Family Portraiture

Taking photos of people is my happy place.  I've included a few below.  I've taken numerous standard, posed, group photos of families.  And I'm happy to do those but if we do a shoot like that, I will likely insist that we do a good number of more casual and some more unique photos.  Often silly and less serious.

I remember once taking a photo of some friends when we were out on a winter horse drawn sleigh ride.  Afterwards.  They asked me to take a photo. There they were, the fours of them, standing upright, mom and dad on either side of their two teenage sons.  I just couldn't do it.  I had them all crouch down, not kneeling but imbalanced, so that most of their attention was on keeping themselves from falling in the snow and not on their fake smiles.  Twenty-five years later, I still get comments from them on what a great photo.  How happy and relaxed they all looked.  

Is Mom in the Room?

Other times I've had to ask mom to leave the room so I could get a decent photo of the children.  This has happened more than once, so don't feel offended if I politely or sternly ask you to leave the space so I can get an undistracted photo.  Remember also, sometimes the best photos are not always with the huge smile.  We are of many moods and a photo can help express these.  I find often the serious look or the impish smile is the favourite.  

Turtle The Head

For more samples have a look at my Portraits page and some other's showing more group shots on my Wedding page.

An  important thing for you and other family members to know when you are getting a portrait is the trick of 'turtle the head'.   There is a great video on this by Peter Hurley.  You can watch it here on my website or go to Youtube.

The idea here is fairly simple, really, You want to very gently stretch your head slightly in the direction of the camera.  If you are head on to the camera, you would push your head forward a few centimetres, without lifting or dropping it.  If you are at a 45° angle you would stretch your head kinda sideways toward the camera.  This helps define the chin and allows for greater light and shadow.  Practice for a few moments in front of the camera - when no one is watching!  Have fun and I'll see you soon.

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