How To Shoot Family Portraits Outdoors - Behind the Scenes Photoshoot

How to Set up a Family Portrait


Finding a Location

  1. Shoot at the 8 AM or 5 PM for the best lighting.If you’re planning for an outdoor shoot, mornings and evenings will have the least harsh sunlight. Overcast weather is the most ideal since it blocks direct sunlight. 5 PM is referred to “the golden hour” and is used by many photographers.
  2. Take photos indoors to avoid unpredictable weather.If you don’t feel like dealing with changing weather, plan for an indoor shoot. Whether it be in a studio or a public place, be sure the indoor environment has lighting that allows you to see the subjects of the photo but does not overexpose them.
    • If possible, bring some of your own lights to better control the final outcome of the photos.
  3. Keep the background simple.Remember that the focal point of the photos should be the members of the family. Try to avoid busy backgrounds that draw the eyes away from faces that contain horizontals or lines that pull the eyes away from the family.
    • For indoor shots, try to shoot in bedrooms or living rooms with minimal amounts of furniture.
    • When shooting outdoors, try to use fields or tree lines as backgrounds.
    • If you use a shallow depth of field, backgrounds will blur more and it will bring more focus to the family.
  4. Hang a sheet to use as a backdrop.Using a monochromatic sheet will create a simple backdrop for your photos. Ensure there are no wrinkles as these will be distracting.

Setting up the Shot

  1. Ask everyone in the family to wear coordinating clothing.Your family doesn’t have to be wearing the same color clothing, but make sure the color schemes are complementary of one another. For example, yellows and purples work well with one another, so pick clothing out that follows this scheme.
    • Determine if you want formal or casual photos and select outfits from there. If you want both, bring a change of clothes for each member of the family.
    • Don’t wear loud or distracting shirts since these will draw the eye of a viewer when you display them.
  2. Start by taking candid poses.This is where individual personalities really shine in portraits. Ask the family to tell jokes or interact with one another while you have the camera on and ready to take their photos discretely. Doing this helps warm up the family to posing later on.
    • Plan for candid photos so you can keep the camera on and ready at all times.
    • To promote play and fun, bring props and toys for children to play with while you take photos.
  3. Transition into posed photos.Get the family cozy with one another to avoid awkward spacing. Get close together when posing for a portrait. This allows everyone to fit into the frame if you have a large family.
    • Try to fit everyone in a straight line. Ensuring that everyone is in a line will help everyone be on the same depth of field so no one goes out of focus.
    • Put taller people in the center of the line and shorter people at the edges of the group. If you need to make two rows, have the taller family members stand in the back and the shorter members in front.
    • Stagger the height of your family’s heads. Keep eyes moving through a portrait by having the members of the family at different levels.
  4. Find fun poses that fit the family.Whether it’s an entire family squeezed onto a couch or seated around a dinner table, let the family have fun and create unique photos they will want to display.
    • Consider using outdoor playgrounds to your advantage. Kids will love to play on these and it can generate fun poses on swings or monkey bars.

Taking the Photos

  1. Use a tripod.This will help every photo taken from one location to look the same without any variance or shake. It will help your shoot go quicker and aid in posing the family.
  2. Avoid having the family look towards the sun.This is almost a guarantee to have members of the family squinting and too harsh of light on their faces. Try to have them at an angle to the sun or wait for cloud coverage.
    • Don’t point the camera towards the sun, otherwise you run the risk of lens flare and multiple shadows.
  3. Use a fast shutter speed to avoid motion blur.Families, especially those with kids, will move around a bit. Using a faster shutter speed will help capture the moments without any blur or distortion to the photos.
  4. Take multiple photos of the same pose.Inevitably, there will be an individual who blinks or isn’t smiling, so always take at least 5 pictures of the same pose. Try to capture the perfect moment for the family.
    • Advise everyone in the photo to tilt their head slightly up to avoid any accidental double chins.
  5. Make the family smile by using funny sayings.Everyone wants to convey a happy family photo, so ensuring everyone is smiling will make family photos go smoothly. For families with young children, try saying funny words like ‘Cheese!’ or ‘Pickles!’ to get a natural smile from them.
    • If you smile while taking the photo, it will help promote the rest of the family to smile as well!

Video: On Camera Lighting for Family Portraits | Lighting 101

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Date: 10.12.2018, 18:14 / Views: 83433