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When Do Great Family Photos Happen?



I am a family photographer in Kingston Ontario


Our families are constantly changing. Our children grow up so quickly. and pretty soon our kids are having their own kids. Our families are important. Photos of our families are one way of expressing that.


Every family is different. Your family photos should be different as well.


1. Candid or posed?


Which of the photos in this blog are posed and which ones are candid. Can you guess? Well all of them are posed and all of them are candid. I create the scenario and then let the subjects do the rest. For the photo to work I need to be in the right spot and have everyone in a good mood but only rarely will I have to tell everyone exactly how to sit or stand.


2. How do you get people to relax or look relaxed?


Taking photographs of families is much easier if the members of the family are enjoying themselves. Family photos are always better when the everyone is having fun! A great way to get people to relax is to get them telling me about themselves. Pretty soon everyone is talking and laughing.


3. What if the subject doesn’t know what to do?


I watch the family to gauge how much coaching they might need. I listen to them. Most families need at least a little bit of coaching. I might rearrange a family until I get an arrangement that is pleasing. But it should also look natural.

Not every pose works for everybody. So I will try lots of different poses.


4. Does everyone have to look at the camera?


Not everyone has to be looking at me and smiling at the same time. In fact in many photos a couple are looking at me, while one or two are looking at each other. Maybe someone else looks away entirely. As long as they look interested the photo will work.


5. What about photographing young children?


Some young children are just are not in the mood to is still for a photographer. And even when they do they won’t stay neat and tidy for long. And that is fine. Years from now you might appreciated the photo of your young child with the grass stained knees, Most families that I meet are loud and boisterous. The children run around, and the adults laugh. These are the photos that my clients like.


6. Where is a good spot for photos in Kingston?


Kingston has many really interesting photography locations that work well for family photography. And people are showing me new ones every day. But not every photo location has to be a famous landmark. Sometimes a few feet in front of an old building will work just fine. Even so for most family photo sessions I will try for more than one location. This gives everyone time to relax and also allows us some variety.


7. Here are some of my favourites!


I have included a few of my favourite family photos I have taken over the years.

These photos were anything but serious. These families were being themselves. Every one of these photos caught something special. And that is why I like them.



So when do great family photos happen? They happen when they happen.

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