How to shoot stylish family photos
Taking a cracking family portrait can be done in your own back garden or living room. Finding a neutral background or blurring it out with a wide aperture, such as f/4 or wider, is crucial to avoid nasty distractions.
Things such as washing lines, hanging baskets or garden tools in the background take the emphasis off the family and will make your pictures look messy, so have a good tidy up before you even think about pulling out your camera.
Lighting couldn’t be simpler, even on overcast days. Just a single silver, white or gold reflector will bounce enough light back towards your family without the need for any flash. Natural light also feels warmer and less sterile than flash and is much easier to control.
Get the light right
Shooting family photos in natural light without having to worry about flash is a pure pleasure and using a reflector can make you look and feel like a real pro.
Without bouncing some light back towards your family you’ll get harsh shadows around the eyes and wrinkles, which isn’t very flattering.
Get your family facing away or at an angle from the sun, bouncing the light back towards their faces. This will reduce squinting and light the scene more evenly. Meter from the bright parts of the face.
Do this by switching to Centre-weighted Average or Spot metering and close in on the cheeks or forehead to get a reading. Switch to Manual or Aperture Priority mode for best results.
The best portrait focal length is around 35mm to 55mm. If space is a restriction, 35mm will enable you to take full-length and three-quarter portraits as well as flattering head shots.
If you’re using a zoom you’ll have the best of both worlds – wider angles for full-length shots and telephoto for close-ups.
PAGE 1: How to get natural-looking family photos
PAGE 2: How to take family action photos
PAGE 3: How to direct family photo shoots
PAGE 4: How to capture candid pictures of family
PAGE 5: Getting the best from your family
PAGE 6: Group family photos: how to keep them engaged
PAGE 7: How to shoot stylish family photos
PAGE 8: How to shoot baby portraits