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Expressing Relationships Part 2 | Family Photography Hints Tips and Advice

I my previous post on expressing relationships in family photography, I showed you a number of images and talked about how they showed something of the relationship between the subjects.

Today I am will be giving you some hints and guidance to help you create these sorts of shots.

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These two sisters liked to pick flowers from a spot just behind the tree on the right. I knew this would be a good setting for the shot, so I asked them to pick some flowers and then bring them out to the lawn, where I was standing. They spend a few minutes in the meadow and then emerged, deep in conversation, and I was able to take several shots – this was my favourite.




When children are asked to do something they want to do, they will soon become distracted by the activity and forget you are there with a camera. They will also often behave very naturally. This mood can be broken by several things, however, so avoid:

  • Using flash – it’s too intrusive
  • Directing them
  • General lack of patience on your behalf

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This lovely shot of William and his younger brother Edward was created by asking William to sit next to a tree stump and then Edward (who was not walking at the time) sat next to him (this arrangement “trapped” William and made it less likely he would move anywhere). Then, we suggested William told Edward about something he liked. As you might expect, Edward was hanging on his older brother’s every word and this beautiful level of engagement just needed photographing.

(In a later post, I will be talking about how and why I decided to use this spot when we cover settings and light.)



If you think about it, walking is just animated posing – and that makes it a good ploy for more natural shots. Children in particular love to be moving around, so take advantage of that. Find a nice setting and simply ask the subjects to walk towards you and talk to each other, encourage jokes and laughing if that’s the kind of shots you are after.  Here is a series I took a couple of years ago of my children, Oscar and Lydia – they decided to hold hands and that creates a lovely connection:

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Don’t forget to photograph them walking away as well.

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Now it’s your turn:

This is not the sort of photography you can usually just “grab” as it requires some planning. Pick a day over the Christmas holiday you are going to do a photoshoot (just an hour or two). Plan just three scenarios and how you are going to set them up and photograph them.

Do you enjoy the experience? What about the other members of the family?  Would you use this in some of your family photography? Do let me know what you think.

And, most of all, enjoy yourself . . .


This post is a one in a series on Family Photography hints, tips and advice that I will be posting in the run up to Christmas. Please add a comment here or on my Facebook page if there is any aspect of your photography you’d like some help with.

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