Tips for doing family photography this Holiday Season

by Douglas Hoffman on November 12, 2011

Holidays are great time for families to get together and take pictures.  When I was growing up for whatever reason my family waited till the meal was over than gathered everyone around the table for a group photo. I remember the table was full of plates, half empty glasses, and serving dishes but it didn’t matter that was when they took the picture.

A generation later we still take photographs of the family but now we do it before everyone eats. We go outside and do something fun. This way there are no food stains on the kids or table, and everyone is awake.   As were preparing for this years holiday we thought to share a few tips.

First,  if planning to do a family portrait that will be displayed on the wall give thought to where in the house the portrait will go and try to match the clothes the family wears to the color theme in that room.   If there are a few kids in the family young or old that always give you trouble when its time for family photos, simply tell them that you work hard to provide a good life. In appreciation everyone can cooperate for some family portraits.

Second, use a tripod if you have one it eliminates camera shake and this is a huge problem.  If not available hold your elbows into your body to eliminate movement, and gently press the shutter.  Make sure the shutter speed is about 1/125th of a second as this will also help eliminate movement.

Next, have the family look at the lens, then look at each other.  Photographs of people interacting and relating to each other have good impact and tell a story.

Finally, avoid the tendency to put people in the center of the frame.  Instead try putting them a little on the left or right.  This change of composition can add a lot of interest and story telling to your photographs. You can also try having the kids look away and have them jump into the setting sun like in this image.

Family fun under the sun

See more information about family portraiture here