fbpx Skip to main content
Casual PortraitsFamily + Children PortraitsPortraitsTips + Ideas

Top Tips for Photographing Large Families: Capturing Timeless Moments

By 05/04/2024April 8th, 2024No Comments

If you’ve ever been involved in coordinating a family photoshoot, you’d understand the challenges that comes with it. The larger the number, the more stressful it gets! As photographers who have photographed large families up to 40 people, it’s daunting for us as well. Posing large families and ensuring everyone looks their best requires experience and skills. In Malaysia, there are many festive seasons where a family portrait session becomes necessary. If you are trying to DIY a large family portrait at home, these tips will help you master the art of photographing large families!

1. Start with a plan

Before the photoshoot, communicate with the family to discuss their vision, preferences, and any specific poses they have in mind. Consider factors such as location, wardrobe choices, and the overall style of the portraits. Having a clear plan in place will streamline the process and ensure everyone is prepared.

2. Choose a location

Selecting a suitable location is essential for large family portraits. Outdoor settings with ample natural light, such as parks, gardens, or beaches, provide a beautiful backdrop and ample space for posing. However, it can be pretty humid and chaotic when you bring so many people outdoors, so make sure you set everyone’s expectations prior to the shoot. Alternatively, if shooting indoors, opt for areas with neutral backgrounds to avoid distractions.

3. Appoint a leader

A leader is tasked in coordinating and organizing the entire shoot from the start till the end, as well as communicating with all the family members and photographer to ensure a smooth session. Create a chat group so that everyone involved receives the same message and information about the photoshoot.

4. Arranging and Posing

When posing large families, it’s helpful to establish a hierarchy to ensure everyone is positioned appropriately. Start by placing the parents or grandparents at the centre of the group, with smaller family units positioned around them. This arrangement helps to identify the family’s structure more clearly. Instead of lining everyone up in a straight row, arrange family members in layers to add depth and dimension to the photograph. This technique creates visual interest and prevents the image from appearing too flat. You can place taller individuals towards the back and shorter ones towards the front to avoid blocking faces. Utilize props or natural elements like stairs or benches to add dimension to the scene.

5. Pay attention to details

Try to take the time to pay attention to details such as wardrobe coordination, hair and hand placement. Besides that, notice for any distracting elements in the background and make adjustments as necessary. Additionally, be mindful of facial expressions, body language, and posture to convey warmth and unity within the family. Avoid stiff, unnatural poses by encouraging relaxed and comfortable stances. Guide family members to lean towards each other slightly or make physical contact to convey closeness and affection.

6. Experiment with different angles

If you have a really large family like the one below, and find it really hard to get a location to fit everyone, you can try to take a top angle shot! Everyone can be standing on the same level, but as long as they can see the camera, their faces will be seen.

7. Break into smaller groups

Congratulations at completing the large family photo! Next, it’s time to break the group into smaller units. If you have a list, that will help streamline the process. Keep in mind that there might be some family members who need to leave earlier than everyone else, so photograph their family unit first and finish up all the different posing varieties you have in mind.

8. Capture candid moments

We love capturing genuine and spontaneous moments, as it truly creates a more authentic experience. After posing the essential portraits, encourage the family members to interact with each other. Prompt them to interact with each other through hugs, laughter, or playful gestures. Ask them what they had for breakfast or where they’re going for lunch! These authentic moments will result in heartwarming photos and create cherished memories for the family.

9. Be patient and flexible

Photographing a large family is not an easy task; remember to breathe between each moment if things ever get overwhelming. Be prepared to adapt to unexpected challenges and allow for breaks if needed, especially if you have little children in the session. Things may also not go according to the list you prepared, so it’s important to stay flexible in these situations. Staying positive and enthusiastic throughout the whole session will help ease any situation.

By following these tips and techniques, you can capture timeless moments and create family portraits that will be treasured for generations to come. So, embrace the challenge, unleash your creativity, and celebrate the bond of family through the art of photography. But if you find the task at hand too challenging, you can always contact us to schedule your family portrait session, and leave the hard job to the professionals!