Natural family portraits- get 7 great tips
How to get natural family portraits of your children is a question a lot of people ask me. As a professional family photographer and also as a mum of three young children I can give you some great advice on how to get the real natural family portraits you are after. If you shoot it yourself on a daily basis or if you go to a professional photographer for your family photo session.
It is great to have professional family photos taken of your family and I do see many families come back regularly to update their family photos. There are so many other moments in between though you would like to capture as a parent. From experience I have with all the family portrait sessions I do in the photo studio or on location I realised that most parent don’t know how to take a decent photo of their children.
Read further all the tips for natural family portraits
Read this post to get a selection of great tips to help you take better natural family portraits of your children. Let me know which tip worked the best to photograph your children. Feel free to leave some comments below.
Relax.. really just relax. Try not to force kids to smile, if you are trying to desperately to pull smiles out of them, you only created forced, unnatural, inauthentic smiles. If you relax, they relax, if you are patient and just go with what happens, they will follow you and give you what you are looking for, a real honest natural smile.
Don’t say CHEESE
The moment kids hear the word CHEESE they go into this fake smile and put on their picture face. Tell them a crazy story, do something silly being the camera to make them laugh. This will give you more natural family photos. Do anything that makes them laugh loud but do not say CHEESE
Be on their eye level
A big mistake I see everyone make is to take family photos from your eye level. Often that does not result in natural family portraits as you are much taller than your children. Lower yourself and be on their level, or for more creative family shots go really low and lay down with your belly on the grass and get a complete different perspective of them.
Focus on the eyes
Make sure you have the most important part of the face on focus. If your camera can control the focus, aim that on your child’s eye. You can often find the focus point as a cross or dot or square in your viewfinder of your camera. If you notice that something else is more sharp than the eye(s) go back and take the image again, re focus and point on the eye.
Make sure that the brightest part is the face
You might not have realised it, but when you look at family photos or any image, your attention will go to the brightest part of the image. So avoid really bright object next to them, even a bright white t-shirt can pull away the attention of the face. When checking out your portrait of your family just squint slightly with your eyes, tell me what jumps out, that is the brightest part. I should be the face. Another great tip is to hold the image upside down. What do you see, again your eye will go to the brightest part of the photo. Adjust this if you need to.
Get the exposure right
Now we are getting quite technical, but what I mean by get your exposure right to create natural family portraits, is to make sure that what should be black is black what white is should be white.
You probably all have experienced taking photos into the sun or into a bright background. The camera wants to compensate for all this light and will make your subject- your child- dark. How to avoid this? Either change position so the background is not so light, or use a flash or more technical; look up how to use the ‘Exposure Compensation dial’ often called ‘AE lock’ on your camera. Make the right adjustments, in case of your children being too dark dial it up so overall the image will be brighter. This will have a big influence your success to create natural family portraits.
Check the background
Make sure you check the background, what else will be in your image? You want the attention on your family only. A general rule is, the more simple the background the more your children stand out from it. If you have a lens that can help blur the background (* for the technical people: using a wider aperture) that will work great. If you don’t have a fancy lens, just move away to somewhere you have less distracting things in the background.
Also check out if there are no poles behind them so they appear as a big stick on the top of their head.
Hope you have enjoyed these 7 tips of how to create natural family portrait of your children. Remember too the best camera is the one that you got with you.
Book your natural family portraits:
Find out more about professional family photography photos I can do for you, check out the family portrait gallery, for more advice or to book in your professional family photography session with lots of natural smiles contact ME Photography via our contact page or give us a call on 0434 242 999 now.
For some great ideas for kids clothing for your shoot check out the shop Wear Kids Play