A family photograph is a classic portrait of a family taken in a studio or some other room or interior. This type of portrait is designed to capture a significant family event.
Family portraiture is an excellent and exciting tradition that is very popular in society. The practice itself is rooted in the distant past when a person began to understand his/her significance in culture, feel himself an integral part of this society, and see a family’s value.
Many different art objects have survived to this day, which emphasizes the family’s critical role for a person at all stages of society’s development. The most interesting here can be the paintings of great artists who devoted much time and attention to family portraits.
Unlike painting, family photography is the simplest and easiest way to satisfy a person’s natural desire – to perpetuate the memory of oneself and one’s loved ones. Continuing the tradition of pictorial portraits and borrowing from the artists, the foundations of the composition, the graphic style and posing options, photography had the main distinctive feature, which expressed its historical and documentary functions – realism.
For many years the style and development of family photography were influenced by painting, from which she borrowed a lot and the problem of prolonged exposure. All the first family portraits were staged. Moreover, photographs of children, especially small ones, were generally rare. Children’s faces and figures were often blurred, especially in group portraits such as those of William Edward Kilburn, the first photographer to be honored to be the Photographer of Her Majesty and His Royal Highness Prince Albert.
In today’s world, photography has become more imminent, and the photographer is endowed with certain roles that bring the process’s overall success.
“Do not miss” blinking.
A photo where there are only two or three people in the frame can be resumed as many times as possible, and most importantly, it will not tire anyone. If one is photographing a large group of people, then it isn’t easy to choose the moment when everyone will look at the camera simultaneously, and at the same time, their expressions will be natural. Someone will undoubtedly close their eyes at the moment of the flash or even turn away. In this case, professionals use the high-speed shooting method, after which they choose the best option and process it in Photoshop. However, this is a rather laborious task. For a photo with many people to please all participants in the process, a photographer needs to be more careful in the filming process. Try to capture people’s movement in the frame and the blinking before the press of the shutter button. In practice, photographers very quickly assess conditions and know when to capture the right moment.
Cheer people up and joke with them
A good joke on time and in the right place will help relieve tension in the team, and sincere emotions and laughter will remain captured in the frame. Come up with something original; do not limit it to the traditional “sy-s-s-rr.” Invite people to try new poses, such as “statues of love” or “living pyramids,” making them jump and spin. Use all the tricks to make the photo bright and unusual, and most importantly, filled with unbiased emotions.
Sharp foreground – blurred background
Aperture priority is the most commonly used mode for portraits. Choose several apertures that will make people’s faces look sharp and the background blurred. But sometimes, even with an aperture of f2.8, the background can be blurred and the face of a person located closer to the edge of the frame. It isn’t easy to get a clear image when people are at different distances from the photographer. In this case, one needs to take several test shots at different exposures. Try to set the shutter speed slightly lower than the maximum, be sure to view the results obtained on the camera monitor, depending on this, change the aperture value up or down. Some professionals even measure the distance at which sharpness begins to fade.
Don’ts when taking portraits
What needs to be done is described above. But it is also worth remembering what not to do.
Don’t forget about settings.
Before proceeding directly to photographing, check and, if necessary, change all the basic camera settings. Light sensitivity (ISO) as low as possible, adjust the aperture, shutter speed, white balance, set, if conditions require, exposure compensation, and image quality. The neglect of this mandatory procedure can lead to irreversible consequences. Just imagine how portraits will turn out if the camera has default settings for landscape. Keep in mind that outdoor shooting conditions will be different than indoors.
Please don’t fail to prevent people from trying to tilt their heads onto each other’s shoulders and hug each other.
This pose is more typical for amateur photography, while a professional photographer will never allow this under any circumstances. Most people mistakenly believe that tilting their head onto the shoulder of someone next to them will do better. However, it is not. And the hands on the shoulders make the perception of the frame visually heavier.
Don’t be negative
In no case, do not say during the shooting that the frame did not work out. Instead, exclaiming joyfully, “Great! Now let’s try from a different angle! ” A photographer’s emotions are transmitted to those with whom he/she is in contact. And the way they speak is reflected in the result. If one carries a positive mindset with sufficient confidence, people will willingly pose, and he/she will end up with great shots.
The top tip for family portraits is: be creative. Go beyond classic portraits. Today, outdoor portraits in natural light and natural poses are relevant. Don’t choose overly dressy clothes; instead, emphasize the happiness and warmth of the relationship. Be mindful of the number of people being photographed. When shooting a large group of people, shoot them in pairs. This will allow the combination of photos of family members into a compelling collage. And it will look much better and more creative than the usual group photo.