Today we bring you a tip that is for both photographers, and everyone who finds themselves in front of a camera for family photos every year (which should be everyone, clearly!). Two words: candid posing. What? That sounds sort of like an oxymoron?
Raise your hand if you dream of those pretty photos of your family, laughing together, hugging, and playing in the sunshine. That is what I want my family photos to look like FOR SURE. I want that one perfect “smiling at the camera” shot (or what we like to call it at The Wild Bloom Studio, “The Money Shot”). The rest of the photos I want to showcase our dynamic, our real smiles, and our fun and playful relationships with our kids. I want the movement that turns a collection of photos into a story. These photos bring a gallery wall or an album to life. They take the soul back to what it actually felt like to be there in that moment.
So this is probably why so many people love the candid shots and why so many clients ask specifically for candid only shots. Problem with candid shots? You don’t always get everyone in the frame, and you’ll most likely see less of someone’s face than you’d think. This is where candid posing comes in.
Photographers – pose the family, “stand here, and here, put your arm here, tuck in your hand here, lean in, etc” and then you say GO! You let the family fall into their space, into who they are. This may require some prompting still, “go in for the tickle”, and other various activities to get the family comfortable and moving.
Everyone in front of the camera – make sure you GO! This is the time to let go of your camera-ready smiles and perfect posture and relax into the silliness and candor of your family dynamic. Only YOU know that your child loves when you blow raspberries on their cheeks. Only YOU know that at home you like to sing and dance to that certain song your daughter loves. Only YOU know that your husband and boys wrestle like they are in the WWE octagon. Sometimes, you might try one of your tricks and it isn’t working. That’s ok! Keep your smile and try the next trick in the bag. And just know that if your photographer hasn’t told you to do anything different, keep rolling with it!
Once you’ve finished nailing “The Money Shot”….let loose and be crazy and tickle your kids, or lean into your spouse and pretend like it’s your first kiss all over again, or grab that little one and play the drums on their belly. The magic happens when you are in the right place at the right time and you unleash your real feelings AND your photographer is all set up to capture it. Any photographer worth their salt will never be mad at you for bringing your own special family spice to the shot. Photographers, remember that some families may need the encouragement to do this.
The pose is just the starting point, to everything that can happen there after.