest emotional reactions. Because of this, be sure to snap some candid pictures in between all of the more formal shots. You don’t need to be the orchestrator of all of the shots. Sometimes it’s better to simply let life take over and let your camera capture the candid emotions. Years down the road, you will especially love flipping through all of the candid shots of your loved ones.
3. Photos Are Not Just for Special Occasions
Too often, we focus all of our attention on formal occasions such as holidays and special events. Just like with everything else in life, the photos that you end up cherishing the most might be the everyday moments of your day. Keeping your camera handy to be able to capture the mundane will often provide you with the most treasured shots of all.
4. Lead With the Photo
If you know you’re going to want to take pictures at an event or gathering, be sure to try to get it done as soon as possible. Not only will this ensure that everyone is still looking their best, but it will also encourage everyone to relax and enjoy their time together without a photo session looming in the distance.
5. Have Fun and Choose Joy
The more relaxed that you are as a photographer, the more relaxed that your subjects will be. Try not to stress about getting the perfect shot. Instead, focus on keeping the mood light so that everyone is enjoying themselves. This attitude of fun will lead to the best shots.
What Can You Do With Family Photos?
- Create a photo blanket
- Make a gallery wall with canvas prints
- Put them on a custom calendar
- Show them off on a customized phone case
The Bottom Line
With the right attitude and implementation, you can capture the most special memories in your family’s history. You will never regret having too many photos of all of the best moments in life.