Welcome to our highlights reel! This week we had an abundance of love and connection in the Grad’s Group, by way of gorgeous family photos! And so it is our highlights reel is themed around family, with tips and ideas for capturing wall-worthy photos!
To get really authentic, natural looking photos, use posing to create moments of connection. We have a fantastic in-depth tutorial with 20 go to poses that will do exactly this.
But today we’ve got a few key poses to get you started!
When everyone is standing side by side and facing camera, it’s much harder to capture their connection (mainly because it’s much harder for them to actually connect when standing this way!). So get them to turn side on to the lens, and in this pose below, it would be pretty hard for a parent to resist looking at their child and responding to them, giving you some organic moments to capture.
Likewise, how could a couple resist relaxing and responding naturally when facing one another.
Lighting tip: This silhouette was created by exposing the light behind them just bright enough to avoid blowing it out, and this in turn exposes the couple almost in silhouette but we still have detail so we can see their connection.
When you ask a couple to face one another and touch foreheads… they might think you’re crazy But when they do it, the urge to smile and laugh is irresistable and they will love the photo.
Related: 19 Touching Photos Depicting Love
It can be hard for a photographer to elicit smiles from babies and toddlers who are meeting you for the first time. When capturing families with little ones, ask them to do whatever they would normally do at home to get smiles and giggles.
Related: 12 Baby & Toddler Portrait Tips
So how you capture connection in photos? It can be an abstract concept, and how do you capture something that’s not quite tangible?
You create situations that bring it out, then you shoot it. It will come across in your photos, and it really is that easy.
In this shot, the situation is simply that they’re all looking at and talking to one another, they appear relaxed and there are natural smiles all around. It clearly tells us they’re happy to be together, you can sense the love.
Additionally, the way they’re all posed quite close together and holding hands conveys a real sense of real intimacy that says family. So when you bring a family together, encourage them to hold hands, wrap arms around one another, or simply lean a head on a shoulder.
Related: The Ultimate Family Posing Guide
You can’t see the parents faces in this shot, but their hands tell a story of love and protection.
Related: DIY Newborn Photo Session
Not all family photos need to be stopped, posed, and looking at camera (or even at one another).
Capture a family at play, like this one below. It just needs a fast shutter speed to freeze that motion and get them in sharp focus.
Related: Get Sharp Photos of Kids in Motion
This shot is a great idea for a big family. Shake things up with a game of follow the leader and create a shot that has natural depth and loads of interest. Games are also a way to keep a photo shoot fun for the kids and that way you’ll get natural smiles.
Not every portrait has to be looking at the camera. After all… family photos should be about capturing the relationship between the subjects… not their relationship with your lens! In this shot we can’t see their faces or their expressions, but the pose of dad and daughter certainly tells a story.
Related: Storytelling Photography Tips
Your family’s everyday moments and playtime make up the fabric of their lives, so don’t feel you have to pose and set up every shot.
For a shot like this, use a wide angle lens (eg. 18mm to 35mm). This will enable you to include the environment without needing to step back so far your subjects become lost in the frame.
Related: Which Lens Should I Use
Even though they’re special, these everyday moments are the ones we forget. Learn how to capture them without looking like a snapshot by checking out our in depth guide.
Related: Newborn Lifestyle Photography Guide
You may have heard when trying to get focus on groups of people, you need to use an aperture that roughly correlates with the number of people in the group.
You need to throw that one out the window, it’s a total myth! Think about it… by that reasoning, if you had a group of 40 people, you’d have to shoot at f/40, and that isn’t even a thing!
It’s all about focal planes people! In a shot like this one below, even though there’s 11 people you could shoot this at a very wide aperture (eg. f/2) and still get everyone in focus. How? Because they’re all on the same focal plane.
Related: Extended Family Photography Guide
Conversely in this shot there are only 4 people, 7 less than the shot above. But you wouldn’t get them all in focus at f/2 because they’re on different focal planes. Three difference focal planes in fact! The boy in yellow is one one, the two older boys in the middle, then the younger boy on shoulders is effectively behind them all. For a shot like this you’d need to use an aperture of at least f/5 to get them all in acceptable focus.
Related: How to Get Groups in Focus
Light is everything and there’s no better time to shoot ourdoors than during the golden hour. It’s gentle and flattering, and that warm dreamy light adds a dynamic layer to your images like nothing else. And as it happens, we have quite a few handy tutorials on the subject!
For fairy light photos! What better time of year than to get some beautifully festive twinkle light portraits. All you need is a lens with the ability to open up wide, and shoot in manual mode to make sure it exposes exactly right.