Photographing families, can be a hard task and an easy one. It all depends on the family, and the chemistry you both provide off one another. I love photographing people one on one, so I use this technique when photographing families and try and break up the dynamic before bringing them together. When photographing a family you not only have to showcase the family, but also the personalities in the family to the best of your abilities.
I photographed a family this summer, who was all girls! The dad was definitely out numbered by these five woman in his family. They are all strong personalities and all were very different. The wife was very calm, and easy going and I feel her energy provided a nice landscape for her girls. The youngest of the bunch was full of energy and at points, definitely made me struggle to get the images I wanted.
But when this happened, I just kinda sat back for a little bit, and watched her and them interact as a family, and then started shooting.
The moral of the story is sometimes posed is not the way to go. Also sometimes you just don’t get the images you have imagined either. Life happens, and after all, that’s what memories are all about. I was able to shoot candidly and also shoot posed, but my favorites are definitely the images of the girls just being girls, and the parents interacting with their kids as if no one was there. Lifestyle photography definitely emulates this style of photography and I am definitely a fan of it.
So tips on photographing families, allow them to be themselves, allow them to run around, this brings out true emotions. Encourage them to laugh, to talk, to smile, to play, and your images will not only be awesome portfolio pieces but treasures for the families that have chosen you to photograph their moments.
So, take a step back, and enjoy your families, and just take the images so they can relive their memories through print.
here are few of the Johnson families portraits
Location: Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
Photographer: Paula Stauffer of Paula Andrea Photography
Style: Lifestyle Candid