Britney Dearest: What I Learned From Taking My Own Family Photos | The Do's and Don'ts

/ Monday, November 28, 2016

What I Learned From Taking My Own Family Photos | The Do's and Don'ts

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For awhile, I have wanted to have professional photographs taken of my family. Unfortunately, my husband is too fiscally conservative to agree with the cost, so I haven't been able to get him on board with paying a professional to shoot our pictures for us. The next option was to ask my parents or a close friend, but honestly, due to my procrastination time management struggles I didn't want to inconvenience them. That led me to try photographing our family photos myself 😊.

Also, following the maternity photo shoot with my cousin and her daughter's father, a couple of people asked me to snap their family photos. Before agreeing, I informed them that I have never taken family photos, but I would definitely give it my all. They were confident enough in my skills to carry on and schedule with me, so I wanted to practice.

It wasn't easy and all the pictures didn't come out the exact way I had planned, but overall, I'm happy with the results.

Along with our photos, I'll share some tips that helped me and issues I experienced, just in case you decide to try snapping your own family photos.

I'm thinking about biting the bullet and just having someone else photograph us next time.


You will need:

⇨a good camera and lens
⇨a tripod
⇨a remote for your camera or know how to work your timer.


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1. You want to find a good location. I suggest choosing a location with multiple settings. For example, a wooded area as seen here, a bridge of some sort, a wooden bench, water scenery (lake or pond), etc. I had a completely different location in mind at first, but we were running behind time (my fault) so we went to a spot closer to home.

**When you take photos be aware of the background and what's shown in the camera. Where we shot, there was a restaurant and large building far off in the background. I made sure they were not in any of my shots. There was also a highway, but the lens I used blurred it out, so it looks like a bridge and doesn't bother me.




2. Have a theme in mind. For us, even though Christmas is rolling in next month, it's still fall and I wanted a fall theme. I love fall. Also, decide what clothing style (casual, formal, etc.) and colors you want everyone to wear.




3. Try your best to avoid shadows (under exposure) and too much sunlight (over exposure). Find a spot with a good even balance.

I should have shot earlier in the day when the sun was directly over, instead of when the sun was setting. That made it difficult to shoot no matter which direction we turned. You'll notice that some of us were in shadows while others were in more sunlight unable to open their eyes fully. There's an unedited photo further down I shared as an example.

 I definitely need more practice with shooting in sunlight and how to direct my subjects. I still have a few lessons I purchased recently from the Clickin Moms website. :-)




4. Bribe the kids. In order to help my children behave and avoid pouting and testing my patience, I allowed them to help me chose their outfits. I told my daughter the colors I had in mind and she chose her outfit on her own. For my sons, I set out two tops that could match a specific sweater or a fleece pullover.

The location where we took our photos has a park, so I told them that if they cooperated, they could play while my husband and I took our photographs and after we were done taking pictures.

You could also bring some snacks.

*Make sure the kids are well-fed before getting dressed so they don't mess up their clothes or whine and complain about being hungry.




5. Learn how your camera works a day or a few in advance if you don't already know how to make sure you can do the basics like focus, zoom, and use the timer and the remote, etc. Have the remote connected and tested in advance.




6. Make sure your camera is focused on the subjects! Our first few shots were not focused so we had to retake them. The kids weren't too happy about that. Take a few practice shots.


7. Make sure everyone is centered or off-centered, whatever your vision is for the photo. Every photo doesn't have to be centered, especially if you want to get some nice scenery in the photo. I just realized all my photos are centered. For this tip only, do as I say, not as I did.


8. Have fun! Even if the kids are complaining, pretend you're enjoying it. Be the life of the party. They may feed off your energy. When my kids were called over from the park for more photos, they were pouting, but I acted like it was so much fun and told them they were doing so awesome. I encouraged them. They participated.




Below is an example of our sunlight/shadow issue. This is an unedited photo, other than cropping it into portrait instead of the original landscape view. Mine and ZJ's faces have shadows cast ver them while everyone else is in the sunlight. I don't have the skill to edit all that! Well, I'm sure a quick YouTube tutorial would help. Or someone on Fiverr. :-)

Luke, our family pet is in this one. We had a very difficult time getting him to cooperate!


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A couple more edited photos:


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DIY, how to, family photos, pictures, youtube, take your own, photography, family, marriage, interracial, mixed, families, swirl, love, dating, bwwm, relationships

DIY, how to, family photos, pictures, take your own, youtube, photography, family, marriage, interracial, mixed, families, swirl, love, dating, bwwm, relationships

DIY, how to, family photos, pictures, take your own, photography, family, marriage, interracial, mixed, families, swirl, love, dating, bwwm, relationships, youtube


Thanks for reading! How do you think I did?


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2 comments:

  1. Great tips & a beautiful family! Love this shoot! #BLMGirl adashofmichaela.com

    ReplyDelete

About Me

Hi! I'm Britney. I'm a wife and a mother to 3 children + 1 fur baby. Britney Dearest is a family lifestyle blog where I share my personal experiences as a wife, mother, homeowner, and creative to provide a virtual space where moms can find encouraging tips and inspiring resources for family, home, and mom life. Read more

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