For me when I think of the holidays the first thing that comes to mind is family. Directly after that my mind wanders to locations across the globe. Basically because my family is spread out and we have not all ever lived in the same place. There will come a time in the near future where my side of the family will be split up on four different continents! Returning to a childhood home in the states every year for the holidays just does not fit our expat family. When it comes to planning our upcoming holidays my family has decided we will start choosing destinations where we can all meet.
TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY + FAMILY PORTRAITURE
Now not only will we be wanting to focus on our travel photography on our holidays, we will want family portraits at the same time too. For us we never know the next time we will all be together in the same location, let alone that destination. Time is precious on holidays and when it comes to family photos quality wins over quantity. Take 600 photographs of your travels with family member scattered in the mix but do not get one great group shot of everyone and the opportunity is gone. How do you plan family photos when there is already so much going on with the holiday and travel plans?
How to take Family Photos on your Travels
1. Communicate with your Group | Once everyone knows where you are going for your holidays it is time to start talking about the photographs. My family knows that when I leave the house I will have a camera on me. However, I cannot pretend that everyone is a mind reader and will know that I want to get family photos. Some people will need reminding, others coaxing, and some will want fair warning so they can be feel amply prepared.
2. Prepare Before Leave | Any task will be pulled off more efficiently with before thought and preparation. Think about the location you are traveling to and how far your family will be traveling from. It is best to not to ask your family to bring a lot of extra clothes or props just for a family photo. With the right preparation and communication you can still pull off a rather stylized family shoot.
3. Stylize your Shoot | Think of a colour scheme that will work well with your group and let everyone know in advance. However do not then leave it up to chance. You either risk having everyone wear the same outfit or having one person looking out of place because perhaps they did not have dark trousers and wore light blue jeans instead. The key is coordination and simplicity. For balance check ahead of time what everyone has and what they are thinking of wearing. The best way I have found this to work for my family is to think of a basic colour palette that you know people will have and then build on it with a little bit of colour. Have different members of the group ‘pop’ that colour into their wardrobe in different ways. If your ‘pop’ colour is green you may see it introduced in different items of clothing on each person and even in accessories like hats, hair pieces, jewelry, ties, scarves, and shoes.
4. Posing | Once you know what people are wearing you can work with colour balance and family relations to decide who will stand where in the photo. Before hand look at family poses online that you like and bring it with you on your mobile device or printed out for reference. You can try different poses but go with your favourite pose first. This will be beneficial if you are working with children (or adults) with short attention spans or a dislike for having their photo taken.
5. Be Efficient | If there will be children, older family members, people with special needs, or pets in the photograph, let them relax until you are read to start snapping away. Let the other family members work with you to set up the group shot first. Once you are ready to add everyone in then get ready to smile and aim to get ‘the shot’ there in the beginning.
6. Timing | It really is everything. Think about the time of day you are shooting and how it will affect lighting and shadows. Also take in account how the time of the photo will affect the members posing. As my family photos involve children I like to take photos when they are not hungry, not tired, and before something that they can look forward to after the photos are finished. My favourite time of day is the golden hour after the sun comes up. Others also like to shoot during the golden hour in the evening during the last light of the day.
7. Take the Shot | Whether you are having someone else take the photos or you are using your camera’s timer or a remote, remember you are working with a group of people in one photo. This means some people may be blinking or making a strange face in one shot, while looking great in another. Start with having everyone feel comfortable and relaxed and then take a lot of photos to achieve a shot where everyone looks great. The shorter the shoot the nicer it will be on those who feel uncomfortable or would rather be doing something else. Make sure to check the photos before you deem the shoot as ‘over’ to know you are satisfied with the results.
8. Have fun | Once you have the shot you need then let your group have fun. Maybe break out some props to use or bring in elements from your trip to show off your holiday. Let people mingle, be themselves, and pose with different people. This is a perfect time to get candids!
There you have 8 tips for family photos on a trip. Perfect for you to implement on your holidays this year! I have other photography geared posts that you can check out including the How to Take your Family Portraits which you can read by clicking the image below.
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* Photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | www.bonnie-rose.co.uk