Better Family Photos

With holiday season just a few weeks away, it’s time to think of that yearly milestone: the annual family picture. This year, take a dynamic photo that truly captures the spirit of your family. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Add an unexpected element: if your family is dressed up, ask everyone to pose casually, leaning against one another, jumping at the same time, or barefoot on the grass. For a casual shot, consider adding a formal element. Professional photographers will often move a piece of indoor furniture, like an antique sofa, outdoors as part of the backdrop.
Get active: think about the activities you enjoy doing as a group, like hiking or biking, enjoying group meals or playing card games. Incorporating a favourite activity into your photo session will coax real smiles out of everyone, relax shoulders, and capture a more informal, fun side.

Group dynamics: Not every family portrait needs to line up the subjects with their shoulders square to the camera. Try different poses—some people square, some looking at each other, some sitting, some standing. Variety adds interest to the photo. If you have a large family, try grouping them into three loose groups that create three ‘triangles’ of interest.
Take your photo outdoors: natural light is best for photography. If it’s sunny, time your shots for the morning or late afternoon when the light is less direct. If you must take your photo when the sun is very bright and high in the sky, find a shady place and use a flash to “fill in” the light. Take test shots—digital photography makes it easier than ever to test the quality of your shot while you still have time to adjust the light, poses and background.

If you take your photo indoors, do your homework: all flashes have a diameter where they are effective. Look at your camera’s manual to see the optimal distance from the camera to the subject. Position your subjects close to a window, and use a tripod: your camera will need to slow down its shutter speed to get enough light for a proper exposure. If you have a flash with an articulated head, try aiming it upwards towards the ceiling instead of directly at the subjects: this ‘bounced’ light is softer than the harsh flash light.

Share your portrait
Once you have captured your beautiful, dynamic family shot, it’s time to share.The tradition of sending Christmas cards began in Victorian England as a fad. Each year, the practice has grown and evolved, blossoming into an annual gesture that connects us to loved ones, strengthens bonds, and spreads the holiday spirit.

The digital age has revolutionized the humble Christmas card, allowing us to personalize the photo, the look and the message.

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