Part of capturing worthwhile family moments on film—well, in digital form for many today—involves always being ready. The best moments happen unexpectedly and without planning. You can’t contrive them, you can only stumble upon them and be blessed accordingly. Still, there are a few things you can do to make capturing such moments more likely. Consider the following three tips.
- Posing Can Be Overrated
When people smile authentically it makes them beautiful, whoever they are. When people try to smile deliberately, this can look downright ridiculous. Certainly there are some who can force a smile and make it look good; they’re in the minority. Remember Terminator 2, Judgement Day? There’s a deleted scene where Schwarzenegger “forces” a “robot” smile. It’s quite hilarious, because it looks so ghastly.
Well, much like you can’t force a smile, you can’t really force a pose. Eating right and exercising regularly are the keys to health, and they’re perfectly natural. Likewise, the key to posing is being natural. It’s not the 1800s anymore; you don’t have to stand together in a synthetic pose. If you want the most unforgettable family moments, just get everybody together.
Additionally, there are times when people will be sitting at a dinner table, or doing some other family activity, and they’ll be having a jovial time. Snap a picture from a vantage that catches everyone; or set up a tripod with a timer on the shot so you can get yourself in the picture as well. You might even hire a photographer at an event like a wedding.
While it’s certainly not wrong to pose, it isn’t so unforgettable. Every family photo in America looks virtually the same: everyone is wearing matching clothes, resting hands on one another unnaturally, looking straight ahead, grouped close together, smiling with manufactured smiles, and somebody’s holding a dog or a cat. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but it’s only memorable in terms of its commonality.
- Set The Stage
Something else that can give you unforgettable photos is setting the stage. Basically, put chairs, props, and backdrops like those from Denny Manufacturing in the scene and snap a photo. If you are going to pose, you might as well do something fun, goofy, and out of the ordinary. A pose is synthetic, so acknowledge this reality and be spontaneous.
Make faces. Catch your family in “action” poses. Certainly there’s always time to get “normal” group photos, but few families actually have fun with it. Smartphones and other digital solutions are phasing out traditional portraiture of the photographic variety. Use that to your advantage and save money simultaneously. You can get quality photos in your basement with a £20 tripod, a stool, a decent backdrop, and some imagination.
- Cut Out The Stress And Have as Much Fun As Possible
Why is there so much stress when a family photo is taken? The kids are uncomfortable in the monkey suit they’re dressed in, the appointment is always within a hair’s breadth of being missed, and mom is stressed out to her maximum capacity. It all just seems so unnecessary!
Instead of allowing stress and worry to dictate photo day, find ways of having fun. When everyone is stressed, that’s going to come through in their body language and facial expressions. There are two primary ways to transcend this issue. One, book the date far in advance and get everyone on the same page early. But life will still intervene. Two, avoid traditional photography studios and use some of the tactics mentioned here.
Pictures To Remember
Families grow up fast, and the good times don’t always last. You want to capture the good moments as best you can, for when the rough times come. So take the stress out of getting family portraits taken. Have fun. Set the stage. Cut out the stress, and don’t worry too much about poses, or kids making faces. If they’re having fun, you’ll have better photos.