outdoor family portraits

Outdoor family portrait of cousins

The first thing I do when planning to shoot outdoor family portraits is to find out who is going to be photographed. How you're going to compose family portrait poses is determined by the number of people, the relative sizes of everyone and their relationships to each other.

Outdoor family photography has been my favorite kind of portrait photography for many years. The photo above is actually a group of 9 cousins, ranging in ages from infant to toddler to pre-school and young adult.

Posing your subjects at different heights within your composition is sometimes easier when you have several different ages represented in your photograph.

best lighting for outdoor family portraits

Secondly, when I know the size of the group, I look for the best location for lighting and background. Always, always make an effort to coordinate clothing in your portrait.

In the photo below, the fall foliage was not brilliant. The subtle variations in the colors of the background were quite pleasing and did not compete with the brown colored clothing.

Outdoor Family Portraits - Cousins

For this photograph I had the too taller cousins, who are sisters sit on posing stools in the middle. Then I place one cousin on each side to get a pleasing composition and good color balance.

Another thing to look at when determining how to pose family portraits is what everyone is wearing. Sometimes it's fitting to have some people standing and others sitting.

Formal clothing often dictates more formal posing and casual clothing will be often be posed in a more natural relaxed manner.

If everyone is not dressed exactly the same you must pay attention to colors and patterns to get a good balance of color throughout your pose.

Outdoor Family Portrait of Large Group

The family portrait pose above is actually the second arrangement I did. The two adults that are sitting are actually brother and sister. I surrounded each of them with their spouse and their children.

This photograph is a surprise Christmas gift for the grandmother. Can you think of any gift so precious as a photograph of her children and grandchildren?

Taking outdoor family portraits can be a challenging task because of the many variables involved. Weather, lighting and background choice all have a big effect on the final quality of your family 

Outdorr Family Portrait of Adults Only

This outdoor family portrait pose was of 3 adult siblings and their spouses. I used adjustable posing stools for the ladies in the front row. This gives us variety in the height of my subjects' heads.

The weather, the location, the lighting and the choice of clothing all came together to help create this beautiful family portrait.

For the professional photographer, it's rewarding to avoid using phony painted scenery or boring painted backgrounds. Enjoy experimenting with natural family portrait poses and take advantage of the articles on this topic and other tips on taking digital photography.

Family Portrait Ideas. One of the most popular pages being read on this Digital Photography Tipsweb site is this article on Family Portrait Ideas. You can see some family portrait samples and get some creative ideas for family group photos from the readers of Digital Photography Tips as well.

Family Portrait Photography. What skills and qualities does a family portrait photographer need to have to take great portraits? Are you looking to improve your family portrait photography skills and take your own or make money creating portraits for other people?

Happy Shooting!
Photo Tipman

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