29 May How To Create Beautiful Family Photos
We all want to document our children’s milestones and memorable moments, and there are lots of ways to do it no matter your skill level.
Given the large number of mums on Instagram, Flickr, in private photography groups on Facebook and online communities such as Clickin Moms, it’s no secret we all want to learn how to capture the perfect shot.
We spoke to mums’ Courtney King and Julie Adams, professional photographers who also love to use their smartphones to capture their kids growing up.
As digital photography has grown in popularity, images have become more heavily styled and edited. These aren’t easy to replicate without professional training. For example, posed newborn photographs require lots of manipulation with lighting and carefully chosen props.
For people who love formal photographs, like family portraits or cake smashes, or want to capture their baby’s first birthday or christening without stress, it’s best to hire a professional. However, when it comes to capturing candid everyday moments, there are lots of little things you can do to take attractive pictures without detracting from their natural quality.
Julie and Courtney often shoot families in their homes and both say it’s a matter of making the best use of the available light:
“When I photograph in someone’s home, it’s always unknown what the lighting will be like and I’m so excited when the rooms are sun-filled, bright and there are large windows. Lighting can definitely make the ordinary look beautiful.” – Courtney
“A lot of the time my job involves making the best of whatever the location is in front of me. I may have a vision in my mind that involves available light, but I always come prepared for any situation. Keep the composition in mind – take note of what’s in the background/foreground, keep things quite simple and look for flattering light.” – Julie
After finding where the best light is in your home, here are a few other things you should keep in mind:
• Remove clutter or mess to keep the focus on your kids.
• If an image has colours or patterns that are distracting, convert it to black and white.
• Let them be. Children don’t necessarily need to look at the camera or smile.
• Photograph from different perspectives… lie on the ground, photograph from above. Take lots of photos and delete after.
The candid shots of your children playing, sleeping and doing unexpected things go hand in hand with photos of the important life moments every parent wants to remember, such as the first day of school and the arrival of a sibling. Try these creative suggestions:
• Get your children to hold signs with captions and dates as a built-in reminder of when they happened. A sign with the words, “First day of school, January 2017,” is a great addition to a standard shot of a child in their school uniform.
• Other props can be easily added to photos too, such as coloured balloons when announcing a baby’s gender.
• Seasonal photographs, such as shots of kids playing in autumn leaves, rugged up in winter clothes, holding bunches of flowers in spring or building sandcastles in summer, illustrate the passing of time.
• Shots of siblings at the same age dressed in the same outfits, or even being wrapped up in the same blanket at birth, are a sweet way of comparing kids at the same age.
• Shots of things such as your children’s hands or feet when they are small, or gaps in their mouth when they lose a tooth are worth photographing before they change.
Courtney King is a family and wedding photographer, and mum to Judah, three. Julie Adams is mum to two girls and contributing photographer on Vogue Australia and The Grace Tales.
Words by Courtney King