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How to shoot your family (with a camera)!

Let’s pretend summer is here and you are planning holidays and days out with the kids. Hopefully you’ll be taking your camera along for the ride.

Of course, we all have the most adorable children on the planet, and wish to capture those smiley (or grumpy) little faces forever.

As parents we are generally in a privileged position of capturing our children at their most natural, however they don’t always want to play ball and neither in fact do the grown-ups!

If you’ve been following the photography pages over the past few months you’ve hopefully picked up some tips, but here are some especially for getting the best out of your subjects:

  • When photographing an individual it’s usually best to turn your camera on its side. People tend to be long & lean, so to allow them to ‘fill the frame’ you’re better off shooting in ‘portrait orientation’ hence the name.
  • If you’re outdoors on a sunny day (It is possible!), take your subject into the shade. You’ll get a more even light and reduce the contrast between bright highlights and dark shadows. There is also less chance of sweaty faces and squinting eyes!
  • Strike a pose! It may seem uncomfortable to ask, but try directing your ‘models’ to add a little interest. It’s really not flattering to present your body straight on to the camera. Here are 3 things I say time and again on portrait shoots: “one foot in front of the other, hands on your hip and dip your shoulder slightly”. I can’t think of a portrait sitting where I haven’t said, “drop your chin slightly”!
  • Photographing Indoors? It’s nice to use natural light, so take your subject near a window where the light is falling on the subject. If it’s extremely bright, move the subject further into the room.

    • Check Focus: you may have experienced this when photographing a couple of people and the camera focuses on the gap between their heads, rendering them fuzzy! Just check where exactly your camera is focusing.


  • Photographing Groups: It may seem obvious, but when photographing in groups try to make a nice shape with the people. Put the tallest at the back, and make sure you can see everyone’s face. Be sure to take a few shots, as there is inevitably one person with their eyes shut in one of the pictures. Also, somewhat harder is to make sure you have everyone’s attention and engagement in the shot!

If you’re not up to the challenge yet, I can be booked for a family portrait session in the comfort of your own home or a local park. Special Reader Offer: 20% off all family portrait packages. Quote MPC

If there is anything specific that you want to cover please let me know.

AJE photography Amanda Eatwell

07798 837969         www.ajephotography.com

[email protected]

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