Human beings are a visually orientated species. Most of the information that we process is in the form of images – and when it comes to preserving memories, there is no better way to do it then building up a great library of photos of family and friends. However, most of us are not professional photographers and if the truth be told we’re almost always going to rely on the increasingly sophisticated cameras on our mobile phones for our day to day photography. Even if you’re using a semi-professional stand alone camera, it’s often your approach that is going to make all the difference. You may visit www.kristyresselphotography.com for some great samples of photography.
Even technology can have its limitations – often its the person taking the photograph that will make the difference between a great shot and a mediocre one.
So if you’re photographing your family what are some of the tips and tricks that you can use to make sure that your album of family portraits are world class?
#1 Try For A Tripod.
There are some small, portable tripods that can be used even with smartphones. A tripod is a good idea for some reasons. First, it lets you make eye contact with your subjects – that puts them at ease. Nervous subjects don’t make for a great shot.
#2 Heads Up.
It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, but if you want a more interesting and dynamic sort of family portrait then pose your subjects in a way that their heads are at different levels. It may mean using natural props or providing seating but make sure that the top of each person’s head is at a different level to the others in the shot. What you should be aiming for is drawing an imaginary diagonal line from the top of each head to the other.
#3 Avoid the ‘Beanpole’ Look.
Another great tip is to avoid people standing as if they were on a military parade ground. Your body is made to bend. Try to guide your subjects to more natural poses. A bent elbow or a knee on the ground makes for a much more natural look. Natural poses are also great. Hand in the pocket or an elbow on the hip are fantastic, as is one ankle crossed over the other for standing subjects. Another idea is to get one of the subjects to lean on the other – this is a great idea for couples and just gives off that ‘relaxed’ vibe.
#4 Work With The Kids.
There’s nothing more unnatural than a kid staring blank-eyed at a camera lens. Kids will be kids. Allow them to lie on the grass, let them bring a favorite toy into the shot. Let them peek from behind a tree. The key to getting that great kids shot is to let them know that it’s OK to have fun.
Family portraits are a treasured way to store memories, and they should show people and their personalities – these aren’t store mannequins – get your subjects to relax and even have a little bit of fun. The results will be warmer and more personal.