Many people line the family up and snap a picture. So often that’s what we see on Christmas cards or in photo albums. Although it documents what each person looked like at that point in time, it’s not very interesting. Here are some photography tips that will pump some interest into your family pictures and will make you proud when you post them on line or send them to relatives and friends:
1. Think before your snap. Photography is much more than just snapping a picture and hoping for the best. Family photographs should be more than just people lined up according to height and taking a quick shot before they move. Think through the composition of your photograph and create some interest by doing more than just documenting who was at a family event.
2. Take a look at the components of the potential picture and don’t be afraid to move family members around to make a more interesting picture. For example, if you are taking your family Christmas photo, don’t be afraid to use a few props to give dimension to the photograph. Use some props to make it more real. Nothing says you can’t wrap up a few presents in September to use in the photo. And there are no rules that the children can’t be opening the presents in the picture.
3. Another way to ensure that you take good family pictures is to take lots of them during an activity. Let the activity unfold naturally and take frequent pictures. The great advantage of digital photography is that you can take all the pictures you want and you can delete the ones you don’t like without costing anything. So, snap away and catch those candid shots that are so interesting. Your family may ham it up for you at first when you begin shooting frequently, but eventually they will get used to you shooting pictures and will ignore you. That’s when you will catch the good shots.
4. Create a story of your family pictures. Before you take the pictures, think how they will fit together in a story of your event. For example, if you are taking the family on a picnic, take some pictures at home when the family is preparing the picnic, take a couple while packing the car, when setting up the picnic, when cooking the hot dogs, when eating, when playing catch, etc. The result will be a nice story of your day.
It’s good to take notes while you are taking pictures. This is especially true if taking family pictures while on vacation. Your notes can remind you of the significance of each picture. This will make it easier to put them into a scrapbook or to make a slide show out of them when you return home.