CC Photography in Iso Series - #1 Family Portraits at Home

April 16, 2020  

Camera Creations’ is back with our CC eNews features!  

Introducing a series of expert photography tips at home. Let’s face it we are all looking at things a little differently at the moment. So why not take a break and focus on some fun - there’s never been a better time to learn something new! And who doesn’t love a great photo, right?

The first topic in our Photography in Isolation Series: 7 Steps to Capture Family Photos at Home Like a Pro!
If you have an actual camera, now’s your chance to use it. Although even if you don’t - many of these tips can be applied to your phone camera as well.


7 Steps to Capture Family Photos at Home Like a Pro

Step 1: So How Do We Look? 

When it comes to portraits - personal presentation is #1. Clean faces for kids, tidy hair, and neutral coloured clothing work wonders. Avoid patterns and distracting logos on tees, consider matching your outfits with each other - white/pastel tops and blue jeans are a classic. Also, consider your background (see step #2)


Step 2: Click Into Place 
Knowing where to position your family for their portrait is crucial. Your background choice is important and natural light is king! 

  • Indoors - a plain background such as a wall facing a window is ideal. Remove distractions and clutter that might take away attention from your family.

  • Outdoors, lots of greenery behind works well or perhaps seated on the back steps, but again - always avoid anything busy or distracting in the background. Ideally, choose a time of day when the light is behind you (the photographer) and softly lighting your family’s happy faces.


Step 3: Posing & Composing   
This can take some practice and the ease of the shoot will depend on your experience, the size of your family and the ages of the children! Prepare and research some poses beforehand. 

Also, many Photographers use a basic rule of composition to form triangles when posing groups of three or more ensuring you have even spacing between heads. Large family poses are often made by starting with a basic triangle and building additional triangles outward as you add people to the group. 

Thankfully social distancing can take a back-seat when capturing your household family members - so get everyone in nice and tight, take wider shots to include the entire body, shoot from the waist up or why not try a tightly cropped shot with head and shoulders only?

Step 4: Wrangle Some Angles 
Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different angles, likewise have your family positioned at various levels to fill the frame and make your portraits look more interesting. Feel free to get down low or stand on a (safe) step ladder and have your family look up at you - explore the possibilities!

Step 5: Babies & Fur-babies
They say “never work with animals or children” and sometimes, as you set up your family portrait, this saying might run through your head. They also say patience is a virtue so don’t give up! Try squeaky toys, treats (AKA bribing) and funny noises to get some smiles and eye contact from your little ones and pets...good luck.  

Step 6: Lights, Camera, Action...Or Are You Joining In?
You should be set up and good to go. But if you want to be in the photo as well, then this is where a clever position for your phone or a tripod for your camera and the self-timer comes in handy.
Set up your spot (in the photo), set the timer and RUN into position! Wait an additional 3 seconds before running back to the camera so you don’t risk missing the shot.  

Step 7: Have Fun = the BEST Portraits 
Let kids be kids, make jokes, laugh and chat throughout your session. Often this can make the winning shot - if correctly composed, with good lighting and natural expressions.

Practice and capture lots of images - you want to avoid blinks and fast and furious is the way to go. No-one wants to sit for ages waiting for their picture to be capture as many as you can and choose the best from the bunch.

Now You’re Focused and Ready to Roll!
So now you have some tricks of the trade to help you capture your family portrait. Of course, the size of your family and whether there are small children or animals involved will make all the difference. And always, practice makes perfect. 

I’d love to know if you’ve ‘given this a shot’! Send me your favourite family portraits and let me know if you have any questions or fun stories about your photography session. Above all, enjoy the process and the results will be rewarding. 


Want Some More Family Portrait Inspiration?
Here are a few in our Camera Creations Private Events Portfolio and check out this fabulous initiative in the US; Families Posing on their Front Porch for "Porchraits" - Photographers raising funds for local charities and documenting families isolating at home during this historical time.


These are our cute little grandkids hamming it up for the camera at our home portrait session!

More Fun Tips are Only a Click Away, Follow Us! 

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