Tips for Group Portraits

Tis the season for group shots, entire families, or just the kids. No matter what holiday, be it Christmas, Yule, Kwanzaa, Chanukah, you celebrate you will want to have a big family shot done no doubt. Whether you are hiring a photographer or doing the photos yourself there are some things you will want to remember.

The best thing to remember is that you want everyone to be in a generally good mood, meaning you want to avoid near nap or bedtimes. Every child has a breaking point and you don't want it to happen during a shoot. Shoot to have the photo session at a time everyone is up and active and in a god mood.

Make sure to get warm up shots done. You want to check the lighting, your camera settings, or your photographer does, candid shots are great for this. If you have a photographer that hasn't worked with your kids before it's great for them to get used to each other. You also want to get those precious moment photos.

A fun thing is to try is to have a story in the photos. Shoot for a beginning, middle, and end. If you doing gift exchanges, make sure you get in the room with the gifts before them so that you can get their faces when they walk in. If you have a family tradition that you do every year, take photos of it. Lighting candles? Zoom in close on the hands and flame. Hanging ornaments on the tree? Get a close up of their face as they focus.

Remember just because you are doing a group shoot, doesn't mean you can't get some great individuals too. And if you're having a problem getting a complete group shot of everyone, collages are your friends.

I'm sorry Christmas is when?

I swear my body betrays me every time something big is coming. Me and the little miss have colds. I should be getting a visit from "aunt flow" and I have a ton to do before Tuesday! Tuesday people. When did Christmas get so close? Ankle is still hurting too, but I can walk for a while without the brace on so it's getting better.

Updates from the cafe: I own a domain!

Hey guys, I know I've been a bad blogger but I have a good reason! I bought my own domain and have been slowly working on getting it ready. You will love it. It's on Wordpress cause I'm following the great Vanita's advice on the matter, by the way GoogleLuv is a great course, definitely check into it.

I also being my fabulously klutzy self have a wonderfully sprained ankle that is in a brace for about a month. I think the pain meds are making me a bit unfocused to be honest.

I've also hadded some things to my Etsy shop, and digital downloads!

Outdoor Family Photos

I love shooting families outdoors, especially kids, I really think they have the best and biggest smiles then. I also find shooting on location to look much better than studio shoots. They look more natural, and it's more about capturing a memory than a stiffly posed shot.

My all time favorite place is Algonquin Park. From the playground to the stream, to the bridges, the waterfall, the old house ruins, rocks, and general openness. Plus the tower and little hobbit hole type door by the lake. It's just a magical place for photos for me. I love to capture the little moments of play with kids, not just posed portraits.

The other places to check out are

  • Your own yard!

  • My yard if you don't have one.

  • Downing Park

  • Waterfront

  • Washington Headquarters

  • Plum Point

  • Railroad crossings

  • Churches

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you want to make your subject comfortable, that's how you get the best smiles and the sweet moments.