How to take a Holiday Family Portrait

With the holidays approaching, many of you guys will get together with family and friends and some of you will consider taking a family or group portrait. In this video, i discuss what you need to do to prepare for taking a family portrait from the gear, to the camera settings to how you should handle your surroundings.

Being prepared is first and foremost. Then comes patience. Take the time to get setup and get your settings dialed in before you involve the group. Once you have everything tested the best you can, rally the troops and have fun with it. Maybe take a few serious shots then have the group have some fun with it, then take a couple more serious shots – by then everyone should be loosened up. It’s not easy holding everyone’s attention, so it’s your job to “run” the shoot and give direction. Don’t let someone in the group take over, just be confident and let them know you’re directing.

A few tips for preparation:
1) scope the location in advance
2) set up your gear in advance
3) make some test shots metering
for ambient light to create your scene
4) dial in your flash to light your
subjects – use your spouse, girlfriend,
brother or sister etc – to do the test
shots before you assemble the group
5) make sure everyone in the group
can see you and the camera
6) if you don’t have a wireless remote
your camera’s self-timer works great

Suggested starting point for camera settings:
1) start with f/4
2) use a shutter speed of at least 1/125
3) pump your ISOs to balance ambient
4) dial in your flash to light your subjects
nicely in respect to your background

Have fun with it!

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As seen on Fro Knows Photo.