As photographers, we all know now is the busiest time for family portraits. As much as we love to photograph happy families, we also sweat bullets wondering how we can get a great picture and keep everyone happy. There are a few tips you may want to keep in mind when tackling the family unit.
1. Get it Off the Bat
I find that with new clients and old clients one thing always seems to work. Get the formal shot right off the bat when everyone is listening and ready. You can get the casual shots later when they all relax and they start to lose interest. I typically will take dad and have him sit in his position so I can get a good meter reading. This way I’m not wasting valuable time by trying to have children sit still while I figure out my exposure. Next, I’ll place mom and lastly the kids. I photograph full length and 3/4 right off the top. This way the first 10-15 minutes I spend getting the posed shot and knowing everything else is extra. The following image was the 8th photo I took of the family.
2. Keep it Short
With younger families especially, time is crucial. Ever notice you start to lose the little one’s attention about 10 minutes in? It’s not you… it’s them. They need to be constantly moving and active. Anything more than 10-15 minutes and you’ve already lost your window. Break after a few minutes, let them run around and relax. Plan your next pose and start all over again. The next image, I made everyone stand up just moments after everyone was sitting.
3. Don’t Cut me Off
You have a lot of people in the portrait. That means you have a lot of feet and hands as well. Keep in mind to not cut off the feet or hands or fingers on full length portraits. This is not to say you can’t get artistic and try different things. Just make sure on the family formal portrait you get everything included in the first round, then you can experiment. Here you’ll see ll fingers and toes are accounted for in this image.
4. Hold On
Little ones are active. It’s hard for them to sit still. Telling a child to put their hands down constantly while everyone else is ready is stressful to the family. Keep it simple and give the little one something to hold in their hands. Give them something seasonal, like say for instance a leaf or a pine cone to play with, this will keep their hands busy. If you look closely at this image, you’ll see the youngest has a small leaf in her hand.
5. Loosen Up
Every family is quirky. It’s important to capture this as well. You know you got the formal pictures right off the top of the session, so now it’s time to have some fun. Loosen up and let them to hug or kiss. I typically say, tickle the funniest person in your family. The images are fun and relaxed and unexpected. It’s ok if not everyone is looking into the camera, the smile on their faces is worth a million bucks.
written by Michelle Libby for Adoramapix
Each month we like to find out more a little about our members. This month, our spotlight turns to Florida as we feature Fred Holmstock of Land and Sea Imagery.
Fred picked up his first camera when he was only 6 years old. But more than just “taking” pictures, Fred was curious about, and began to study the whole photographic process including the physics and mathematics of light & lenses, as well as the chemistry of the photographic development process. At the same time and throughout high school, he continually worked at taking more visually interesting photos. Later, at the University of Florida, Fred was a Journalism (Broadcast) and English (Film) major, but never lost his interest in still photography. Winner of numerous local and regional photography contests, including the Kodak International Snapshot Award (KINSA) in 1980, he eventually pursued a career in television broadcast and computer animation, which ultimately led him back full circle to his initial passion, still photography.
It’s time to enter the digital age and integrate your photo books with your online presence. The Pixpublisher photo book editor now supports the insertion of QR codes into your photo books.
For those of you that don’t know what they are, QR codes are a trendy new form of barcode. There are many free apps available for all smartphones and tablets that allow you to use the device’s camera to read them. QR codes contain a web address, and scanning them will open the user’s browser and take them to the associated website.
Why would you want to add a QR code to your photo book? You would only do so any time you want to direct viewers to a web address. There are many reasons why you might want to do this such as:
Basically, any time you would like to insert a website address into a photo book, a QR code lets you do this visually (a graphic rather than a string of text) and quickly (the smartphone will take you there automatically instead of you having to type it in)
To add one, just follow three easy steps:
Click on the text tab to the left of the workspace. In the upper left corner you’ll see a square that looks like it’s filled with random black dots. Drag that square over to your book and drop it on the page.
Click on the QR code you placed in order to select it. Once selected, a toolbar will appear beside it. Click in the input box and enter the web address you want the QR code to send people to. When the address is entered, you’ll see the pattern of random dots change to represent the address you entered.
The last step (optional) is to make any adjustments to your code ‘s appearancein order to make it suit your photo book. You can make it larger or smaller, or adjust the background and foreground color.
Be careful not to go too extreme when adjusting the appearance of your codes. For a QR code to be useful, smartphone apps need to be able to recognize them as such. If you make your code so tiny you can barely see it, or set the background and foreground colors to ones that are so similar as to be barely distinguishable, your code may not work properly.
The fall season is a busy time for photographers. Many families start scheduling their end-of-year portrait in time for their holiday cards and newsletters. As a photographer one of the most common questions I get asked is “What should we wear for our photo session?”
The best way to answer that is with photos, of course! I also have a few rules that work for any season and any venue. The key is to keep it simple, coordinate colors and perhaps the most important, be comfortable.
Rule #1 Pick two or three main colors to coordinate everyone’s outfit
The key to having a unified family photo is to coordinate colors with everyone’s outfit. That means selecting two to three main colors and then picking tops and bottoms that reflect one or all of those colors.
In the photo below, we see blends of grey, maroon and blue. And even though the colors are not identical they are within the same color hue, which adds subtle distinction and yet unifies at the same time.
Rule #2 Add accessories to highlight or cover-up
In the “What to Wear” board below I’ve included a scarf for mom using a color that coordinates with the daughter’s top. The scarf gives a bit of color pop for mom and red is a great color to bring out the blush. Scarves can also help disguise some minor flaws in the neck or upper torso area. As for jewelry, I recommend taking off your bulky watches and bracelets as they add too much weight and detract from everyone’s faces. Keep earrings and necklaces simple and coordinate them with what you are wearing.
Rule #3 Use the same color hue for tiered coordination
In the second version of the “What to Wear” board I made a subtle change from the board above. In this example I picked tops for the boy and girl that are in the same color family. This creates a ‘team within a team’ effect. Even with identical twins I prefer they dress differently but within the same color hue to provide this subtle distinction. This rule works well when you have a multi-generation portrait. Use colors and color hue variations to achieve a coordinated look.
Rule #4 Use plaids and prints with caution
Plaids and large prints can be distracting in a photo. If you choose to have a plaid or print rather than a solid color top be sure to choose subdued patterns. If two or more people are wearing plaids or stripes it’s important that they work well together. Avoid T-shirts with logos and large symbols on them because they distract the eye from the person’s face. Flowery or paisley prints should be very subdued. Below is an example where a small print works well. The girls’ dress has a subtle print and yet ties in nicely with the mother’s dress color. The blue in the father’s shirt adds a nice pop of color and compliments the red tones nicely.
Rule #5 Keep it comfortable
Most of all when you are having your family portrait taken be sure to dress with comfort in mind. I advise people to wear clothes that they can move freely in because when you’re comfortable it’s easy to have a natural and relaxed expression. If you have uncomfortable clothes it will show in the grimace on your face and you will look stiff and unnatural. Make it a point to try on what you’re going to wear before your photo session to avoid any unnatural creases, folds or tight areas that might cause discomfort.
Next time you’re going to have a family portrait session be sure to review these handy tips. And let us know if you have a great tip that works for you.
Tina Case is an Adoramapix Ambassador and is a writer and photographer out of the San Francisco Bay area. She co-writes for the photography blog Moms Who Click where she shares photographer tips, tricks and interviews. Tina shares her parenting stories and more on Yahoo! where she is a featured “Parenting Guru.” Check more of her photos at Tina Case Photography, on Facebook and Instagram.
Each week we will give you a quick tip to enhance your photo book making through our PixPublisher online software. We decided that since it so robust ,we will take a little time each week to hi-light some of creative elements.
We are excited to announce a fun new addition to our PixPublisher. In addition to adding regular text captions to your photo books, Pixpublisher now has support for dynamic chat bubbles. Give your photo books some character with our new chat bubbles. We have both talk and thought bubbles in a variety of shapes and styles. Just drag and drop one onto your photo book, double-click inside and start typing. It will automatically change size and shape to accommodate your text or any changes to your font size or style.