How to take good photos of your family – 3

Posed or natural? My aim is to capture real moments, whether they’ve been posed or not. I love to get shots of people when they forget that I’m there, a lot of the time when people realise there’s a camera on them they stiffen up, smile awkwardly or can’t keep their eyes away from the camera. So when I’m taking photos at home I try to take them from a distance so they don’t realise I’m there. In this case I just want to capture how they’re playing together and the interactions they’re having using a documentary style of shooting. They play while I concentrate on angles & framing the shots.

When I want to control the environment a little bit more and get more of a portrait feel, then I’ll decide on a background (the less distracting the better), style the shoot (clothes props etc) and interact with the subject to get them looking towards the camera. When looking for a plain background then you can use something like a neutral wall or wardrobe, just be careful of mirrors or shiny surfaces as you may end up in your photo without wanting to be. For babies a plain surface like a bed, sofa or blankets on the floor will work, but be careful of them rolling, always make sure they are safe and can’t fall.

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