If you’d like to know how to get some amazing portrait photographs of your family with your DSLR but aren’t quite sure how, here’s a few golden rules for getting striking results you can be proud of. Article provided by Tamsin Louise Photography
- Turn your camera off ‘Auto mode’ and set it to ‘Aperture Priority mode.’ Automatic mode is the setting that your camera is set to when you buy it, it gives you O.K photos, putting everything into focus and resulting in a very flat image. To get your ‘wow’ portrait, you want your subject to stand out from the background behind them. One tip is to set your camera to ‘Aperture Priority mode’, using a low f-number as well, opens up your lens wide, giving your subject a shallow depth of field. As a result, your photograph will appear more 3-dimentional, and the background behind them will be nicely blurred, making your child stand out better.
- Get on their level
Getting down to the same level as your child, allows you to engage with them and make them feel relaxed, you are also allowing them to look straight into your lens.
- Talk to them and make them laugh!
Don’t call out their name and tell them to smile, they will most likely pull a grimace that doesn’t look flattering or play up. Instead, be patient and capture them naturally.
- Take your child aside to take their photo.
You don’t want your child to be distracted, so If you’re with other members of the family, find a space a little way away, so you can get the child’s full attention…you mostly want them looking at you and your camera!
- Focus on the eyes!
Eyes can make or break a portrait, so getting them sharp is crucial, keep both eyes in focus and at the forefront of the photograph. If you’re struggling with this, you may want to try a higher value aperture.
- Shooting in natural light
I prefer to shoot in natural light, as I believe it results in the most flattering portraits. If I’m shooting a new-born, I tend to use beautiful, natural light from a window, or if I’m doing an outdoor shoot, I will time it as early or as late in the day as possible, this is when the light is softer, producing those beautiful pink and golden colours. Turn off your pop-up flash!
- Your “nifty-fifty”
If you’re serious about taking fantastic portraits, I strongly recommend you get yourself a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens. It’s my ‘go to lens’ and is very popular due to its wide-open aperture and affordability when compared to other fast prime lenses.
- More is always best!
If you try to include more in the frame, you can always crop it later on. Try stepping back a bit so you have the choice of composition.
- Remain calm and enjoy yourself!
Don’t be overwhelmed, it might take a bit of practice but the main thing is to relax and have fun with your kids!