Family Portrait Photography Secrets

When it comes to family portrait photography, everyone with a digital camera fancies themselves equipped enough to capture that perfect memory. This may be true as the perfect memory may not be taken with perfect technique, however a decent understanding of portrait photography will go a long way towards ensuring this happens. In this article I will outline some tips and insider secrets which professional photographers utilise every day, yet are still relevant to the amateur photographer.

When considering your shot, the background can be just as important as what is in your foreground. Try and pick a background which will add more emphasis to your focal point; you can do this by finding backdrops which have a repetitive nature (e.g. sky, bushes, wall etc). Doing this will create less interest in the background, and hence highlight the people in your foreground as the focal point. Avoid if possible taking your portrait in front of landmarks; family portraits are meant to place all focus on the people within the shot, and landmarks will take away from this. Another effective technique when it comes to background is framing, which means creating a border around your subjects to further emphasise their importance within the photograph. A good example of a framing device is a doorway or archway.

After deciding on your background, next you need to consider your foreground. Depending on the amount of people in your shot, the placement of each individual can be important towards creating a symmetrical feel, and potentially heightening any relationships you may be trying to create in your portrait. You may decide to include family pets in the photo as well, but be warned that their presence can make the actual photography part much more difficult if they won’t stay still.

Now you have to carefully consider the lighting in your shot. If taking your portrait indoors, then make sure you use the flash on your camera. If taking outdoors try and utilise the Sun’s natural light, which is generally at its best at either early morning or late afternoon. If taking your portrait in the shade, then it is probably a good idea to make use of the flash here as well. Lighting can go a long way towards creating the perfect family portrait, so make sure you get it right.

The most guaranteed way towards capturing the perfect family portrait is to take multiple photos and check your digital camera’s LCD screen for any possible mistakes. Taking multiple photos will increase your chances of getting the perfect one, while compensating for any errors you might miss when reviewing the shot on your digital camera. You should also take into account any post-shot touch ups that might be needed, such as cropping on the outsides of the photo. Cropping means cutting of sections of the photo (generally this can add more symmetry to your photo, or take out any irrelevant parts), so make sure you leave enough space on each side of the portrait to ensure no-one loses an arm later on.

Whether taking your portrait indoors or somewhere in the beautiful landscapes found in Perth make sure you take advantage of these tips, as they will go a long way towards ensuring your family portrait is as perfect is it can be.