We are fast approaching the festive season which usually brings plenty of opportunity to take a few family portraits. In the latest instalment of her ongoing series looking at some of the common mistakes photographers make, our head of testing, Angela Nicholson, explains some of the most common family portrait photography mistakes that photographers make and offers some advice about getting it right.
Family portrait photography mistake 01: Waking the baby
Unless you have the only baby in the world that doesn’t mind being woken up and you want it to be awake in the photos, time your shoot carefully.
Happy baby shots usually require the infant to be rested, freshly changed, recently fed and winded. You need to find a window in that cycle to take a few photographs.
Make sure that you have at least one change of clothes and be prepared to work around the youngest member of the family.
If the baby is asleep during the shoot, it’s probably best to leave it that way.
Sleeping baby shots are cute, and why the odd bawling baby shot maybe funny, few parents want every shot to remind them of that side of parenting.
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Baby photography: tips for the newborn again photographer
Child photography: tips for taking natural-looking portraits of children
11 clever baby poses from birth to age 2
Family portrait photography mistake 02: Shooting wide open
While it’s possible to produce nice shallow depth of field portraits of individuals, it doesn’t tend to work so well with groups.
In most cases you want everyone to be sharp and as groups get bigger the distance between the person at the front and the one at the back gets bigger.
Ideally you need to use and aperture of f/8 or f/11 to ensure that everyone is sharp.
18 of the best-ever posing tips for group photos
Annoying problems at common aperture settings (and how to avoid them)
How to focus your camera for any subject or scene: free photography cheat sheet
Getting sharp images: every photo technique you need to know starting out