Hello and happy new year! I love this time of year and all the joy I see in the people I encounter. The holidays have such an amazing effect on everyone in Dallas, and it’s especially apparent when looking on Facebook and Instragram. It’s a never-ending scroll full of family photos and Christmas cards. While I enjoy seeing your happy, shining faces, I feel I’d be doing you a disservice not to share a few tips of the trade. Because, let’s face it, no matter how cute your child is, no one looks cute with “derp” face on a Christmas card.
Here’s 4 tips to photographing your family:
1. Get it in during “Golden Hour”
When taking a family portrait, nothing is as paramount as lighting. Make sure your clan shows up before or at 4 pm during this time of year – that’s when the sun will hit the “sweet spot” and give you the amazing lighting you’re looking for.
2. Shoot into the sun
Contrary to popular belief (and logic), shooting your subjects with the sun behind them will create a beautiful, glowing effect that makes your portrait a work of art.
3. Set your camera up properly
This is a big one: check your settings! First and foremost, set your aperture appropriately. For sunny conditions, set it to f/16. For slightly overcast conditions, set it to f/11. For overcast situations, set it to f/8. For very overcast conditions, set it to f/5.6.
Your next tip is your ISO level – make sure it’s higher in low-light situations and lower in bright-light situations. For “golden hour,” I’d suggest setting your ISO level lower since the sun is at it’s brightest.
4. Pro-tip: Use filters!
For those of you editing your photos in Adobe Lightroom, there are tons of free filters at your disposal. They’re called “presets” and will blow your mind. If you want to add even more to your photo or save a mediocre shot, throw a filter on it and salvage your work.
Most importantly though, act like you like each other! Good luck shooting.