15. Family & group portraiture

In this photography class you’ll learn how to take great family and group portrait images.

Returning to his pre-determined location, Karl finds things not quite as he expected and he is forced to think on his feet and adapt his ideas. He walks you through the entire shoot, from identifying the best locations to positioning subjects and keeping young children entertained throughout a shoot.

This class provides a clear guide on how to photograph group portraits as Karl outlines the key things to think about to ensure a successful shoot and happy client.

In this photography class we cover the following:

  • Portrait Photography: How to photograph using natural light
  • Portrait photography tips
  • How to photograph families
  • How to photograph children
  • Useful equipment for outdoor photography
  • How to pose groups for portrait photography

Note: This course is available with English subtitles

Comments

  1. How did you aproach to the family to do a sesion in a pumpking farm? Did they choose the location?

    1. Hi Cesar, I chose the location after scouting a few potential locations and knowing the kids liked tractors.

  2. I really liked this shoot, Karl – did you do it after you did the shoot with the Lego? I wondered how much it helped that the children were already familiar with you. I did also like the shot with the pumpkins – I wondered if the family liked that? I must admit I am nervous about family shoots, probably because all my children are as camera-shy as I am (!) and so trying to get them to do any shoots is a nightmare no matter how candid I try and make it and makes me quite tense which carries over into client opportunities.

    1. Hi Susie, It’s usually better that the kids don’t know you as you have a little more authority (like a school teacher) be firm but fun and convey a sense of confidence in what you are doing. I’d find a friends family to practise on to build up your confidence and then it doesn’t matter to much if it doesn’t work out the first couple of times. As in this video it’s always good to know the location first as you don’t have any negative surprises.

  3. I’m a big fan of reflectors. A great versatile tool. When bouncing the reflector light. I noticed the positioning was not hoisted up higher and angled downward. Would that help curb the distraction of the reflection in the young girls eyes? Nice sun bounce by the way!

    1. Hi Geoff, yes it’s always better to bounce down where possible as the light will look more natural. Obviously if you don’t have an assistant then you need a stand that can be positioned or an assistant that can aim it correctly.

    1. Hi Vikram, I spent about 30mins to an hour on this one. But first I checked the location as demonstrated in an earlier video to take note of the light and the potential that a location has to offer.

  4. Hey Karl,

    Noticed you were shooting at F2 for all the shots. I found that I don’t get everyone in focus when I shoot with that low of a depth of field. Any insight on your methodology for this?

    Thanks!

    Charbel

    1. Hi Charbel, depth of field also depends on your shooting distance and focal length. So when doing the tractor shot I was some distance away, always do a couple of test shots once you’ve arranged your group, zoom in on the image and check the DOF to confirm.

  5. Hi Karl,
    I know you love your backlit shots! At first I tried with speed lights but too harsh shadows outdoors with no option to bounce. The reflector is ideal and on my immediate list.
    But one question is exposure. You use Evaluative metering but that’s not necessarily taking into account just skin tones and the high illumination of the back light (sun) can throw the foreground into shadow. I guess you’re happy for some background to overexpose occasionally? You didn’t use reflector on some shots but they still seem not overly dark in the shadows. So how are you exposing for the skin tones?

    1. Hi Chris, when you consider a cameras recording capability in RAW mode there is of course a fixed range from a given highlight to a given shadow depth. These tones won’t be apparent in the preview on the camera but many of the tones can be recovered in RAW software like LR. So essentially with that information in mind I just record the image for the most important area of the subject and get that to look right on the LCD screen from that point knowing I can recover shadow and highlight later. With that in mind though it is good to get a feel for what your cameras range is so you know what you can recover or add a reflector or fill light and then you can decrease your exposure giving you more chance of recovering highlights.

      1. Great, that’s essentially what I am doing. I can recognise where the light isn’t right but your instruction has given the tips and tools where to modify the light.
        With little LR work you photos seem perfectly exposed out of camera. 🙂

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