Family Portraits Made Easy…

I am so thrilled to bring you a guest post today by a great photographer and friend, Matthew Martin of MRM Photography.  Read on for some great tips on how to take great family portaits!

Hey! I am Matthew Martin from MRM Photography and Jennifer asked me to guest blog for her today so that I could give you guys some awesome photography tips!  I wanted to make this a pretty quick and dirty article to help you all get better family portraits on those occasions when a professional photographer isn’t around.  Sometimes things just happen and you want a group photo to remember it, and honestly, nobody can afford to hire a professional for every single get together.  These tips will hopefully help you during those times you have to do it on your own!

The first thing you have to decide is if it will be outside or inside.  This is often determined by the weather, but should also be determined by the time!  Many people don’t think about this as thoroughly as they should.  Many people will just assume that if it is daytime, then that’s a good time to be outside and nighttime is a good time for indoor photographs.  That’s generally correct, but there is one caveat, you really don’t want to be shooting outside around lunch time.  This will give you the harshest light and will create shadows that you don’t want, cause people to be squinting, or create problems for your camera to focus or eliminate lens flares.  The ideal time for outdoor photographs is early morning or late afternoon.  You want the times just after sunrise, or just before sunset.  This sunlight is often referred to as the golden hours (because the light has a warm golden glow) and will produce the softest and warmest light.  Not only does this help out with shadows and squinting, but it makes your skin look softer!  This same principle can be applied during the middle of the day if it is an overcast day.  The clouds will act as a natural diffuser and give you a nice soft light to work with.  In addition to utilizing the correct time, you always want the sun to be behind your subject, and this is mainly to reduce any squinting.

If you decide to shoot indoors, one major thing to think about is opening up your windows to let in some natural light, if it’s during the day.  You want to be aware of any shadows going across people’s faces and you want to make sure there are no shadows being cast onto a wall behind them.  One trick to eliminating shadows on the wall behind your family is to move them in front of the wall by a few feet.  Many people will push their families up against the wall to create more space, but this will often lead to unpleasant shadows on the wall.

One final tip, be creative and have fun!  The last thing you want is an image where everyone is stiff as a board and looks uncomfortable.  Try taking a goofy picture first and then squeeze in a more classic portrait last.  This will have everyone relaxed and laughing / smiling.  These make for the best photographs. {Love this tip!}

If you enjoyed these tips and would like to hear more of what I ramble on about, head on over to my blog at http://blog.mrmphoto.com, or check me out on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/mrmphoto.

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One thought on “Family Portraits Made Easy…

  1. Pingback: Family Portraits Made Easy … (with a special promotion) | MRM Photography

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