Who doesn’t want their family to have multiple, fun portraits at several different places, especially with all family members present? We all tend to cherish the mementos of those family moments that are special to us. The same pictures will then serve as nostalgia not just for years to come but for generations!
Even though we all want these photos taken, barely any of us take the time and effort to hire a professional photographer for such events and set aside a day (which we should do, from time to time). If such an option is not available in some cases, is it possible to take our family portraits ourselves? You can! Below are all the things you need, and the steps you need to follow to come up with a treasured family portrait.
First things first, you need to have a certain kind of equipment to take these photographs. If you are thinking of doing it with your phone camera, that is really not going to happen. What you can do is borrow a digital SLR camera with the appropriate lens from a friend and get to work!
In other gear, you also need a tripod and a remote to control your camera’s shutter. The tripod is important to manage the height of the camera at the level you want and to make sure it is steadier
Your usual messy drawing room area will definitely not serve as the best backdrop for your photographs. Either make sure to set aside a wall in your house, perhaps one that does not have too many unaesthetic distractions, or do the shoot outdoors.
In case you are on vacation somewhere and would like to take a portrait at the spot, find a view that is most representative of the vacation spot- the sea at a relaxing beach-front vacation, perhaps, an architectural masterpiece on a culture-rich holiday
Fast Shutter Speed
Well, it goes without saying but this is not the time to play around with aperture or the shutter speed. Set the exposure to a level that does not need the shutter to stay open for too long. The longer it stays open, the more the chances of your pictures turning out blurry. This is especially important to consider if you have little ones around who find it hard to be still!
Put Someone in the Frame Beforehand
When setting up the camera contraption, make sure there is at least one person who is already placed in the frame you want to capture. If someone is there, it would be easy to use them as a meter to focus on via manual or auto-focus settings.
If there are all adults in your family who can listen to instruction, make them get in the frame so the picture is already planned before it is taken. Leave some room for yourself and remember to hide the camera in your hand as the camera takes its usual 3 seconds to prepare you for the capture.
Take a few test shots to check if your photo is turning out the way you want. This is an optional step, but it gives you the chance to make some tweaks here and there before the final photographs are taken.
Take Lots of Photos
Once your equipment is set up, the frame and the subjects set in place, and the remote is in your hand, take several shots with everyone facing the camera. Once those pictures are out of the way, plan another shot and be creative with it! Don’t forget to take several shots of each pose so there can be at least a few viable options to choose from in the end.
Don’t Expect Perfection
Well, it all rather depends on your definition of perfect. If you want your family portrait to be formal with everyone dressed up to their most sophisticated selves, you better hire a professional photographer to make that happen. Otherwise, if you think a few silly grins and closed eyes add to the character of your family, take that fun family portrait! It will only add to the organic nature of the picture.
Make it an Event!
Taking a family portrait requires plenty of time. Unless you have a professional photographer hired to make sure the shoot is a wrap in a short amount of time, it may even take the whole day! We would suggest making the most of it by dressing up, taking some free time out, and going in with a will to enjoy some quality family time.
This way, the setting up of equipment and the actual planning will add a fun aspect to the memory of the photograph. You could even save some bloopers to look at later.
We would be lying if we said no touch-up is required later. Even if you end up with the best photo representation of your family, it may need some color-grading and other edits before printing or uploading. This is a job best left to an expert. If you already have a photographer, they will make sure your photos are edited to perfection without taking anything away from them.
Whatever you decide, make sure the entire family is interested in the event and that they go in with a positive mindset. If you are happy, your cheerfulness will shine through the photographs and make them turn out even better. The aesthetics are important, but your disposition matter more.
If you are located in or near the Greensboro area and want your family portrait taken, you can count on Doug Burke Photography to know just what to do. Call us at 336.486.9932 and book your day now!