8 tips for taking family photos at home

If you are the person usually tasked with taking pictures of family and friends at special events and occasions but your photographic skills leave a little to be desired, take a look at these 8 tips for taking family photos at home. These tips can help you to get the right shot at the right time and produce photos that will make your family smile rather than cringe.

1 Get the lighting right

If you’ve ever watched a professional photographer at work (or had professional photos taken of yourself) you will know just how important it is to get the lighting right. When you are setting up your family photos, help your subjects to understand where the light is and how they need some of that light in their eyes so that their eyes “pop” in the photo. Eyes look their best when they are well lit and catch the light.

2 Use a tripod

It doesn’t matter what type of camera you are using (DSLR, Compact, SmartPhone etc.) it is important to use a tripod if you plan to be in the photo yourself. You can pre-focus the picture on the other subjects, set the timer and slide into the shot without worrying about the camera moving.

3 Use manual focus

Although autofocus works well, when it comes to home portraits you could also try manually focusing on the subjects. This is because once you get into the shot, the camera might get confused and focus in the wrong spot. You can then re-focus when you change the poses.

4 Don’t be too serious

You probably like the majority of your shots to be reasonably serious but do let people have some fun and strike crazy poses for some of the shots. It will make the experience a lot more enjoyable and the results might end up being some of the best photos.

5 Help everyone get into a good flattering pose

Asking people to stand to attention with their eyes looking straight into the camera makes a very dull and boring photo. You can make your photo more interesting by working out and practicing some poses that makes each person look their best.

Think about dress

If your family normally dresses informally, keep it informal. If your family is more formal, keep it formal. However, do feel free to move people around to avoid clashing colours or to avoid colours which blend in together too much.

Stagger the heads

The best family photos offer a variety of things to look at, which is why most professional photographers stagger the heads. It keeps the photo more interesting and naturally takes advantage of the subject matter.

8 Get somebody to help you

Ask someone who is not going to be in the shot to help you. Ideally you want any children to look right at the camera so that their eyes are a main focus in the shot. Your assistant can stay with the camera, grab the attention of the kids and give the family something to look at.

A final word

There is no right or wrong way to take photos.  It’s all about capturing the moment and having fun and so I hope these 8 tips for taking family photos at home have given you the confidence to take on the role of family photographer.

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