Family portrait sessions
Family portrait sessions are a new venture for me but one that I have been interested in getting into for a while. Compared to the portrait and couple photoshoots they are more exciting, funny and even a little bit chaotic.Here are some of the lessons I had to learn when it comes to outdoor family portraits.
What's your name?
This might not be as important but if you are like me, you might want to ask the names of everyone and memorise them before the shoot. This way it would be easier to prompt different people and get everyone to be involved when needed. I must admit I am not great at remembering names when I first meet someone.
Location, location, location
Make sure you check the photoshoot location beforehand. Think about lighting and shadows and what would be best to set as background. Think of the poses and where would they go better. Make a list in your mind (or on paper/phone) and don't forget to have ideas for both an overcast day and a bright sunny day! I can't stress enough how important it is to know where the shoot will take place. When there are children involved is best to be prepared in all the areas you can. And don't forget they like to run around so keep safety in mind!
Timing is everything
When I want to talk about timing I don't mean being punctual: you should be there before anyway! I am referring to choosing the right hour for the shoot! The right time of the day can depend on weather, sun light, clouds, season and even events.Makes sure the light is not too harsh - it's not easy to always find the right tree or building to shoot under and direct sunlight may cause unflattering shadows in portraits.If you already know the location (which you should) check if there are any events going on or construction sites open when you are shooting - we don't want people staring or ruining the background.If it's not an overcast day, and sun is shining bright then think about the famous Golden Hour (right before the sunset) or shoot from a lower angle so the sun is behind the people and expose for shadows. (and don't forget a lens hood)
Focus on what is important
When there are many people around and you are switching between shooting kids with dad and then kids with mum and so on, focus on what's in front of the camera. It's easy to get distracted by the cute child running behind you while you are shooting the parents, but it's best to notice the lens flare or the bin at the right of the frame, or that the camera didn't focus the first time.I recommend using the Continuous Shooting Mode to get at least one shoot with everyone's eyes open. And use a higher aperture than the 1.8-2.8 of a standard portrait session :)