5 Tips for Family Photography in Which EVERYONE Looks Good
Jan 18, 2018 | By: Family Photographer - Irene Abdou Photography, LLC
Have you ever felt like you have to take 100 family pictures to get just 1 good one? That in the other 99, one or more people are looking in the wrong direction or for one reason or another simply don't look good? If this sounds like your typical family photography experience, then here are five tricks to remember for your next professional family portrait session so that you end up with a large collection of family photography in which EVERYONE looks good!
1) Don't talk or look at your child(ren), or stick your hands out to get your child's attention, when your family photographer is trying for a portrait in which everyone is looking at the camera.
Imagine that you and your spouse are sitting on a bench with your 8-month old child in your lap. You're both looking at the camera, but your baby is more attracted to his or her toes. Your family photographer is trying to get your baby's attention, but it doesn't seem to be working. Naturally, you feel a sudden urge to look down at your child and talk to him/her. Maybe you even stick your hand out in front of him and start snapping your fingers. But don't! If you do that, then right when your child looks at the camera and your family photographer presses the shutter button, your baby now looks amazing, as maybe does your spouse. But you... you are looking down with your mouth wide open mid-sentence and hand sticking out mid-snap... and alas, family photography ruined!
So the trick to perfect family photography with everyone composed and looking at the camera, is to simply hold your smile and gaze, and let your family photographer do all the attention-getting. It may take a while, but eventually, your child will look up, and right when s/he does, everyone will be looking just perfect. (To help this process along, what you could do is gently bounce your child while still looking at the camera and smiling... no talking or singing!)
2) Go with the flow by looking at the same thing your child is looking at.
After several minutes of trying, if your family photographer still can't get your child's attention, then try going with the flow by looking in the same direction your child is looking in. The trick is for everyone to be "together." You don't want one person looking left, another looking right, and a third at the camera, etc. To get a feeling of "togetherness" in the family photography, you all need to be engaged with each other. So if your child is looking left, all of you should look left. Alternatively, if your child is looking left, you can both look at your child, or mom can look at your child, and dad can look at mom.
3) When trying to attract your child(ren)'s attention, stand behind your family photographer with your eye level as close to your professional photographer's eye level as possible.
Your child(ren) will respond best to your voices. So when your family photographer is capturing portraits that don't include you, you can help to get your child(ren)'s attention, not by calling them from the sidelines, but by standing immediately behind or next to your family photographer. If yourprofessional photographer is crouching, then you'll need to crouch too so that as your children track your voice and look in your direction, they will also be looking directly at the camera.
4) Play or interact with your child(ren).
In addition to more "formal" family photography in which everyone is looking at the camera, you'll also want some more candid looking images. Interact with your child(ren) by hugging, kissing, and playing with them, whether by throwing them in the air, playing airplane, holding them upside down, etc. You know how your children like to play with you! This is also a great time for your professional family photographer to capture the smiles on your children's faces that just melt your heart away!
5) Don't lose your cool.
Let's face it. Children have minds of their own, and as a parent, it's easy to get frustrated when you really want amazing family photography, but you feel that your children are being super rowdy or otherwise uncooperative. Whatever you do, don't lose your cool by yelling or shouting at your children. You want everyone to be feeling jubilant and happy, and shouting at your children is a sure way to dampen the energy of everyone involved. Instead, allow your professional photographer to go with the flow. Let your children be as explorative (if outdoors) or rowdy as they want as your family photographer follows and captures action images. Then, after they've released some of their energy, you can all try again for more directed family portraits.
Each year your children age, the memories of the previous year become ever more precious. By the time your children have grown, married, and have families of their own, the memories of their childhood - and the family photography that encompasses it - have become absolutely priceless.