Secrets to Great Family Portraits

June 03, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

In wedding photography, we cover nearly all genres of photography.  That's why when someone asks me for macro work, I'm ready - we take shots of the rings and the shoes and the bouquet.  What if someone calls me for family portraits?  Well we take group shots as well and candid shots, so yes, available as well.  What about maternity and infant?  Well after couples get married, they need those as well - so yes, would you like it in studio or outdoors?  Event photography?  That's what half of the wedding is.

Secrets to Great Family Portraits Outdoors

 

1) Positive attitude

I did a recent shoot of this wonderful couple by the bluffs.  It was a wonderful experience.  They had the #1 thing that creates a great family photo - attitude.  In photoshoots outdoors with kids, you need to always have a positive attitude - and that's exactly what we did.  Aside from knowing your shutter speed, aperture, ISO and what lighting setup you need - whether back lite, front lite, side lite or a combination of both, you need to have a positive working attitude because people are sensitive on what's going on internally.  Using the Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC on a D810

2) Go with the flow

1 year olds are adorable.  It's hard to go wrong shooting them.  Just set the composition and wait for a wonderful moment to happen.  In this case, I back lite him and mom and dad cooperated in getting our little cutie to look into the camera.  Yes, he has drool on his face, but he also has an adorable innocent stare that is to die for.  Go with the flow.

3) Have the right accessories!

This was a tricky shot because to get the color of the clouds in the background, we need to expose for the background.  But what happens is that we get clipping in the front, so you expose for the background and then use an off camera flash - but not only that - you need to do an ND filter since it's bright sunlight.  I would need either HSS or an ND filter - in this case an ND filter was used, specifically a singh-ray variable nd (neutral density filter).  A beautiful candid family moment captured. This one is shot with the Nikkor 70-200mm 2.8 VR II on the D750.

4) Have a wide selection of lenses to give a full spectrum of product and services

I love this shot because although you can't see their face, you can appreciate the view.  Most of the time we take pictures and we look at our phones or point and shoots or DSLR's or mirrorless camera's and we just can't appreciate it as much as the human eye can.  In order to create a shot like this, we need to replicate the horizontal and vertical range of the human eye.   If you know your gear well you'll know to go with an ultra wide angle.  You could use a fish-eye but I prefer using the 14-24mm 2.8 Nikkor lens because I don't have to deal with barrel distortion.

5) Know how to use your equipment

I wouldn't be able to get this shot if I didn't know how far exactly to place the wife and the husband and which f-stop to use.  This is a beautiful and happy family, but if I'm fumbling with my camera and have to think twice about my settings, then I'm going to lose the moment.  Mommy with a beautiful smile and dad and son playing are going to last for about 30 seconds and then your back to posing for the pictures.  These moments are invaluable and are some of the photos that will keep the family together through tough times.  Know your equipment, it will help you capture timeless moments and your clients will love you for it. This final shot was with the 70-200mm 2.8 Nikkor on the Nikon D810.

 

About the author:

As long as he can remember, Vince Revo always had a camera in his hand.  Whether it was a Sony Camcorder or a Canon point and shoot eventually moving up to professional SLR's and Film.  Now using the latest in DSLR and DSLM technology with the fastest lenses available today, he's ready to provide the best possible service with stellar quality.
 
A passion brews within his heart to capture timeless moments that his clients can cherish forever.  A top graduate of the New York Film Academy, Vince loves what he does.  Whatever your vision, whatever your dream, he can put it on the screen.
 
As a former personal development coach, body language expert, film and theater actor and model, Vince takes his expertise in these fields and is able to guide those who are not regularly in front of the camera on a day to day basis.  Bringing in creative ideas allows him to create masterpieces in any situation, rain or shine, light or dark.
 
Vince is Married to the love of his life, Catherine and together with their "little champ" Cosgrove, they work as a team, from the pre-production to the post-production.
 
He finds his strength and joy in his personal Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ.  With inspiration from the heaven's, you're in for a vibrant and uplifting experience.
 
Vince specializes in 4 areas of photography:
 
1) Wedding Photography in Toronto
2) Headshots Photography in North York
3) Family Portraits (maternity & infant included)
4) Product Photography in Toronto
 
Vince also trains photographers and videographers on achieving the best results for their clients.
 

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