Family photography: tips, traditions and more

Imagine how wonderful it would be to have truly great photos of all the traditions that tie your family together

Imagine how wonderful it would be to have truly great photos of all the traditions that tie your family together. Holidays, birthdays, reunions – you can relive all these cherished moments through digital pictures. Our tips will help you capture images that will inspire “remember when” conversations for years to come.

You’re on candid camera!

The best photos are always unplanned. So be sure to take some candid shots every time family members meet and greet each other. Capture their happy (and not-so-happy!) faces, the hugs and the kisses. Look for the little things that mean a lot, like a child’s intense concentration on opening a gift.

If you grab the camera to capture the whole family, shoot at least two frames. Taking more photographs simply boosts your chances of success. And always be prepared – keep your digital camera close by and loaded with fresh batteries.

Creating perfect portraits

If you have willing subjects, you can try taking more formal pictures. Here are some ways to give your shots professional style:

• Talk to your subjects. It relaxes them, and the relaxation will show. But be sure to stop talking just before you press the shutter release, to minimize camera shake.
• Plan ahead. If you want to take a posed picture, set up ahead of time. But work quickly. Patience wanes with a large group of people, especially if kids are involved.
• Watch the background. A simple background sets a subject off so much better than the wall of a house or a cluttered street scene.
• Don’t be left out! Using your camera’s self-timer will guarantee that you get into at least some of your own pictures. Just make sure the group leaves room for you to squeeze in at the last minute!
• Make a pyramid. Rather than lining everybody up, have some people kneel in front. But avoid posing very tall people behind kneeling subjects. Instead, try to arrange the group like a pyramid, filling in the center with faces. If possible, tier the group – on a flight of steps, for example.

Pet portraits: bark and say “chew toy”

Don’t forget the furry members of your family! (And we don’t mean Uncle Bob.)

To make a pet photo-shoot easier and more fun for both you and your subject, try to anticipate the best time for a portrait. Your pet should be alert, but not overly frisky. The next challenge is getting Fido to sit still. This can often be accomplished by distracting him with something to look at or listen to (a treat, a toy, a person) at the moment of exposure.

Creating family photo traditions

Try and get your entire family photographed together on the same day every year. These pictures will soon become living heirlooms to be treasured by all.

Another great tradition you might introduce is creating a separate album for each child, or for the whole family, or for major occasions. These will not only become incredible keepsakes, but they will give you the opportunity to sit and talk about the pictures with other family members.

Finally, make sure you invest in good photo paper! Archive-quality paper costs a little more, but you won’t be ripping out yellowed photographs years later.

Learn more about Creative ideas and projects from HP
Visit the HP Digital Photography Centre

Get Chatelaine in your inbox!

Our very best stories, recipes, style and shopping tips, horoscopes and special offers. Delivered a couple of times a week.