Remember back in the day when your mom would drag everyone to the local mall and head to the studio in a department store wearing your Sunday best for family photos? Everyone would awkwardly position on risers in front of the vinyl backdrop, say cheese, and wait a month for the print to arrive mounted on a piece of wood to hang in the family room. How many of you have the fabulous floating head pictures from your childhood in a box somewhere? As a Northern Virginia portrait photographer, I focus on capturing authentic and joyful family photos. Today, the M Family is going to help me demonstrate that 🙂
Say goodbye to boring portraits! I want your family’s photos to show the unique vibe you have – the way you interact with one another, laugh together, and love one another. One day when your grandchildren are looking at these photos they will see and feel that. How we work together to achieve that genuineness may vary from family to family. But, here are some of my favorite techniques for getting the most natural portraits of your beautiful family.
First Things First
I always start with the “smile” shot! Why? Even if every child loses it at some point, I already have the one where everyone is looking and smiling so everything else is just gravy. I start with a “long” lens so I can be farther away, helping everyone to relax while we chat and I snap away.
Now Let’s Have Some Fun
Once everyone has settled in and is more relaxed, I switch to a wide lens. This allows me to move around, hit every angle, and get those amazing close-ups. I like to hold my camera up higher and angle down, get low, and go with the flow. I let the scene unfold and change up my method based on what is happening. The key is to keep it light, fun, and natural.
Joy in the Making
Forced posing is not on my itinerary, but some light encouragement or direction helps keep everyone comfortable. Whether I say something for a laugh or suggest a cuddle, twirl, or airplane, the best approach is for your family to just be.