3 Tips for Better Group & Family Photos This Summer

Family Portraits Raleigh

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love summer time because there are just more opportunities to get toether and do things with the people we love! And we all love taking group photos when we’re together with family & friends, whether it’s with our phone cameras and other type cameras. Well, here’s a few tips on how to get the most out of those group and family snap shot photos you take this summer.

  1. Lighting. Yes, in photography it’s all about lighting, in case you haven’t heard. This comes before backgrounds or anything else.
    • For outdoor photos, the absolute best natural lighting will come from indirect sunlight, or open sky. This creates the best large natural light source and beautiful catchlights in the eyes. It really opens up the iris for better color in the eyes also without having to squint like you do from direct sun.
    • If you can position the subjects so that the indirect light is coming from above at roughly 45 degrees and in front of the subject, it will look the best. You can do this by having buildings, trees or something blocking the open sky on all but the front side of the subject. A great example of this is using a building overhang and put your subjects just a few feet behind the edge of the roof line. This will force the light from the sky to be more directional and hit the subjects at an angle vs straight down from overhead.
    • In general the larger the light source, the better the quality of light will be.
    • Inside, you can use a large window with indirect light coming through it for your light source.
    • Also, as a general place to start, if your light source is 45 degrees above and to the side of the subject, you will get nice directional lighting that will create some shadows for depth & dimension. Of course there’s a lot more to good lighting, but these are a few tips that should get you on the path to a well lit photo.
  2. Background. Most phone cameras have a fixed wide angle lens and because of the camera design and sensor proximity to the lens, you can’t get blurry or out of focus backgrounds like you can with DSLR cameras. This makes it even more critical to find a pleasing background since it will be in focus and any distracting elements will show up.
    • Finding solid color backgrounds or with as little pattern as possible will help minimize background distraction
    • Background lighting – If you can find a background that has less light on it than your foreground subjects, this will also help minimize background distraction. This is tricky though, because you don’t want the background more than 1-2 stops (times) darker than the subjects.
    • If you want to take it even one step further, find a background with a color or tone that works with the subjects’ clothing tones or is at least complimentary (remember the color wheel?
  3. Posing. Yep, this is the tricky part. Group posing is the hardest because the goal is to get every individual posed so that they can stand alone and still look good without the group.
    • Body types – The subjects closer to the camera will appear larger, so have larger people in the back and smaller thinner people in the front. This will minimize apparent body size.
    • Geometry – In groups, it’s all about head positioning. In general you don’t want all the heads on the same horizontal plane. Try to create diamonds or triangles with head positions. If you have a really large group, you should have multiple geometric patterns within the larger group.
    • Females – Have females stand with their weight on their back foot and front leg bent slightly. This creates nice subtle curves in the posing lines. Also, have females turn at an angle to the camera to appear thinner.
    • Males – For males, posing should incorporate strong geometric shapes with right angles, hard lines etc. You typically want males straight on to the camera as well, so they look more broad shouldered (in most cases).
    • I guess we can consider expressions part of posing. Have an idea of what expressions should be so that they’re all consistent at the very least. There’s a lot to expressions as well, but this is where you can get creative and have some fun too.

Alright, so now your equipped with a little more info for creating some great group and family portraits this summer. Have fun, get creative and create some great images to preserve those important moments, but most importantly make sure you enjoy the time with your friends or family this summer!

For more info on family portraits check out our family portrait page here or contact us here. 

Family Portraits Raleigh

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Raleigh Real Estate Agent Head Shot

Love creating nice looking professional images for real estate agents! Real estate agents in Raleigh have lots of competition in this market and a great professional head shot image, for their business cards and online presence, is one important way to set yourself apart from the pack. We’ve been creating lots of head shot for real estate agents in the Raleigh area, so if you or anyone you know needs a professional head shot, feel free to check out our head shot page here for lots of info and examples of our work.

Raleigh Real Estate Head Shot

Raleigh Real Estate Head shot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Head Shots for Dr. William Porter’s New Book

I recently was asked to create a couple of portraits for Dr. William Porter’s new book “Miracles in the Life of Ordinary People”. Dr. Porter is a Raleigh based retired professor and charming gentleman that I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know over the past year or so. He writes inspirational books about how God intervenes in peoples lives everyday. It’s a breath of fresh air when contrasted with all the negative news & information we’re bombarded with daily. I would highly encourage checking out his website here to find out more about him and his books.

To see more of our business head shot work, check out our head shot page here.

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Commercial Photography Shoot Interior Space

I love a challenge when it comes to photography, and shooting interior architecture, well, never lets you down. From the mixed lighting (color temperatures), to the wide dynamic range of light, and even the editing required, they all present their share of challenges.

I had the opportunity to photograph a new retirement community center for a prominent national builder recently and they needed interior and exterior images of the community center for entry in a national competition (no pressure, right). So I knew I had to pull out all the “technical big guns” for this shoot, from carefully planned composition to multiple exposure HDR techniques to custom editing in Light Room and Photoshop. Fun stuff for photographers! The bottom line for me is that I was able to deliver some really unique images for my client that can be used to showcase their new facility to potential clients and help grow their business! That’s a win-win.

Commercial Photography RaleighCommercial Photography RaleighCommercial Photography Raleigh

Commercial Photography Raleigh

Commercial Photography RaleighCommercial Photography Raleigh
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Portrait Delivery for Client

Processed with Snapseed.

Processed with Snapseed.

One of the most enjoyable things I get to do as a professional photographer, is deliver the final portrait products to our clients. We love delivering our signature wall portraits to our clients in their homes and even hanging for them if they choose. Today we delivered a 40″ custom sized canvas print to the Stallings family and did a fun reveal with the entire family present. Everyone loved it!

For custom wall portraits, the clients home is usually where it all starts with a personal design consulation, so it’s great to wrap up the experience with a personal delivery and get to see the final portrait in place, with the client. I’m convinced this is the best way to not only meet but exceed the clients expectation. We help them plan every detail of the portrait from the clothing tones, location setting and even the right portrait products that will fit with their style and decor. This way, when we photograph we already know where the portrait will be going, how it needs to be oriented, the look we’re going for and so on. When you start builing a house, you should already know what the end result will be. The process is the same for creating a great custom family portrait, and that’s what we love doing for our clients!

 

Recent business head shot session

A few selections from a recent  business head shot session with a client. I love being able to provide my clients with great looking professional images for Linkedin, websites, business cards, or wherever they have a need for professional images. Professional business head shots has become one of top specialty areas over the last few years. Call us if you need professional images! (919) 850-0492

Business head shots Raleigh Business head shots Raleigh

Real Estate Business Head Shot

I recently had a former student from one of my photography classes contact me about creating a professional business head shot for her. She was finalizing her real estate agent training and needed a professional image to use for social media, real estate web sites, and for her business cards. We looked at the colors on the company card, talked about the look she wanted, and designed a head shot image with a modern hi key background that would work perfectly on her business card. I love working with clients to design just the right look to help them present a nice polished professional image to their target audience.

Business Head Shot Raleigh

Professional Business Head Shots

I had the opportunity to work with a great couple recently that run a foundation that helps provide scholarships for under privileged kids. They’re in the process of designing their website and needed professional head shots so we helped them dial in on just the right professional look and feel for the site & type of work they do. I love getting to know my clients and hearing their stories and being able to help them get the look they need to achieve their goals. A great couple doing good things for people!

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Home For The Holidays Portraits

If you have family coming in to town or are just having a family get together over the holidays, why not have family portraits created while everyone is together. We can come to your get together and photograph multiple groupings, individuals, and even a large group portrait of everyone together. We’ll even wake uncle Bob up for the portrait. There’s really no better time to have high quality professional portraits created than when everyone is together for Thanksgiving or Christmas and we have lots of great options for prints & portraits. Call us to plan your Home for the Holidays portraits. (919) 850-0492. Or email us at charlie@charlesdickensphotography.com.

Below are some portraits we created last year for this lovely family while everyone was dressed up to go see a play over Christmas.

 

 

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