When you take family photos, it’s important to get some shots that look more natural than typical poses. These are often referred to as “unposed poses”. They are often more playful although they can be serious too – such as getting ready for a wedding or another important occassion. However, they aren’t ‘stiff’ poses and they are often taken in the midst of action.
Here’s how to get great, natural-looking photographs:
Think of Why
When you look at the big picture of the photoshoot, considering the ‘why’ is important. What is the reason for the picture and what is the feeling you want people viewing the image to feel? When you can assign some adjectives to the shoot, you’ll be able to bring those feelings out better.
Consider the Event
What is the feeling of the event? Is it a fun occasion or a somber one? Is it serious but some humour is appropriate (like a wedding)? Think about the overall meaning of the event and how you want the world to see it 100 years from now.
Put Personality into Each Shot
Let people be themselves because that will bring out their personality in each shot. Tell the subjects the emotions you’d like to get from the shot and see what they do. Give them a few tips but ask them to be natural. Props like a skateboard, a book, glasses and so forth can help their personality come out even more.
Photo the Steps Involved
Every event has steps, whether it’s a graduation, a wedding, or an engagement photo. Everyone has to get ready, so you can take photos of the bride having her makeup done, a bridesmaid curling her hair or the groom putting on his tie. These are all natural poses that look great.
Think about the Subject
When you look at the subject you’re taking the shoot of, consider what you can add to bring out their inner character? If the subjects are children, take some shots of them blowing bubbles or making chalk drawings.
Laughter can bring out some of the best shots that don’t look posed at all. Do something to make the subjects laugh, if you capture that moment of pure joy it will be better than any posed shot.
Tell a Secret
A really great unposed pose is the “secret.” It works particularly well with a bride and groom, a newly engaged couple and with siblings. Anytime there is a couple, a secret can look like a perfectly unposed natural shot.
If you’re doing a family shoot with young kids, a pile-up is always a good way to go. The parents lie on the ground, the kids jump on top and look at the camera, while they’re laughing. It looks natural and fun.
Using these ideas to create natural poses, will help you capture the feelings you’re after to produce the kind of photos you desire.