Great family pictures are something every family holds as precious. Photography skills are something most people find an appreciation for, especially when looking at the photos taken over the years. Discovering recent family pictures in boxes put away in my basement, it came to my attention how precious pictures are to a family. It was obvious that these were mostly not professional prints. Another thing occurred to me, that as time went on the pictures became better. Here are a few tips I have discovered to help everyone take better pictures.
- A good digital camera with memory cards is essential today. You can take an abundance of pictures and simply delete the ones you do not want.
- A sturdy tripod so the usual “missing person” can be in the scene.
- A good photo-editing program installed on your computer will help with editing, cropping and making for further creativity.
Have a plan:
- Try to be sure the family has eaten so they will not be cranky.
- Dressing in a theme will bring the picture together when doing a group.
- Have props, especially for energetic children. Attention spans for children are short.
- If you are taking outside pictures, check the weather forecast. If the pictures will be inside look around the area and if the lighting is not ideal add lighting or adjust your camera settings.
- A downloadable cheat sheet from Digital Camera World gives ideas on lighting problems.
Make the shoot fun:
- If the shoot is at a family function the fun should be already be part of the scene. Take candid pictures during family interactions. Generations reflected in family photos are endearing.
- When a group is gathering, squishing in close can be humorous making smiles spontaneous.
- If you are smiling and having fun, it will make a difference when your subjects reflect your attitude.
Avoid background distractions:
- De-clutter the shoot area. Things like papers, tools, displaced items can distract from the subject.
- Watch out for the family ‘Photo bomber’. There are always the family members that will place the bunny ear fingers over someone’s head or the goofy cousin that is famous for the tongue out pose.
- Focus on the eyes or other focal point to get clearer pictures.
- Use your editing computer program to be creative.
- Cropping, color enhancing and playing with the different effects within the program came make family pictures even more enjoyable.
Get your camera and keep it close. This will enable you to catch the unexpected memories. Have fun taking family pictures. The reward will be even better later when you are going through the pictures laughing, crying and cherishing the forgotten precious moments.