Today, I went and hung out down at good old Dark Lens. Daz, as of late has been over run with family portraits and family photo shoots. And so I’ve been assisting Daz on various family photo sessions. Let me tell you, it’s not an easy gig! There are different relationships, dynamics and personalities to capture and often within a single frame. Deciding on poses to create polished professional looking family pictures is a challenge, as I’ve come to learn when helping with Daz.
Along the way, by assisting and watching Daz lead his family photo sessions I’ve come to learn some important things and picked up some useful tips. When it comes to photographing young children or babies, use the parents. A great trick is to get the child or children in the space and to keep the parents nearby entertaining them, and then you can capture the genuine reactions, while having composed the image before hand. Another trick is to have the parents pose in the images with the child to make them feel more at ease and slowly move them away. Creating a sense of calm and fun is crucial which can be achieved by involving the parents in the image making process. Also, using the parents as a tool for the child to lye on makes the child more at ease. For example, recently we had a photo shoot whereby we had the father cover himself with a blanket and rested the child in his lap. It made for some great images and made the child relaxed. Great tip!
Another important thing I’ve learnt is to capture genuine emotion and reactions coming from the child or children. When you are shooting children, it’s important to get them by themselves – their parent’s are paying you to take pictures that they can’t get. It’s important to not force them to smile; allow them to do so when they are ready, or not at all – some of Daz’s best shots have been children looking deadpan into the lens – sometimes you really capture the essence of a person this way.
Below are some behind the scenes images of a family photo shoot I assisted Daz on. You can see how we involved the father to get a reaction out of the baby and the various poses Daz, put the mother and child in. I set up the lights and helped distract the child.