Part 1of this PhotographyTalk.com article suggests that you take a digital photo portrait of your Dad for Father’s Day, and treat it like an assignment a pro would receive from a client. That requires you to plan what kind of portrait photo you’ll take, where you’ll take it, how Dad will be dressed, what light source you’ll use, etc. Part 2 presents some other Father’s Day photo ideas.
Take a Family Portrait.
Another, or alternative, Father’s Day photo assignment is to take a group portrait of Dad’s entire family, with him as the focus of the picture. As explained in the PhotographyTalk.com article, Digital Photography—How To Compose Photos Instead of Just Framing Them, try to view objects and subjects (including family members in a group portrait) as shapes and not individual identities, just long enough to help you compose a better picture.
For example, humans tend to take on the shape of a triangle, standing or sitting. Think in those terms when you arrange family members for your portrait photo. Some can be sitting facing the camera, others sitting 90 degrees to the camera plane with bent legs, which creates a pleasing triangular shape. Some can be standing or others leaning on a chair, wall or each other.
The other compositional element to keep in mind as you construct your portrait is to position the people in such a way to reveal their relationships. If, for example, your father has grown children with families of their own, then consider organizing those various families into sub-groups within the larger group picture.
You can also suggest a bond between all your family members by asking them to all look in one direction or another. One of those directions is, of course, at the camera, but also try having them all look at a point slightly above and behind the camera. A group portrait with people looking in various directions is confusing and doesn’t attract as much attention from viewers as one where everyone’s is gazing in the same direction.
Include Yourself in the Family Group Photo.
Just because you’re the photographer doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to include yourself in your family’s Father’s Day portrait. It’s simply a matter of learning how to use the self-timer on your camera. You’ll also need a tripod, of course, since no one will be holding the camera when you step into the frame. Remember to take some trial-and-error photos, using your self-timer, in advance of the family portrait day. You want to be sure you can make this technique work because your family members probably won’t want to wait for you to learn “on the job.”
Take a Self-Portrait.
If you’re a young dad or there isn’t a family member nearby to take your picture on Father’s Day, then, by all means, don’t hesitate to compose a self-portrait. This is another great opportunity to develop your photographic skills, without anyone having to see your mistakes. You’ll also receive plenty of practice with the self-timer on your camera. You can also obtain a cable release, so you can trip the shutter and a light source after you’re in position. There are also a number of wireless systems to trigger a flash unit or lighting kit. (Read the PhotographyTalk.com articles, Digital Photography Equipment Review—The PX RadioPopper System and Digital Photography Equipment Review—PocketWizard MiniTT1 and FlexTT5.)
Make a Father’s Day portrait of Dad and/or the entire family a new tradition and you’ll create a marvelous collection of images to view again and again.