Family Portrait Ideas for Holidays and Events
Family gatherings are ideal times for portrait photography. It’s an opportunity to bring together people who may not see each other from one month – or one year – to the next.
And what could be more natural than wanting to celebrate the occasion by keeping a photographic record?
It’s an opportunity not just to take photos of seldom-seen relatives, but to pose them in groups as reminders of the occasion.
It may take a few moments of marshalling and cajoling, but the results are worth it.
The event may be a birthday, wedding (more on weddings elsewhere) or just a get-together, but it always pays to have your camera ready and to have worked out in advance some suitable settings for the conditions.
It’s also worth spending a little while working out the best spots for a group shot before you broach the idea.
Any special occasion is worth recording, but there’s a big difference between snapshots and a properly organised group shot.
Snapshots will be just momentary curiosities, which are admired and then discarded, but a properly executed group shot will be treasured by all involved.
This means extra effort on your part. People don’t just naturally fall into the perfect arrangement.
It’s up to you to organise individuals into a suitable arrangement and choose a setting (and camera settings) to produce a good shot.
Group shots can be formal or informal. Formal shots may be a little wooden and stagey but they’re an important record for the future.
Informal shots may be more interesting and revealing, but not everyone will like them. Your best bet is to shoot both types to keep everyone happy.
That’s a significant point about portrait photography in general – it’s not just for your benefit, but the subject’s too.
This is especially true if you plan to do this kind of work commercially, or if you’ve been asked to take pictures by friends or relatives.
The other point about group shots is that they celebrate the relationships between people and the ties that hold them together. It’s not just a photograph, it’s an evocative historical document.
And don’t feel confined to formal events or family occasions. A shot of the members of your surf club, bridge team, operatic society or pub quiz pals can be just as rewarding when pulled off successfully.
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