10 family portrait photography mistakes every photographer makes

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Family portrait photography mistake 05: Lack of eye-contact

Portrait Composition: using virtual lines and framing for eye contact

One of the problems with taking photographs at family gatherings is that everyone is far too interested in catching up with all the gossip than being photographed.

This can make it hard to get everyone’s attention and to round them up into a nicely posed group.

Then, once everyone is arranged, you’ve got the challenge of getting them to look at you.

SEE MORE: Family photos – what the pros don’t say about taking pictures of family

Keeping the shoot to the minimum duration can help, so plan in advance and decide the venue and seating arrangements before you start corralling people.

A whistle or a squeaky toy can really help with getting everyone (adults and kids) to look in the right direction when it comes to the vital moment.


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Family portrait photography mistake 06: Blinking

Indoor group portrait example

There always seems to be someone with their eyes closed when everybody else is looking their best.

One fun solution to this particular problem is to get everyone to close their eyes and then open them when you give the signal – just as you press the shutter release.

Of course, you might wind up with some strange, wide-eyed expressions – especially if you use a klaxon to get everyone to open their eyes – but that’s part of the fun.

Another approach is to take plenty of photographs in the hope that there will be some in which everybody has their eyes open.

However, even if you don’t achieve this minor miracle there are software solutions available and it’s relatively easy to swap an open pair of eyes for a closed pair in Adobe Photoshop Elements etc.


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