Top 22 tips – natural family portraits

It can be difficult to work with a large number of people, especially when it comes to family photography.

Even experienced photographers can benefit from tips on poses, gear, and relationships with family members to create natural family portraits. If you’re not an experienced photographer, there are some ideas for family pictures.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

You will need to gather information before you start thinking of family portrait ideas. This is so that you can make sure your family photo concept matches the given circumstances and family. This is what you need to know before you start thinking about family portrait ideas.

HOW LOCATION FITS WITH YOUR CONCEPT?

You can sketch the location for the shoot ahead of time to get a clear idea of the layout and whether props like chairs are needed.

WHAT GROUPS ARE YOU WORKING WITH?

So you know how many family members will be included in your photo session, it is possible to plan ahead for poses and setting up a shoot.

WHAT ROLES DOES FAMILY HAVE?

If you are part of a larger group, ask about the relationships of family members so you can group them. Also, consider what interactions you should capture and who you should exclude from your inner group.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT GENERATIONS?

It’s a great idea to ask your children, babies, or pets if they have any special needs. Toys, treats, or other props, are very much appreciated.

 

WHAT IS THE DRESSING CODE FOR

If you’re not doing a themed shoot, remind your family to wear solid colors. Also, bring extra clothes for children and babies. You can also point them to this What to Wear for a Photo Session Guide.

TIME TO LOCK UP YOUR GEAR

It’s not a good idea to arrive at the location only to find that you don’t have all the gear you need. Here are some tips and tricks to help you remember what essentials are for family portraits.

  1. Wide-angle lens
  2. Zoom lenses
  3. Shoot in manual
  4. Shoot raw
  5. Shoot in continuous mode
  6. Focus on the Back button
  7. Extra battery
  8. Reflector and white card

Although it might seem overwhelming, some items are necessary to achieve that professional look. We also discussed DIY Family Portraits/Selfies and Professional Photos .

HOW TO WORK WITH YOUR FAMILY

Each family is its own world. You must make an effort to connect with each member of the family and establish a rapport. Also, remember that people’s discomfort will be visible, regardless how well you pose for photos. Take the time to get to know them, and use these tips to make the session more enjoyable and to take great family photos.

MAKE THEM COMORTABLE.

Your first task at the photo shoot should be to build trust with family members so that they feel comfortable around you. Family portraits are best when people are relaxed.

 

DO NOT MAKE THEM POSE FOR A LONG TIME

You will see that traditional posing is an important part of family photography. However, if people are forced to pose for long periods of time, they can feel uncomfortable. It’s just like giving them tips on how to pose for photos. Remember that you’re not working with professional models. Give them a break. If there are children present, this part is also very welcome.

DO INNER GROUPS

It is here that you can prepare and interview the family about their relationships. You can create small groups such as couples, fathers and daughters, mothers, and sons, grandparents, and children to capture their interactions. These photos will be stunning.

FEEL THE MOMENT

People are often not able to understand how to behave in such situations. You will need to encourage them to be close and to show affection. While you might not get the most natural family photos, there are still treasures to be found for your wall and frame.

VIEW THE DETAILS

Detail-orientation is a great way to improve the result. For example, you will notice the untied shoe and hair, the messed up hair from the wind, the unflattering lipstick color, and the dirty clothes. These subtleties can ruin a great photo.

 

MAKE THEM SMOKE

Even if you’re not a great jokester, ask your family members to share a joke. Smiles and laughter are important, but not artificial expressions. Pictures of genuine smiles and laughter are stunning.

POSING TIPS for PHOTOGRAPHERS (GENERAL ADVISICE)

There are many things to remember when it comes to poses, and especially tips for family portraits. Although I believe it is better to provide some guidelines than a specific demand for a pose, you must clearly explain the poses and take photos of your family in them. It’s important that you aren’t too demanding or pushy when explaining things to your clients.

Here are some things to keep in mind when taking a family picture.

SHORTER THE GROUP, LARGER THE ATTENTION SPAN

This is the most important rule to remember. In these situations, you can become too creative and lose focus. Keep your idea in mind, but ensure they are aware. You’ll end up with an untargeted result.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE A PLACE FOR TALLER & SHORTER PEOPLE

For all age groups, the rule is that taller people should be in the center and toward the back. The best position for shorter family members is to be in front and sides.

WHERE TO LOOK?

Wide-angle lenses are a must. But, remember to see the faces of all family members. Don’t allow the group to get too far away from the camera. Keep faces in focus. This is probably the most important tip to get great family photos.

 

CHIN-UP!

It’s not the most popular trick, but it works. Ask clients to slightly extend their chins towards the camera, then to reduce it slightly. You need to be aware of how your clients move during modeling sessions. Not everyone is able to model in the best way.

GROUPING AGAIN

Ask adults to hold babies and toddlers. You will not only be able to capture their intimate energy but also ensure that they don’t run away from the photo.

THE PERFECT PLACE IS HALF OF THE JOB?

It can, but it is not always. You can only focus on poses when the setting is perfect. Before you take a photo, make sure to find a background with soft lighting and an aesthetic backdrop.

YOU’VE REACHED A NEW LEVEL

Literally! Photographing children is easy. Just change the level. Get to their eyeline. Parents usually have their children’s photos taken from a higher perspective. Make sure to adapt your shooting to their activities so that they look natural and unforced.

TRADITIONAL POINTING VS. TRADITIONAL POSING VS.

If you have children, start with the traditional pose. Children are more engaged and attentive at the beginning, so you can take so-called safe photos. After that, you can be creative with less posed photos as well as spontaneous, playful interactions. It is important to be familiar with traditional poses, but not to blindly follow them.

You can see examples of how to capture the interaction between family members in my family photo gallery.

SPECIFIC POSES PERFECT FOR FAMILY PHOTOS

These specific poses work well for larger families and groups.

STANDING OR SITTING, AND MIX IT

Line-up

The first instinct is often right. No matter how many people are involved, line-up is the best and most classic pose for families. This will ensure that your subjects are all equally visible. The aperture will create a blurred background for the pose.

Remind your clients to not stand straight

It is always easier for them to place their hand on their elbows, cross their ankles or bend one leg in the knee.

 

Children first

When taking photos of children and adults, it is a good idea to put the kids first. The children should be in the front row. Adults should be in the back. Make sure the rows are in close proximity. You can then relax and ask the children to jump or make silly faces.

You can line up your subjects while sitting if you have props or a wall. This is also where you can do the standing line up.

Different stages of sitting can be divided into levels

The tallest, such as men, should be kneeling in the last row. The middle row should consist of sitting women, while the front row is reserved to the little ones. This pose is great for combining standing and sitting subjects.

Make a focal point

This is great for families with just one child or a baby. Ask everyone to take a look at the baby. Everyone will be able to take beautiful and emotional photos that they will love to display on their desks.

Rely on your place

You can use all of the natural tools that you have, such as steps, fences and rocks, to create photos that feel natural and where subjects and location are not in conflict.

Photos taken un-posed

After you’re done shooting, take some photos completely unposed. It’s impossible to predict how it will turn out but most people feel relaxed when they know that the time is up.

 

A FEW TRICKS TO POSE FAMILY DEPENDING ON NUMBER OF MEMBERS

While every family is different, each posing rule is unique and dependent on the surrounding family. However, there are some guidelines that can help you to pose your family in a portrait.

FAMILIES OF ONE TO FOUR WITH ONE KIDS

You can either do the classic “hand in hand” pose, where mom, dad, and the child are holding hands, or you can use the scenario in which the kid walks ahead while parents follow. You can place the child on a rock, step, or ledge and have your parents support him. You can make a train with all the family members, in which they sit together. Encourage them to hug, kiss, or lay down, and take photos.

 

FAMILIES OF FIVE – SIX

In the so-called family sandwich, larger groups can look amazing in other poses (train, making rows or combining sitting with standing). Ask them to place their faces at the same height and to press on their cheeks.

HOW TO POSE DIFFERENT FAMILY ROLES

Each member of the family brings something unique to a picture. This posing tip for family portraits will help you to emphasize your role.

MOM AND DAD

You should pay special attention to them as they are the heart of your family. Encourage them to be close to one another and the children. Take photos of mom and dad only in simple positions. Make sure they are next each other on a group picture with uncles and grandparents. If they are only photographed with the children, or on opposite sides.

CHILDREN

Photographing children in their natural environment will help to bring out their creativity and energy. Photographing children is a joy when you capture candid photos.

 

TODDLERS & BABIES

It is crucial to capture the parents’ embraces, the sleeping baby face, while the parents gently look at the baby. It’s all about celebrating the family.

GRANDPARENTS

It is always a good idea to compare the generations when you have a grandparent present at a photo shoot. You should take photos of the grandparents and their grandchildren, as well. You can ask the grandchildren to stand around the grandparents, depending on the occasion.

PETS

They can be stubborn, but they are the best family members. You must take photos of your pet interacting with other members of the family and with all of them. Also, capture your pet’s happiness and energy around family. Pictures of children and pets are especially interesting.

BONUS TIPS – FAMILY PORTRAIT IDEA IDEAS

  1. Although we have already spoken about the importance of location, it is still important to consider whether the location is right for your family. It should not distract from the people.
  2. Avoid taking photos at noon or when the shadows are moving across faces. Always shoot in the evening, or in total shade if possible.
  3. Do it again, even if you think you have taken a great photo. You can still see some details in the post-processing, even if it is too late.
  4. Take close-ups. It should be family-oriented, but candid expressions are great for someone’s wall.
  5. Make sure all faces are visible. Taken from the top, to ensure that.
  6. Check that everyone’s heads are visible. Photographing large groups can be difficult, so make sure everyone is visible in the photo.

Let’s conclude that there is no right or wrong way to do family photography. There are no rules in family dynamics, regardless of how prepared you are. You can only learn and make your own rules. Be patient.

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