Life can move pretty fast, especially if you have kids! One day they’re babies, and the next they’re adults ready to leave the nest and start adventures on their own.
As children grow up there are many special memories and important times we want to preserve in photographs – especially with older family members like grandparents, or aunts and uncles.
But to keep things fun and fresh you may want to try some new ideas with your family portraits, to make them even more special and memorable.
So whether you’re a budding family portrait photographer looking for new ideas, or you’re an amateur photographer who is always handed the camera for family photos, we have 10 of the best family photography ideas (see also: 10 Best Family Photography Ideas)for senior and children photography.
1. Take A Seat
If you have chairs, stools or couches then sit some family members down, with other family members standing beside the chairs or behind them.
If you don’t have furniture, then ask the family to sit or lean on giant rocks, ledges, or posts.
2. Create A Focal Point
This is a great idea for a family with a baby or small children, but can also be done without small children too. Place the youngest child in the middle of the group, acting as the focal point.
Then ask the other family members to look at the child. This creates a more laidback and fun family shot that everyone is sure to love.
Plus, when the family is looking at the one of the kids you’re likely to get sweeter and more natural expressions.
If there isn’t a baby or young child in the family you can make grandparents the focal point. This is great for a family portrait that is celebrating the birthday of an older family member, or the anniversary of an older couple.
3. Have Fun With It
When taking a picture of a large family, it’s likely there will be a lot of talking, laughing and fun going on.
So why not take advantage of that and embrace the fun? You can ask one member to tell a joke, or ask them to strike a funny pose, or jump up in the air.
4. Put The Children Front And Center
Rather than lining up family members, ask them to create two rows, with children in the front. Make sure the children are standing close to the adults to create a cozier look.
Once you’ve got some pictures of everyone smiling, you may ask the kids to do something a little sillier such as pulling funny faces or jumping up.
5. Don’t Forget Pets!
Lots of families have pets and consider them valuable members of the family, so why not include them in the portrait?
Yes, it can be a challenge to include dogs (see also “How To Photograph Dogs“), cats or hamsters into a portrait (because they are obviously not going to be receptive to requests) but it’s so worth it.
One benefit is that pets make a great focal point for children and indeed the rest of the family.
However, pets may be too big of a distraction for children, so there’s no harm in doing a few shots without the pets to ensure you’ve got at least a couple of shots without distractions.
6. Black And White Photos
Black and white photography will never go out of style! So as well as full color images, take a few photos in black and white too.
Black and white also add plenty of character to portraits. The tonal values take care of contrast, detail, and texture when the color is removed.
Black and white edits add a touch of nostalgia to family portraits too, especially for senior members of the family who may remember when all their photos were in black and white!
7. Drone Photography
Drones may seem like an out-there choice for family portrait photography, (see also: 10 Best Cameras For Family Photography Ideas)but they are undeniably unique.
If you can get your hands on a drone they are great for getting pictures of your family taking a stroll, and to get some really scenic shots in outdoor locations.
If your family is particularly active, use your drone to take a breathtaking photo of them at sunset standing on an outcropping of rock or on top of a cliff.
A simple idea that kids will love is to have everyone lay down on the ground and just take a drone picture from above. This is a great choice for an overcast day, so people don’t have to squint up at the sun.
8. Incidental Shots
If you’re on vacation with your family then use this opportunity to take some incidental photos. While relaxing on the beach you have a great opportunity to take beautiful photographs and capture amazing vacation memories.
Other incidental locations may be sporting events your family regularly attends, or at the local park. Or you can take an incidental shot of your family going about their day-to-day lives or at a wider family get-together.
9. Make Use Of Aperture And Depth Of Field
Aperture is one of the most important camera settings for family portraits. Manual controls let you hone in on the aperture via the lens or body.
The aperture is a diaphragm inside the lens that opens to let light through to the image sensor.
A narrow aperture results in less light filtering through the lens and putting more of the image elements in focus.
Meanwhile, a wide aperture results in more light passing through the lens. It also creates a shallow depth of field that’s ideal for family portraits.
A shallow depth of field means that only certain elements of the photo are focused. You can put the faces in focus, while the background will appear as a dreamy blur.
This composition draws your eye to your family members and makes the background less distracting.
10. Use Shutter Speed To Freeze The Action
Shutter speed controls how fast the shutter uncovers and recovers the image sensor, and helps the basic camera settings in managing exposure.
It’s normally a mechanical function, but some cameras also have an electronic shutter that recreates the same outcome but without moving parts.
Your speed choice is dependent on the lighting and the need to capture motion. A fast shutter gives light less time to pass from the lens to the sensor, which leads to a darker exposure.
It will also freeze any sense of movement in the composition. A slow shutter gives the light more time to hit the sensor. If it’s too slow then the image will be over-exposed.
We hope our article has given you some ideas and tips on how to photograph the children and seniors in your family!
If you want to take beautiful photographs of your loved ones, we hope this article has given you all you need to get started.
If you want to become a professional portrait photographer, then there’s no better time than now to get started.
The appetite for quality content is growing across all kinds of online platforms, so the opportunity to build a career is there.
But if you’re an amateur photographer with a love for photography and want to make your family (see also: 10 Best Family Outdoor Photography Ideas)portraits special, then there are many ways you can shake up your family photos!