Jacqui let me pick her brain about shooting family portraits and her interview follows below, after my roundup of tips.
Jacqui received both her Bachelors in Fine Art and Masters in Art Education from the Corcoran College of Art + Design and is a photographer based in the DC area.
* This is not a sponsored post and all endorsements are purely my own.
my tips for taking pictures of your family
2. You can get by with just a basic understanding and a small bag of tricks. Look up "depth of field" and figure out how to adjust your aperture to take portraits. Learn some techniques for making your photos pop using Adobe Lightroom.
3. When you can, take family portraits outside. Nothing beats natural light.
4. Take a moment to think about what the subject is and zero in on the subject. Don't rely on cropping to create your composition.
5. Try to get the eyes in tack sharp focus.
6. Consider getting a gorilla pod. It's the ingenious flexible tripod that has come on so many trips with us. You can put your camera on timer mode and set it to shoot.
interview with jacqueline carr
I have been taking photos and drawn to photography since I was a child. Much of my conceptual work is based on photography and video to capture ...raw moments. A lot of my pre-graduate work in fine art was also slightly performance based. I am drawn to artists such as Sophie Calle for their ability to take a simple photograph or letter and create a deep moving piece that stirs emotion. To me art is all about the feeling & emotion that is created for the viewer, the most successful pieces allow the viewer to empathize and relate to the artist.
I have always loved photography for its ability to freeze a moment forever. I turned this passion and hobby into a business after deciding to stay home with my daughter. I take both portraits and event photography as well as teach classes. For me, this gives me a creative outlet with the time and flexibility to be a mother first.
Try and work with what you have. If the child insists on walking, let them! Have someone place the child away from you and take photos as they walk towards you.
With little ones it's usually best to try to let them do what they want in a controlled setting and just take a LOT of photos! Eventually you'll get a great one that really captures their personality.
Another trick is making noise and acting like a fool! Kids love it when you jump around and make laud noises, tell jokes -- whatever you need to do to get their attention and make them smile!
Use your flash! In most cases if lighting isn't ideal, I strongly suggest to use a flash, this can help add light to a dark environment or give you fill light to help ease harsh shadows.
Bounce the flash off the ceiling.
Be aware of wall colors as they will be reflected onto your subject when you bounce the flash.
A little catch light in the eyes is fine & natural, by bouncing the flash you can avoid a large spot on your subject.
With a lot of help, patience and support from my husband! ... I try to only schedule shoots, weekends or evening.
If customers prefer weekday mornings or times I have my daughter I will often ask to bring her. Luckily, she is also very patient and is usually on her best behavior during shoots. For a 15 month old this is saying a lot! Packing accordingly also helps -- lots of snacks and special treats, like watered down juice, which we usually don't give her, really helps to capture her attention.
I try to edit photos and update my social media accounts during nap times & after bed time. This can take away from household chores or quality time with my husband. Although I really try to find a healthy balance!