… especially for large or multi-generational families
The 5 Tricks of a Successful Family Picture
Dreaming of the perfect family portrait? Either you decide to have a photo session in a nearby studio or on a destination you visit for a family holiday, having your formal or informal pictures taken is always a challenge with kids. I have the privilege to photograph several multi-generational families on their vacation in Italy each year and in this post I am going to share some tricks about how do I manage many people on one photo especially with kids from all ages.
1. Handling the kids
Depending on their age, having kids sitting or standing straight smiling into the camera might be very difficult. In my experience the most difficult age range are kids between age of 3-5. They are too young to concentrate but already too vivid to stand straight without moving. For a formal picture I used to have some toys in my hand or make some strange noise (which I hope nobody ever recorded 🙂 ) so they are looking to the camera at the same time. I also used to ask the parents for the kids only photos to stand right behind me and talk or sing to them. And then, I still need to be fast, efficient and lucky!
2. Handling the parents
You might think that adults can focus and look into the camera but it’s not the case when they have their kids around them! I think I took like hundreds of pictures where the kids are finally looking into the camera but the parents are looking at the kids showing them where the camera is. I think it is genetically coded into us to always look at our kids but it doesn’t look fancy on a group picture. So my first rule used to be: ‘No matter what, don’t look at your kids! Whatever they do just keep smiling into the camera and I will take care of the rest!’ It sounds easy but it’s something very difficult to do as it’s an automatic gesture for everyone.
3. No talking
The second rule is the ‘Please keep your eyes open and your mouth closed and not the opposite way!’ No-one ever looked good on a photograph while talking 🙂
4. Dealing with the sun
As I mentioned earlier, I take portraits of families during their holiday. These photo shoots are always open air as the families would like to capture the beauty around them, either the Tuscan countryside or the city-center of Florence. Either case light might be strong (even though I prefer the sunset) so making sure everyone has their eyes open can be difficult. My strategy in case of harsh light is that I ask everyone to close their eyes and then open them with a big smile on three. So I start to count and one, two, three, the magic happens: everyone gives me a big smile with their eyes open! Works amazingly all the time!
5. Laughing together
I also love to take informal family pictures where the parents can have fun, laugh and play with the kids. My favorite trick is the: ‘Now let’s tickle the person next to you!’ Laughing is guaranteed with this one! Then we go on jumping, playing and other funny things such as dancing or walking. I love to see how parents are enjoying these memorable times with their kids while having their family portraits taken which they going to cherish for a lifetime. Family pictures are the most valuable and precious memories over the years!
In case you need some inspiration feel free to browse some sample images on a below link. In this gallery you can get inspiration for coordinated colors, poses and locations:
Interested to have your family pictures taken in Italy? Get a quotation here!