Family photos are family treasures. They are the best ways to remember important events like holidays, birthdays, and life’s big, and little, milestones. They become a part of your family history.
With the popularity of cell phones, snapping family photos is easier than it has ever been. There is no longer a need to set up or lug around extra equipment, no more relying on your forgetful uncle to bring his camera, you have everything you need right there in your pocket.
From large family gatherings to smaller more intimate moments, you need your photos to capture the memory. By keeping the following tips in mind, you can get perfect shots each and every time.
1) Change Your Perspective
Changing your perspective and camera angle is particularly important when you are photographing children. More often than not, people take pictures of kids from an adult’s perspective. In other words, they take the pictures from a high angle. When you crouch or lower your phone to be at their eye level, you change the image completely. The child or children will appear more dynamic in the photo. Shooting from above can distort body proportion and omit horizon lines. Without a horizon, it can be difficult for a viewer to orient themselves inside the photograph. For more artistic shots, this may be the desired effect but for most portraits or family photos, you will want your viewer to know exactly what they are looking at and a head-on shot can achieve this.
2) Brighten The Faces
When photographing people, faces are the most important part. It is the first place we look as viewers, and it is the place we linger the longest. To make faces stand out, you need to pay attention to the lighting. If the light is too bright or you are out in the sun, try to position yourself and your subjects at the right angle to these light sources. Look at see which way the shadows are being cast. Move yourself away from the shadows and toward the light source, finding the angle that will provide the most light without washing out the faces or making them too dark. Try to make sure the sun is not directly behind you (your subjects will squint) or directly behind your subjects (their faces will appear dark). When you are inside, try to keep the light behind you. Windows give incredible natural light and can make your subjects look lovely and bright but if you are facing it, your photos are likely to lack contrast and appear grainy.
If you are trying to snap a group shot, you may need to use more than one light source. A single light, like a lamp, will make the person closest to the light look bright and the rest of the people will look shadowy. Using a light source close to the camera, like a ring light, will help create a more even light across the entire group so you can clearly see the expressions on everyone’s face.
3) Use Triangles
Photo composition is just as important in group shots as it is in landscapes. The rule of thirds won’t generally work for groups but triangles will. Look for the natural triangles that occur all around you and make them work to your advantage. When you are arranging people, for example, make sure the bottom of the image is the widest. Structuring your poses in this way will make the group look like a cohesive whole and pull the viewer into the image.
4) Edit The Images
When in doubt, edit your images. By adjusting the exposure and the contrast, you can create sharpness in your details and make each face stand out. Family photos that do not clearly show the family members in it, are not going to become the touching keepsakes you hope they will. A few edits in your editing app or in your desktop software and you can make decent photos, great, and great photos, incredible.