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Family Photos: The Making of a Legacy

By Paul McDermott

Life is made up of many special moments that you may want to preserve in photos. Photographs should be fun and tell a story. Holidays are a popular time to capture you, your family or even your pet to share with friends and loved ones. These special moments live on in your photographs. Here are some tips to get that great family photo to leave a lasting memory – a legacy for the future.

What makes a great family photo?

1. Technical skill – This is where a professional’s knowledge comes in to play. Use your camera tools and lenses effectively to get the best and most flattering angles of your subjects. Understanding your tools and how to use them will increase the likelihood of getting a perfect image rather than playing the odds on thousands of images.

2. Lighting – Are you in a studio, an indoor or outdoor location? Make sure your family (subject) is well lit and the style is appropriate to the shoot. Don’t be fooled by people deciding they are only “natural light photographers.” Any trained photographer should be able to use lighting, natural or artificial, to make you look amazing in any scenario.

3. Expression and emotion – the act of emotion coming through in the photo is expression. Catch the perfect moment and/or create it. Always allow character to shine through so you get true emotion in the image. This is something you can actually “feel” when you view the photo. You want emotions on your wall you can savor.

4. Storytelling – This may come from your environment to supporting elements or props to relationships. What story are you trying to tell? How can you tell it? Think about this before your shoot:

  • Be open to poses. A professional may suggest creative options in addition to your “go-to” pose.
  • Make sure setting and props are relevant – Sure it’s Florida but if your scene is the Walls of Wynwood, then you may not want a shot at the beach; a family of surfers wouldn’t want to shoot at a train museum. When it comes to kids consider their strongest interests and what theme identifies them. It’s best to choose hobbies that they have stuck with rather than something they recently have picked up.

The artwork you put on your wall is something you want to be long lasting. All of the above elements should be considered to tell your perfect story and get the best portraits possible.

What’s your story?

Paul McDermott is an internationally award winning portrait and landscape photographer. He has been published in magazines and books in the US & abroad. He aims to showcase natural relationships and bring out the candid interactions within his subjects.

Contact Paul McDermott Photography at 954-769-0784 or email paul@paulmcdermott.com. Studio by appointment 4812 NE 12th Ave. Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334.