We have all seen beautiful family event photos but feel like ours are just not making the cut. What if I told you that there are some basic tricks and tips that can be applied at almost any event you want to photograph (without hiring a pricey photographer)? It can be done! Here are some of my favorite things I do when I am at a family gathering.
1. Snap the Details
I love storytelling shots. Those shots that you know you aren't going to frame but they help to tell the greater story of the day. I do this as a wedding photographer all the time. They might include:
2. Get Creative
Not exactly what I mean when I say 'get creative' but we had to because he was NOT cooperating for another shot I had planned. BUT, notice how the balloons are cropping some of the photo giving the look that we are right there with Micah, on his level and giving him a cool frame.
There are a number of ways to get creative with your family event photos some of which will depend on your stylistic preferences. You can start thinking like a photographer by looking for interesting light, lines and frames to make up your composition.
I was able to anticipate the cheesy smile because Auntie Niomi was playing with him while he ate cake.
Anticipation is key to get genuine expressions from the guests. Wedding photographers anticipate shots all the time! I can almost guarantee that the cutest expressions are right after the bride and groom kiss for the first time or that the guests are going to crack up at the best man's toast at some point. It is all about anticipation! So, at your next family event, anticipate the kid's laughter (and cheesy smile) when an adult is playing with or teasing them or maybe when happy birthday is being sung, focus on the subject smiling at the crowd before blowing out the candles.
4. Be Assertive
Sometimes you have to get a little politely bossy to get the shot you want. Asking someone to move just to the left to get out of the way OR to ask them to move a little to the right to get the right light on them OR asking someone else take a photo of you, is worth it. If you want to get photos of them looking at the camera, people are usually more comfortable in groups or pairs and are more willing to smile for the shot.
5. Move Around
Moving around the room will allow for much more interesting and effective photographs. This will allow for a few things:
5. Learn Manual
If you still have not learned manual mode on your DSLR (aka those fancy cameras) then please do this!! Learning manual allows you to have so much more freedom in your photography. For instance:
Check out the registration link for more details here.
Shout out to Milena Rempel who helped me take some of these photos so I could get in there with my sweet boy!