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Tips on How to Take the Best Family Pictures

written by: Lori Soard•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 9/25/2008

Once the family is in place, and the location has been chosen, it is time to start snapping photographs. There are a few things you can do to ensure the photographs turn out fabulous, including different angles from which to take the photos, and using digital camera features.

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    Angles for Family Photos

    Once the family is arranged and the balance in the photograph looks great, there are many different ways you'll want to shoot the scene before you to get the best family photographs available. The picture will look different, depending upon which angle you shoot the photograph from. For example, you may want to stand on a ladder or chair just slightly elevated and take the photo. Also try taking the shot from a sitting position and from the right and left of the grouping as well as dead center. Take several shots from each angle.

    Some really unique shots can be taken by having all the family members stand closely together in a circle, looking down, while you lay on your back on the floor and take the shot facing straight up. This creates a nice close-up shot of everyone's faces and makes a unique photograph. A similar shot can be taken of everyone's bare feet in a circle with you standing just over the shortest member's shoulder and shooting the picture straight down. These unique shots can make a nice addition to a collection of family photographs, especially if the family members are all different sizes, from very young to grown adults.

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    Zoom & Lighting

    In addition to taking shots from many different angles, it is important to use your digital camera's zoom feature to take shots up close and far away. Each camera has a zoom located in a different spot, but typically the plus sign will pull the focus in closer to the subjects and the minus sign will pan out and create a wider shot. Try taking close-ups as well as far off shots and everything in between for the best selection of photos. Remember that you are using digital media, so anything that you don't like can be deleted before being shown to other family members or your clients.

    Lighting is an important aspect of family photographs. Lighting concerns vary between indoor and outdoor photos:

    • Avoid placing family members in front of a sunny window
    • Avoid positioning the group with the sun at their backs
    • Do not place the group with the sun directly in front as this may cause family members to squint.
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    Additional Tips

    Many digital cameras have features that will help you avoid red eye and other common photo problems. Here are a few of the features your camera may have and tips on using them:

    • Turn off the flash feature or use PhotoShop or other photo editing software to edit the red eye out. Red eye is very common in digital photographs, unfortunately.
    • Add a date stamp that will appear at the bottom of each photo. This allows you to remember when the family photo was taken without guessing.
    • Use any focusing features before snapping the shot to avoid blurry pictures.
    • When taking a photograph in low light conditions, use the focus assist lamp feature.
    • Purchase additional or larger memory cards to allow you to take a huge number of shots and get the best photographs possible. You can later delete any you don't like.

Family Photography - Learn How to Take The Best Family Pictures!

With digital photography on the rise, more and more families are choosing to take their own photographs or have a trusted friend or family member take the photos. Whether you are a professional freelance photographer or an amateur, these tips will help you capture those special memories.
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