“The Gang Is All Here!”

John Crifasi

John Crifasi

With the holidays fast upon us, one of those annual rituals will soon be making an appearance. Nope, it’s not the enticing extra-ingredient eggnog (although, there is a favorite home-made recipe that can be yours for the right price…).
We’re talking photography here – those highly anticipated family portraits! You know you love them, and you know you will be the one coercing the family to partake in the fun. With that in mind, here are a few tips that may make the experience — and results — more enjoyable.

First, have a plan. If you have a large group of family members, scope out a location around the ole homestead that provides different levels for the group to stand and sit. Bring out a few chairs and place them in front of steps. This allows for some of your “senior” family members to sit, while others gather around on the different levels. Knowing this location ahead of time means less time spent in front of the camera for everyone, and more time around the food and drinks.

If you plan on being in that number – and you should be – invest in a tripod and secure your camera (and flash, if needed) a safe distance from the group. And if you do not want to use a remote camera trigger, no worries. Most cameras have timers which enable you to set a delay on the shutter release. Set, snap, scoot, and smile. And practice ahead of time – remember, food and drinks are waiting.

Screen Shot 2017-12-06 at 10.11.30 PMAlso, get close. Zoom in or bring your camera closer to your subjects. Try as best you can to fill the frame with people. Closer means faces are more recognizable, expressions are better captured, and feelings are more obvious. It’s a festive time of year, right? Get in there and get those festive faces!

Lastly, if you are outdoors, look for an area in the shade. This will allow more even light on your subjects and hopefully less squinting. Use a soft flash to help compensate for less light that is available. The flash will also help to add a little “twinkle” in the eyes and gives your image an added punch.

Keep an eye on your background. Check the lighting, and make sure it’s not too distracting.
Give these suggestions a try this season when the gang is all here and you want to capture some family pictures and memories. You may find the process, and results, a welcome gift for all.

The next Louisiana Photographic Society meeting is November 16, 2017 at 7 pm at the Goodwood Library in Baton Rouge. Visit our website at www.LaPhotoSociety.com for more info. More of John’s work can be found at www.JohnCrifasiPhotography.com.

John Crifasi is with the Louisiana Photographic Society which meets on the third Thursday of each month at the Goodwood Library, Baton Rouge, in the large conference room on the 1st floor. Visit our website at www.LaPhotoSociety.com for more info. More of John’s photographic work can be found at www.JohnCrifasiPhotography.com.