Thursday, April 9, 2015

Tips for Taking Family Photos

Written by, Bernadyn Nettles


Tips from Our Annual Easter Family Pictures


Every Easter, we start the day with taking family photos.  I feel like it is the perfect time to take a family picture because I love the colors of Spring and it is usually nice weather.  This year, it did rain on Easter but it was off and on rain and did not start until the afternoon so, thankfully, we were able to take our pictures.   Our pictures are not perfect, there are usually little things off here and there but that is what happens when you have several people coming together to snap a photo, right?  Not to mention little children who may or may not cooperate!  Our imperfect pictures are usually fine with me and I cherish them all because it shows are reality and imperfect family moments.  I do learn something new every time our family takes pictures together so I thought I would share them with you all.

Family Photo Tips


Here are some of my Mommy photo-taking tips for decent-looking family photos :)



Tip 1: Lighting


As most of you probably know, lighting is important.  The better it is, the better the photos will come out.  I like taking our family photos outside every Easter because I can rely on the natural sunlight to take care of lighting.

Tip 2: Run on the Kids' "Happy" Schedule 


When taking pictures with children, you want to run on their time as much as possible.  You know your children best and at what times they are at their most happiest, alert and cooperative during the day.  Try to stick to their "happy" schedule as close as you can.  For my kids, taking these photos  after breakfast was the best time.  Also, the sun was still showing and the sky was not yet cloudy.  Be sure to also run on the weather's schedule... which leads us to tip 3...

Tip 3: What's the Weather?


Check the weather in advance if you are taking your pictures outside to avoid rain and too much wind.  In the above shots and most of the shots with my kids, my son had his eyes squinted close because of the wind which we did not realize beforehand.  You cannot always do much about it but it is still good to know so you have an idea of what to expect.  My hair was blowing everywhere every time the wind blew so if I knew it was going to be that windy, I would have pinned my hair to the side to help keep it still like it is in the picture below. 

Luckily, the wind stopped for a minute while we took this picture.

Tip 4: Avoid Shadows and Obstructive Views 


Plan where you will be taking your photos.  I like using places with a wide open space that has minimal shadows and things like houses, buildings or anything that may not look appealing in the picture.

We chose this area because it was convenient and there were no trees or buildings to cast shadows.  It was away from the houses, street and cars so I did not have to worry about working around that.  If you know how to work with trees, buildings and other things that may have shadows or if you have a good-looking location with buildings that you like, then that is totally fine.  Just keep the shadows away from the face.

Tip 6: Wear Bug Repellant 


If you are taking pictures outside, wear bug spray especially for kids!  My daughter is at that age right now where she will often make a fake smile but in some of the shots, her fake smile is actually from cringing because of an itch on her leg.

Then, we moved her to another spot and she was happy ...which her natural smile shows!

Tip 5: Use Nature's Natural Props 


Props are nice to have in photos but many times, it is a hassle to deal with them and on this morning, we were trying to take these photos as quick as possible to head out for Easter activities.  Use nature's props to add a little something extra in pictures, if you desire.  My daughter loves holding anything that looks like a flower so she picked these and held them the whole time.  I think it was a good idea since it added more Spring flavor to the photos and added a smile to her face.


Tip 6: Do Not Expect Perfection and Have Fun

Sometimes, of course, you cannot control everything like a strong wind or unexpected bugs...just go with the flow and do not feel pressured to get everything totally perfect.  It was a windy day with the wind blowing off and on when we took these shots.  My hair was going all over my face that day and I had to keep readjusting it and some shots had me with my hands fixing my hair. 

Also, my little girl could not help her expression (she says she looks creepy) but I think her little face is still adorable and I still think this family photo is beautiful.  The picture above was the best photo that came out with all of us together.  There are a few things that could have been better but I think it is not so bad and we had fun while taking it.

What are some family photo-taking tips you would like to share?  Let me know, I'd love to hear them!

Happy picture-taking!

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