Some of the greatest images in history were snapshots taken in a hurry, such as the iconic soldier and nurse kiss from 1945 taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt in Times Square. Other images that make it into the public mind are fully planned or staged. Your best family photos can be a mix of the two. Here are some ideas to capture the fun family photos all year long.
Keep a Camera Handy
Smartphones today have some incredible picture taking capabilities. However, some are definitely better than others. Choose one that has the best reviews for sharp images in regular room light. Also make sure it has quick access to the camera to not miss those impromptu shots. Getting a DSLR or mirrorless camera (mirrorless interchangeable lens camera) to capture the best quality of images of family events is also helpful. Keep a waterproof and shockproof camera handy for outdoor activities.
Staging Photo Shoots
Those pro images look so good because every detail from wardrobe to lighting is managed. For your next family holiday photo, pick a favorite location, set up props, and get everyone dressed the way you want them to look. Outdoor shots should be made during the golden hour just after sunrise or just before sunset for the best look.
Waiting on the Weather
If you thought a location would be just perfect if it was surrounded by fall foliage or a new blanket of snow, then be sure to set a reminder on your calendar to make it a point to get some family photos during the right season. Fall foliage images can be particularly striking. Use reflections in puddles after it rains to capture some creative family photos.
Kids rarely want to hold a standard pose for a family photo. You may have been frustrated in attempting to get formal family pictures with cantankerous teens and crying toddlers. Encourage creativity to come up with goofy poses and staged shots. It is easier to get the kids to agree to a formal pose if they can work off some energy goofing around. Plus, you just may find the goofy images are your favorites.
Changes Over Time
A popular photo op today is to recreate images taken years ago. Instead of a then and now shot, you can set up an annual family photo in the same spot with everyone wearing the same type of clothes and posing the same way. Try to capture the images at the same time of year and in the same light. As the years go by, you will create a wonderful sequence of photographs capturing the changes that time brings.
Do not be afraid to use props for creativity. Wardrobe is one thing, but props can make an image memorable. Pose with the family looking into a rustic mirror or standing behind an empty antique or rustic frame from MyBarnwoodFrames.com. Use props creatively to indicate hobbies, employment, interests and other things. Everyday objects can make a statement or set a feeling in images.
Today’s digital cameras make it easy to keep pressing the shutter button when trying new things. You are not wasting film, so try every idea you can think of for fun family photos. The main thing is to have fun. However, do not just let the images stay hidden on a hard drive or memory card. Print them, frame them, give them to friends and family, and post them on social media.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas,New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan