Due to social distancing, families are spending more time together at home. Whether you’re overdue for a group picture, want to capture family memories during an unprecedented time in the world, or just want to find a creative new hobby, now is a great time to experiment with photography.
We’ve compiled six of the best photography tips for beginners, specifically for family photoshoots. Whether you’d like to do an indoor or outdoor photo, these strategies will put you on the right track toward an unforgettable picture.
1. For DIY indoor lighting, use fairy lights
Not sure how to capture the right lighting or your picture? Luckily, there’s no need to shell out tons of money on professional equipment.
To add an even, warm lighting to your pictures, try stringing up fairy lights in the background or in the same room outside of the shot. Fairy lights are strings of lights similar to what you’d hang up on a Christmas tree. They can help bring a nice glow to your pictures and smooth out harsh shadows.
If you want to take a family photo outside, aim for a shoot during the first or last hour of the day. Photographers call this the “golden hour,” and it’s when the lighting will be best and warmest in color.
To find the golden hour in your area, check out this golden hour calculator that gives an approximate time based on your location.
3. Try your phone or camera’s self-timer to get your whole family in the shot
Current social distancing guidelines in your area might make it hard to bring a friend or hire a photographer to take the picture. No problem. Most cameras and smartphones have a self-timer feature. All you need do is set the device upright in front of the shot, press the timer button, and get back into the camera frame for a simple, hands-free shot.
4. Use the “rule of thirds” for a balanced shot
Pretend that you shot is divided into nine sections: three across and three down. To make a balanced picture, your goal should be to put the focus point of your picture where the imaginary lines between the sections intersect. This is called the “rule of thirds” and is a popular technique among professionals.
To try this technique more precisely, try downloading a rule of thirds app for your phone or check to see if your camera has a rule of thirds grid setting.
5. If you’re using a smartphone, try the filters
If you’ve never taken time to explore your phone’s camera features, now’s a good time to do so. Maybe you want the vintage sophistication of a black-and-white filter? Or perhaps you’d like to try a sillier feature that puts animal ears on each person in the picture? Smartphones often come with tons of features that make taking a unique picture easy and fun.
6. Check out other family photoshoots for posing inspiration
Not sure how you want to pose your family members? Try looking for inspiration on Instagram or Pinterest. These sites have tons of photoshoot ideas and examples you can search through while brainstorming.
A few good Instagram hashtags to start with include #familyphotoshoot, #familyportraits, and #familyselfie.