A good collection of family photos can be used to remind us of events and allow us to share memories: like funeral picture boards, baby showers, weddings, graduations, birthday parties, first communions, baptisms and newborn’s first photos. We all want those perfect family photos to share with friends, family members and maybe even the public. I am writing this as a guide to help you capture the perfect timeless family photos so you can keep those memories. Never leave your camera behind if you do not want to miss that perfect moment.
How to Make Sure You Choose the Right Photographer
There is more to creating a timeless family photo than selecting the right photographer. Investigate your photographer. Learn their photography history. Find out how much experience they have. Meet with your photographer before the big day. You should feel comfortable with your photographer.
How to Make Sure You Are Using the Right Camera
My first professional camera, a Yashica, was purchased second hand at Camera Corner when I signed up for a photography course in college. I looked at the second hand cameras in the glass case and I purchased the camera I wanted. There was no way to tell if the camera worked or not before I purchased it. I started taking pictures. I did not have any problems with the camera so I started purchasing different size lens. I went all out. I was really serious about learning and mastering photography. I was photographing anything anyone wanted me to and I was trying out all my new lens, filters and accessories for the camera. I photographed pictures with different filters to achieve different photo styles. I even purchased a tripod. I was all into it.
I had two family events to photograph. I used my most reliable 400 speed film and set my camera to 400 speed film to photograph the first event, which was deli trays for my mother’s deli. I was making her a display book to show to potential customers when they came in to place orders. The pictures all turned out.
Then I photographed the second event. This is where the problem occurred. I had to photograph my father and stepmother’s fifth year anniversary party. My father gave me 1000 speed film to use. That meant I had to set the camera to 1000 speed film. I took the photographs. When the pictures were developed, they did not turn out. I discovered after the event that the 1000 speed film setting did not work on my camera and that is why the camera had been traded in. I bought someone else’s problems. I was taken advantage of from Camera Corner. To this day I have never purchased another thing from them.
The sad part was the memories from my father and stepmother’s anniversary were lost. I also learned never to use the 1000 speed film setting on my camera again. I still have the camera. I tried to take it to someone to have the 1000 speed film setting repaired and they were not able to repair it. I had a large investment into lens for the camera. I thought about buying another camera so I could still use my lens. I did not want to lose my investment I purchased. The most important tip I can give you is to make sure your camera works and do not make any changes with it when the big family event is happening. Stick with your plan. Test your camera before the family event. If you hire a professional photographer ask them if they have tested their camera.
How to Get the Lighting Just Right
Lighting is very important in capturing a timeless photo. Not too long ago we had a rummage sale. When the sale was over I photographed the things we wanted to sell on Craigslist. I had to move the items all over the inside and the outside of the garage to get the lighting just right to make the items look good. The time of day the picture was taken was important in capturing the right light. The best way to get the lighting just right is to test your camera with different lighting. If you know the location of where you are going to have your pictures taken go there and take test photographs at different times of the day to make sure you capture the right light at the right moment. Use backdrops and umbrellas to create the perfect light. It is important to know when to use flash or natural light. Test your camera beforehand.
How to Get the Right Background
I want to share my experience with having professional photos taken. I went to Picture People in the mall. You have to pay for the pictures before they are taken. I wore a black top. I have dark hair. The girl used a black background. Everything ran together. Try to avoid wearing black or white, these are two popular colors for backgrounds. If you see the photographer using the same color background as the color top you are wearing stop them and ask for a different color background. I did not see the mistake until the pictures were paid for and developed the next day.
The background color was very important in capturing the right moment. I did not redo the photos. Everything turned out except the background color was wrong for the top I was wearing. It all ran together as one. Selecting the right color is very important. If you know where you are going to hang your photos this should help you with choosing the right colors. If you will have a mom and baby in the same photo you should make sure they do not wear the same colors. Try to place people in the photograph next to each other with different colors. Do not place people together in the photograph that are wearing the same colors. The same colors will all run together as one.
How to Get the Whole Family to Have a Genuine Smile
Plan ahead. Do not let anyone in the photograph get their haircut the day before the big day. If anyone needs a haircut have them do it two weeks in advance so their haircut will not look fresh. If anyone is going to color their hair before the big day have them color it one week in advance so there are no color spots on their skin. Eat before you get dressed. No eating after you get dressed and or until the photo shoot is over with. Eating after getting dressed is exactly when an accident will happen. Arrive 15 minutes early, before the photo shoot, so that you have time to relax. Do not fight with family members before you get the family photo taken. Stay calm, relaxed and smile. If people are fighting you will not get a good family photo. Keep it simple.
How to Pose the Family for the Best Possible Composition
Use simple props. Slightly angle the people in the photograph. I was a photographer for the for the college newspaper. I would get praised from the professor when I took a band photo where everyone looked busy. You want to connect the people in the photo so slightly angle them so they look like they are all engaged in action and look busy. If there are small children in the photo limit their distractions so you can keep their attention.
How to Dress the Family for a Timeless and Classic Portrait
If you know what room you are going to hang your photo or photos in it will be easier to choose the colors you need to wear and use for the background. Try to bring three outfits with you to the photo shoot so you can change if you need to. Separate people wearing the same color.
Learn How to Photoshop with Digital Editing
My experience with taking photos goes back to college. I was a photographer for the college newspaper and I was a member of the Green Bay Camera Club. I took college photography courses and I learned how to use a dark room by taking photography courses in college. Cameras have changed from when I first started getting serious about taking photographs.
You still need wide angle lens and zoom lens, ranging from 18 mm to 135 mm, for capturing the perfect photo. Filters will help you cut down on reflection. Test your flash before you take evening photographs.
If you want to make a photo album or scrapbook to look at later then you will need to learn how to use a Photoshop program so that you can edit and make the changes you want. A Photoshop program allows you to use a healing brush tool and a spot healing tool to touch up imperfections like scars, skin blemishes and wrinkles. An image slider will allow you to grab a persons’ attention immediately. Creating your own digital darkroom will allow you to edit your photos. It is also important to learn how to use Adobe Lightroom to edit photos and manage all of your photos.