If a family reunion is coming up and you’re the one being called up to photograph the event, it’s normal to feel a little stressed. After all, with all your family gathering in one place there’s already so much chaos. How can you even hope to properly represent such a meeting on a series of photographs? Here are 10 tips to help you take better family reunion pictures that will serve as beautiful memories of the time you’ve all spent together.
1. Be quick about it
Work out your camera settings before the event begins and you’ll be ready when things start happening. Don’t linger on too much – move around the room, smile and keep it fluid. You don’t want to make people feel like they need to pose all the time.
2. Focus on details
Planning a family reunion is all about the details – the garden, the setting, the food, etc. Point your camera away from people to build a story based on these details which make the event so unique.
3. Try different combinations
Break the large picture down into smaller combinations. Try to get some of these in-between candid moments and focus on relationships. When appropriate, opt for the look-at-the-camera style, but always mix it up.
4. Experiment with angles
Don’t ask people to stand straight right in front of you when taking their picture. Do a family lineup and then mix it up by shooting it from various side angles. It’s surprising and fun!
5. Photograph children at their level
Instead of photographing children from your own level which is above kids’ heads, try to go down to their level and show viewers what this child’s world looks like. Changing perspectives always helps to keep your work interesting.
6. Concentrate on capturing connections
Sure, people might be surprised when you discourage them from posing and smiling at the camera, but soon they’ll just get to what they were doing before – talking to each other. And that’s when you’ll be able to capture these magical family connections. Let these moments happen and be there to photograph them.
7. Try your hand at shooting portraits
Mix it up and focus on individual people. Don’t ask them to pose, but suggest a spot for them and allow them to find their own way to relate to this space. Choose the best light and go for it – this way you’ll get some unique portraits.
8. Be practical about sunlight
Standing in the sun is a bad idea. The light is too bright and the sun is hot, making people feel uncomfortable and sweaty. Bright sunlight also makes them squint or have raccoon eyes. Finally, sun creates way too much contrast on your photos. Choose shade and you’ll be able to accurately capture the group in midtones.
9. Shoot great candid group photos
The family lineup is an obsolete idea. And people hate to do it too! Why not set your group up, and start with some jokes. It will help you create a dynamic between family members – and that’s when you step in and capture these precious moments.
10. Relax and hire a professional
Sometimes you just want to enjoy spending time with your family without having to devote your energy to capturing the reunion from the best angles. Fortunately there are platforms like Oneflare which offer easy access to affordable photography services. If taking family photos isn’t really your thing, pick one and save yourself the trouble.
But most importantly, just have fun. Family reunions are perfect capturing that coziness and comfort we associate with our families, so prepare your equipment and follow these tips to make the most from this occasion, creating memorable photos which will be appreciated for the years to come.