Sunday, July 8, 2012

Take your own Family Portraits

Around the time that I had my fourth child, I decided that I was not happy with the way that professional photographers took family pictures.  Now, I know there are some very talented photographers out there, but I got sick of them trying to fit all of our family into the picture (Mr. Right is very tall, I am short, and the kids are everywhere in between) and get the kids to smile.  We'd always end up with unhappy looks on some one's faces or we would have an odd set up.  I'm sorry, I am a whole foot shorter than Mr. Right, so it doesn't look right to have me at the same level as him!

So, I started taking pictures of my kids myself.  Of course, I've had my fair share of disasters, but not anymore than the professional have.  Plus, I can wait until they are all in a good mood!

Of course, after my newest niece was born, I couldn't resist trying to get some good portraits of her, so I shot away.  This is my favorite:
What do you think?  It thing it's so adorable, but of course I could be a little partial!  Here are few of my tips for taking your own good family portraits:

  1. Make your whole family pose for a family photo (including yourself - use the self-timer) EVERYWHERE you go!  I have two reasons for this: 1) They get used to always posing for the group shot, so it's no big deal. 2) You have a ton of photos to choose from to use as that one great portrait.
  2. When you see a beautiful sight, grab one of your family members to just do shots of them.  They feel special, and again, you will often get just that right photo.
  3. Take lots of shots!  Close up, far away, from the side, even from behind (I love shots of the kids walking away hand-in-hand!)  I took at least 20 bad shots of the above to get that one good one.
  4. Study pictures that are taken by others and decide what you like about them.  Then emulate it.  I found the shot above on Pinterest by doing a search for baby photos.  
  5. Have fun with it!  Last summer, I took tons of pictures of everyone in the family, even Grandma, in those goofy signs that you put your face through at zoos and fairs, etc.  Everyone giggled every time they found one somewhere, because they knew it was coming... the big photo shoot!

Goofy signs - OK so these aren't the portraits for blowing up on your wall, but it was fun for the kids and I was able to easily make them stand next to a pretty flower since they endured could do this humiliation fun time!
Although, I am not a professional, I do get a ton of compliments on my photos.  I hope some of these tips can help you down the path and challenge of saving money, by taking your own family portraits.   Be sure to check out those blogs on the right column that I love to link up to.  What other tips do you have?