Monday, February 8, 2010

How To Take Better Family Photos

I am lucky to have my best friend, Catharine from Bliss Photography, do a guest blog post for me!  Cathrine and I have been friends since the 3rd grade.  Who knew back then that she'd turn out to be a professional photographer who would be taking all of my family pictures for me?!  I asked Catharine if she would do a guest post on how to get better family pictures and here's what she wrote:

Taking better photos of your family? Think clothes, color and setting.

I have this problem every day. I stare in my closet and see the same things that I see everyday and not one thing jumps out at me. Well, when you go to get your pictures taken, it is a whole other tough thing. I mean, you are investing in this picture of your child or family and you will most likely share it with others. Even if you are just wanting to get a photo of your child for the grandparents, you want to look good, and you want your family to look good.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
What do I have already that fits me well and I love?
What look am I going for? Christmas photos with red in them, summer photos with blues and pinks, fall pictures with earthy colors or a classic black and white photo?
What do I want to hang as art in my home? What color is my living room?

Kids photos

Kids look best in what they are comfortable in and in an element that is comfortable for them. Does your guy have a favorite shirt? awesome! Does your girl love to dress herself in a tutu, green t-shirt and purple tights? Work with it. You want to capture your child as they are at this moment in time. Think color. What do you want to look at on your wall? Colors photograph really well and amazing art can be created from them. Also think layers, a fun vest over a solid shirt or fun shoes with a great scarf. Layers look great. Just look at any Gap kids ad, they are layered and adorable!

Newborn Photos
Newborns look best in nothing at all or something very minimal. Save the cute fancy outfits for later on. Newborns tend to get lost in too many clothes. Simpler is better. Don't forget the diaper cover or a nice cloth diaper, they photograph much better than the Pampers logo! Hats, Hats and more hats! Hats are a great accessory. Have an Aunt Betty who likes to knit? put her to work on a sweet, colorful hat to put your newborn in. Color works great for newborns, it helps to give the photo a great extra pop. Also keep your background simple, babies look best in their mom or dads arms!

Family Photos
Bliss-2403 Bliss-1305  
Clothes for Family photos? The larger the family, the tougher this can feel. You may be investing in great photography or you may just want something that you can remember your family in, so you may need to invest a little in what you are wearing as well. You don't have to spend a fortune though. Old Navy has some great coordinating colors for families. So does Gap. Think coordinating and not matching. There is a difference. If you all show up in blue shirts and jeans, you will have a
very matchy outcome. Here is a an example. Dress your husband in a great navy shirt, your son in a great green shirt with blue jeans and a navy vest, you wear a navy shirt with a beautiful green necklace or scarf and green shoes, you have yourself a coordinated outfit! It is coordinated but not matchy.

Bliss-2663 Bliss_0243 copy 2 blue copy
Don't forget the background. The background of your photos can make or break the picture. If you are using a low aperature, you will get a great background blur in your photos. It won't matter if you are standing next to a supermarket, what matters is the colors behind you. Want to take photos in your home? Use what you have or something simple. A throw blanket, a piece of fleece even a fun shower curtain can make for some great backdrops with great color! All you need is some great light and a chair to hang your makeshift background on. You have yourself a home studio, so shoot away! 

Here are my favorites for clothes and color!:
Bliss Kids 1
Bliss Kids 2
Bliss Babies
Bliss Families

Bliss Photography LLC. Catharine Bliss, Photographer

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Catharine @Bliss Photography said...

Thanks for asking me to participate. Hope it helps some folks out!

Cascia said...

Your photographs are beautiful!

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