TOP 10 TIPS FOR FAMILY PHOTOS
In Perth, Western Australia, we share a fairly laid-back lifestyle and it’s a bit of an effort to organise a family portrait. You know what I mean. Everyone is so busy. Getting the kids to agree and shampooing the dog. However, it’s really important to dress up a bit; put on your best jeans for the park or best shorts for the beach. You’ll be so pleased with yourself. And think about the colour tones. Gather up the clothes for the whole family and lay them out on the bed. Ask yourself, do they work together? Similar tones, but NOT ALL THE SAME COLOUR.
Choose a good location. Well, we’ve got great parks with freshly mowed lawns (Think Kings Park in the city), great beaches, (World famous Cottesloe Beach) and heaps of places. Look for a setting with a pleasing backdrop. Even Leighton Beach with the colours of Fremantle Port as a backdrop. A good family photographer can make you look your best, anywhere.
Start out with a display idea. Are you going to improve the games room with a storyboard – three to five framed images? Or will one big canvas highlighting your family at play be enough?
Plan where you will display your new family photos. Don’t leave it till later. Discuss the details in advance and then your photographer can compose photos with your plan in mind.
Choose clothes to suit the mood and location. Some styles date easily. (“I don’t want to end up with trendy photos that look tacky in a few years.”) Coordinate colours to suit each other and the location. Soft blues, greys, pinks, and denim look great at the beach or in a shady park. The formal dress looks so wrong at the beach but perfect in a formal setting.
Close-up or full-length photos? Serious or smiley expressions? It’s also a good idea to match head and body sizes for wall collections.
Personality and movement. Action brings images to life. Let your kids off the leash! Make a hero of your family dog. Encourage a bit of play, especially with parents. Parents can have fun too!
Great locations with good light and pleasing backdrops are everywhere. You might love a particular setting but does it have a suitable background without cars and light poles? (“We’ve got thousands of photos but none of them really work.”)
Don’t rely on your phone for family photos. A professionally made family portrait is safe to keep and will always look good. Printed photos are REAL. Less likely to get lost forever. Print your family memories in an album to make them real. (“All I have is a bunch of digital files that look awful!”) Be wary of cheap prints. They are not going to last. Go Pro! (“The pictures I try to print and frame myself never look as good.”)
Include grandparents in your memories. After all, grandchildren are their greatest reward. Sometimes it helps to let your children express themselves in their own creative ways with their grandparents. Take your time. Laughter, fun and smiles will happen naturally.
Geoff Fisher, Master Photographer, Perth, Western Australia