Tips on Family Event Photography
I love summertime for many reasons; sunshine, extended daylight, vacations, etc. One of the many Summer gatherings is family reunions. Therefore, it is the perfect time to share a few tips about Family Event Photography.
Being the family photo buff, everyone wants you to take amazing photos at family gatherings. However, digital cameras can be a little daunting, especially in significant events such as family events. In this article, I am going to share a few tips.
Firstly, the fully automatic settings (Auto or Program) are not the best choice. Generally speaking, even semi-automatic settings, i.e. Shutter priority or Aperture priority, are not that good either. Therefore, be prepared to shoot in fully Manual Exposure.
Manual Exposure for successful Family Event Photography
The correct Exposure is a combination of the shutter speed, the Aperture and the ISO. By default, a digital camera may not select the right mix. Therefore, if you use Automatic or Semi-Automatic settings, you may shoot the photos in slower shutter speed or shallower Depth of field.
Correct Exposure Setting for Family Event Photography
For family photography, you need to use a faster shutter speed. People move. So, you need a faster shutter speed to freeze their movement. I suggest using 1/125s as the minimum. Of course, this is just the minimum, and you can shoot at faster shutter speeds if the light allows. However, it does not make sense to shoot a family event at a shutter speed faster than 1/1000s; unless, the sun is so intense!
In family event photography, you should consider using a reasonable depth of field to cover everyone in focusing range. In many cameras and lenses, Aperture f8 provides the sharpest image quality. It also provides enough focusing range for family photography.
I strongly suggest using Auto ISO for family event photography. When you set the shutter speed and the aperture, the camera adjusts the ISO to balance the correct exposure.
However, if you wish to use the manual ISO, start with the lowest possible ISO, then increase it to balance the light.
Lens Focal Length
The lens focal length is somehow quite important. Using a wide-angle lens can result in distorted images, Especially, on the edges of a photo, you can notice the distortion more pronounced.
On the other hand, using a telephoto is not the best choice either, especially in large groups. I suggest the 50-85mm as an optimum focal length for a full-frame camera and 35-50mm for the APS-C size sensors.
The composition is the artistic part of photography. Therefore, I usually leave it to each artist to compose their shot. However, there are a few useful rules of thumb:
1- Try to arrange people in geometric shapes, such as a pyramid or a circle. Avoid the linear composition.
2- Do not use the Eye-Level. Try to use a lower or higher level. Generally speaking, for family event photography, a higher level composition works the best.
3- Avoid the hot spots on the faces by shooting in a diffused light, such as an overcast day or under a covered area.
Do you want to learn more?
Omnilargess Photography workshops focus on many hidden features and unique techniques in digital cameras and editing software, such as Lightroom and Photoshop.
I dedicate a good portion of our digital camera workshops to discuss the Exposure and the Composition. Digital Photography Bootcamp is one of our most popular photography courses. Check the link below for upcoming classes.
The next Bootcamp starts on September 11th. There are a few spots left.
If you just got your first digital SLR camera, or even have had it for several months, Omnilargess Digital Photography Bootcamp will equip you with all the techniques that you need to operate your digital camera at its ultimate performance. In this workshop, you will learn how to use different settings, such as Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, different Metering Modes, White Balance, ISO, etc.
Wednesday, September, 11th, 18th, 25th, 6:00-9:00 pm
Wednesday, October 2nd, 9th, from 6:00-9:00 pm
Saturday, October 12th, from 9:30am-12:30pm
Wednesday, October 16th and Friday, October 18th from 6:00-9:00 pm
That is all for now. Stay tuned for my next photography Tips. We love to hear from you. Let us know if you have any questions, feel free to send us your questions, and we will be more than happy to answer them. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more Free Tutorials and Tips.
Ted and the Omnilargess Team