Now is the Showtime. You have a bunch of guests, all nicely dressed up, good lights and good background. Everybody is looking good and they all carry an ear-to-ear smile. The family portrait is awaited.
As a photographer, it may make you a little nervous. The family may be big or small or too many for the frame. Whatever the case, this is one photograph that decorates the biggest and fanciest of all walls in the house and is kept for the longest time in memories. As a photographer, you must make this moment special. Take care of a few things and whoa! You just clicked an awesome family portrait. However it is not as simple as a nursery rhyme. Perspiration in this case is directly proportional to expectations.
To click a stunning family portrait, first make sure that the family ‘looks’ like a family. Simply clicking a group of people would not work. Make them dress up nicely for this occasion. Maybe you can choose a color scheme for the family or decide a theme. This induces the element of harmony. They are family, this is a family portrait and you are clicking a group of happy people.
Next, take care of the background. It may be anything that blends with the overall appeal of the family. It is not rare to find a few similar interests in all the family members. There may be a family where parents and children play guitar. Then why not select a background that ‘rocks’ your picture.
Another thing is to add a hint of color and splash it in the picture. No, don’t take it literally. Say goodbye to the same old solid color outfits, people standing in a row, formal backdrops and the habit of putting everything in place. Photography is creativity, so you gain the freedom to mess it up a little. In the example above, this music loving family is very fond of the guitar. On top of that they are very outgoing and funny. Here are the ingredients, why don’t we make them play their air-guitar (or their own guitar) and let them sing a song together. You can use a studio or you may let them play their interests in their backyard with all their equipments. Now that sounds new and creative. What do you say? For bigger families, you may want to play a little more with colors. Why not click the picture when they are out in the sunny garden for that annual family picnic? Remember you should not rope in any animals or birds in the frame. The main focus should be on the family.
Everyone should look good. Everyone’s face must be visible. It is still my duty to tell that taller people should be at the back and the children in the front. Focus on the pivotal person of the family, is there is anyone, like we have in the joint families. For example, there can be a family gathering on the 85th birthday of the grandfather or there may be a baby shower.
Keep the aperture between f/8 to f/11 and ensure that either your shutter speed is slow or your ISO is a little higher than usual. The worst thing that can happen in a family portrait is shadows of one person falling on the other and so on. First and foremost duty in any case is to check for lighting. It must not be straight over the head not at the back.
These tips are very simple and work each time you click. Bear in mind that photographs are not clicked, they are created.