Shooting A Family Portrait Session Part 2

Shooting A Family Portrait Session Part 2

Hello everyone and welcome back to our blogging hub here at Weddit! The last time that you heard from us would have been only a couple of days ago, do you remember? (You can catch up on Part 1 here). We began to talk about how you could go about shooting a family portrait session. We stopped at tip N0.5, but don’t worry! We have another five TOP TIPS to share with you today! So, without further delay, let’s get on with the post...

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Tip N0.6: Metering Mode - In photography, the metering mode often refers to the way in which a camera determines exposure. Cameras generally allow the user to select between spot, centre-weighted average, or multi-zone metering modes. Certain metering mode options seem to suit some photographers more than others. As you gain experience (taking family portraits), you’ll soon see which works best for you! To start with, try using spot metering for individual portraits and evaluative metering for group shots!

Tip N0.7: Shooting in RAW - There are various reasons why you may want to consider shooting in a RAW format as opposed to JPG, especially when it comes to taking photographs of a family portrait. Here’s a couple of reasons why:

1. When you snap a photo in RAW mode, the camera uses one of its ‘White Balance’ settings as a starting point, but you are free to adjust it however you wish on your computer. Programs such as Lightroom, Photoshop, and Aperture have simple controls for adjusting the White Balance, and even though modern cameras are much better at getting it right on their own, many photographers still find themselves tweaking the white balance quite often. So, shooting in RAW mode can actually be pretty handy!

2. Shooting in RAW mode not only gives you the freedom to adjust the colours that you can see, but also to adjust the colours that you cannot see. When a JPG photo is too bright or too dark (i.e. overexposed or underexposed), there is not much that can be done to save it because much of the data that was captured by the image sensor will no longer exist. Cameras have all sorts of ways to help us get the right exposure when we take a picture, but sometimes things just don’t work out, and you might find that some of your most precious memories were either too dark or washed out. Since RAW mode keeps all the data when an image is captured, you have much more leeway when adjusting images after they’ve been taken.

3. Of course shooting in RAW mode does have its downsides too (most notably the file size). RAW files can easily take up ten times as much space on your memory card as JPG files do, which seems like a lot of wasted space if you don’t do a lot of editing or post-processing to your images. To be honest, if you are just shooting pictures of a nature hike or your kids in the park, RAW might be an overkill, but it’ll be worth it for family portrait sessions though. It’s not that JPG files can’t be edited, because they certainly can! JPG files can be manipulated in Photoshop and other image editing programs as well, and there is enough colour information in most JPG files for some editing wiggle room. But using RAW mode gives you much more freedom to work, and even though the file sizes are much greater, what you’re able to do with the images in the post-processing stage is worth it!

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Tip N0.8: Auto White Balance - If you’re in the process of learning how to shoot a family portrait session, we’d recommend setting your white balance to ‘auto’ if you’re doing a location shoot. You’ll be working in a variety of locations with different lighting, and you won’t have much time for setting the white balance as you go. Correcting white balance is an easy edit in Lightroom, so you’d be better off spending the time engaging with the family you’re photographing, rather than faffing about with your camera in order to capture superb shots.

Tip N0.9: Choose Your Lenses - Consider which lenses you’ll be needing to take with you to the family portrait session. If your budget doesn’t stretch to a photography lifestyle where you own several lenses, you could always consider renting some. It can actually be surprisingly economical, and it gives you the opportunity to try out different focal lengths to see which one(s) will suit you best according to your photography needs.

Using several lenses throughout a family portrait session will give you lots of variety throughout the images (as well as meaning that you can cope with most locations). A zoom lens like a 24-70mm will give you lots of flexibility, or a popular prime lens for family portraits is an 85mm lens, which is very flattering for portrait photography. A wide lens like a 35mm will help you to set the scene. As you gain experience with family portrait sessions, you’ll develop a sense for which lenses suit you best. That’s a good time to invest in the best quality lenses that you can afford!

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Tip N0.10: Set Limits - Limit yourself to taking five versions of each scene. This will train your eye to look for the details and expressions you want to capture and to make sure you ultimately combine them all in one photograph.

Well, that’s everything! Have you enjoyed our mini article saga on capturing family portraits? If so, why not tell us in the comments section below or connect with us on social media? Follow us on Instagram to see what we’re up to!

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