- How a High-Quality Canvas Print Is Made
- How to Start a Photography Business Without Breaking the Bank
photo by kupicoo via iStock
I didn’t realize I could love photography more until I had my son and got to start taking family portraits.
Kids bring an entirely new level to the art of photography. Let’s be honest, they can be a handful and getting them to cooperate for family portraits is half of the battle.
But, with the struggles come the wins because kids also get the best emotions out of adults who are shooting with them. You’ll never see better family portraits than ones where kids are being their crazy selves.
Perhaps you’ve just had a kid of your own and want to start doing family portraiture, or perhaps you’re interested in doing family portraits for a living. All of the family portrait tips in this article will apply to you regardless.
Keep in mind that these family photography tips are for beginners.
First Things First - Don't Neglect Old Family Portraits
photo by kool99 via iStock
While taking current family portraits is certainly important, before learning how to get the perfect shot, it's necessary that we discuss the value of the old family portraits you already have.
If you're like me, you probably have a favorite family photo from long ago, and as time has gone by, that photo might have faded or otherwise experienced damage.
Fortunately, you don't have to live with that kind of damage because photo restoration services like PhotoRepairPro can beautifully restore the images.
Simply upload the image or a scan of the image to PhotoRepairPro, and they'll take it from there.
From eliminating water damage to making creases and tears disappear, their photo restoration experts will make your old family photos look new again.
Not only that, PhotoRepairPro can retouch images - colorize a black and white photo, for example - or remove backgrounds or people from shots.
It really is a one-stop-shop for breathing new life into old family photos.
See what I mean by visiting PhotoRepairPro today!
Treat the Kids As Equals
photo by RyanJLane via iStock
If you don’t have kids of your own, you may not know how to act around them. I certainly had this problem until I had my son. Not all of us are naturals around small humans.
But, during your shoot, you need to remember that this is exactly what kids are. They have their own personalities. As someone shooting family portraits, it is your job to get to know these personalities so that you can capture them on film.
Some questions I like to ask before going out for family portraits are questions about the kids. What hobbies do they like? Are there any favorite toys you could bring to the photoshoot? What makes them smile?
By incorporating some of the kids’ favorite activities into a family photoshoot, you will ensure that they have fun, which will ensure that you get great photos.
One other way that you can treat the kids as your equal during family portraits is by getting on their level. You never want to be shooting down at a child because it will make them look and feel small. Instead, get on your knees and photograph them at eye level.
Pay Attention to the Aperture
photo by filadendron via iStock
If you decide that you really love taking family portraits, then eventually you will figure out what aperture settings work for your style of photography.
However, until that happens, there are some basic rules you should follow.
If you’re taking individual pictures, then you should use a lower f-number because it will ensure your background has nice bokeh and it will make your subject really stand out. You don’t have to slam the aperture to its lowest number, but a good rule of thumb is to use f/4 or below if possible.
If you’re shooting a group shot, on the other hand, then you should shoot with a higher f-number so that you have enough depth of field in the photo to keep each person nice and sharp.
There are other factors that influence depth of field, but paying attention to the aperture is a good start.
Set the White Balance to Auto
photo by Alessandro Biascioli via iStock
If you are completely new to photography, then the above heading might not make a lot of sense to you.
Your camera’s white balance is a setting that controls the color temperature of a photo. It is used to ensure that the color of the light in your image isn’t too orange or too blue. It basically makes sure that all of your colors look natural.
If you’re shooting in one single location, with the same lighting source, like in a studio, then you can adjust your white balance manually to exactly where you like it.
However, with family portraits, you will likely be shooting in different locations with different lighting. You may start at a park and then transition to a family’s home. Or, even if you’re just shooting in a park, the lighting could change minute by minute thanks to clouds.
So, allow your camera to do all of the hard work for you by setting your white balance to “auto.” Your camera will essentially do what it thinks is best, which is far better than what you’ll do without any formal training. It will also help you to waste less time adjusting your settings so you can spend more time with the family.
And since the camera will get it close, you can make minor adjustments in post-processing without too much time or effort.
Rent Different Lenses (If You Don’t Already Own Them)
photo by eclipse_images via iStock
While there are no such things as specific family portrait lenses, you will want a variety of lenses to shoot with during your time with a family.
Have a telephoto lens (i.e., an 85mm) in your bag to capture family moments from afar. Have a standard prime lens too (i.e., a 50mm) for close-up work.
However, you’ll also want a wide lens (i.e., 24mm or 35mm) to shoot with so that you can capture the background. This is especially true for a family who just bought their first house and may want to include it in their shots.
Of course, lenses can be incredibly expensive, so if you don’t already own these types of lenses, you can rent them for the day. Just make sure to build that cost into your pricing plan.
Top It Off With a Gorgeous Canvas Print
One of my biggest pet peeves about photographers who offer family portraits is that a lot of them don’t also offer different types of physical prints for those families, despite the fact that it is one of the easiest upcharges you can sell.
I recommend that you offer canvas prints to the families you photograph, both because canvas prints are a relatively cheap way for families to show off the investment that they made with your photography and because they are long lasting, so long as you bought them from a reputable print shop.
All of the canvas prints that CanvasHQ makes last for over a century. That means you can sell your canvas prints as family heirlooms, since they will likely be passed from generation to generation.
I personally like working with CanvasHQ both because of the quality of their materials and because of the quality of their customer service. When you’re upcharging your clients for specific physical items, you need to make sure that those items get to your clients when you say they will.
I’ve had issues working with other canvas printing companies in the past, but CanvasHQ has a countdown on their website which tells you exactly how long it will take them to make your print if you sent it in today.
Plus, if they ever do encounter any problems (like shortages during the pandemic), they are sure to communicate that to you quickly and efficiently so you don’t leave your clients hanging. What’s not to like about that?!