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NGH

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Hi
I took this at my first attempt at a family portrait and would like some critique before I attempt a second session. Interested in more the composition and posing rather than the technical quality of the image but anything constructive is welcome
Any tips and tricks for parents and toddler posing also appreciated.
 

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480sparky

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The mother's bare shoulder is an eye-catcher. The background is too cluttered. No 2 Son needs a bit of support from mom. And dad's right pant leg is a distraction.

If the family is on a simple bench with the kids on a booster box, have the parents straddle the bench (dad with left leg and mom with right left on far side of bench). That will allow the parents to get much closer to the kids, tighten the group and let them pose the kids much easier.
 
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Any tips and tricks for parents and toddler posing also appreciated.
The first thing I noticed is the lighting. Tone down your lighting, and make it less flat. If you have two sources, designate one as the key light, and the other as the fill. If you have only one, move it slightly to one side and a little lower to "model" your subjects. Not so low as to make shadows on the background. If the child is squinting in the bright light, it is too bright. Hopefully you are using flash, not continuous. A flash usually will not make people squint.

I like the diagonal line of (male) faces, but the little one is off just a bit. If mom was supporting him better, the line would be better.

The photographer should just give simple direction to the adults (but don't make them laugh) and watch like a hawk the little ones, (the littlest one especially) and shoot when the eyes are on you or the camera. If the adults are doing their job (holding their gaze on you or the camera) then you should need only about 25 or 30 shots to get everyone with their eyes open at the same time.

Try to get better coordination in everyone's clothing. I see the boys have blue jeans, so start there. See if they all have blue jeans and some kind of top that makes them all similarly dressed. Ask to see the outfits before the shoot. Make suggestions.
 
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NGH

NGH

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The mother's bare shoulder is an eye-catcher. The background is too cluttered. No 2 Son needs a bit of support from mom. And dad's right pant leg is a distraction.

If the family is on a simple bench with the kids on a booster box, have the parents straddle the bench (dad with left leg and mom with right left on far side of bench). That will allow the parents to get much closer to the kids, tighten the group and let them pose the kids much easier.

Thanks. They were perched on the floor with the kids on a box. Thanks for your suggestions I will pay more attention to that in future they are all good points, thanks.
 
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NGH

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Any tips and tricks for parents and toddler posing also appreciated.
The first thing I noticed is the lighting. Tone down your lighting, and make it less flat. If you have two sources, designate one as the key light, and the other as the fill. If you have only one, move it slightly to one side and a little lower to "model" your subjects. Not so low as to make shadows on the background. If the child is squinting in the bright light, it is too bright. Hopefully you are using flash, not continuous. A flash usually will not make people squint.

I like the diagonal line of (male) faces, but the little one is off just a bit. If mom was supporting him better, the line would be better.

The photographer should just give simple direction to the adults (but don't make them laugh) and watch like a hawk the little ones, (the littlest one especially) and shoot when the eyes are on you or the camera. If the adults are doing their job (holding their gaze on you or the camera) then you should need only about 25 or 30 shots to get everyone with their eyes open at the same time.

Try to get better coordination in everyone's clothing. I see the boys have blue jeans, so start there. See if they all have blue jeans and some kind of top that makes them all similarly dressed. Ask to see the outfits before the shoot. Make suggestions.

Thanks, lighting was a struggle as it was mostly sunlight in my back garden which has little opportunity for shade; having said that it was quite hazy that day so felt it was okay I also used a litlle flash for fill.
Giving direction is the area I need to improve on most; it's not something I have had to do before so thanks for your suggestions there. Clothing is an interesting one; I'll have to think about how I tackle that one.
Thanks for your help.
 

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Much better. With a busy background shoot a short depth of field to pull subject out from background. Even more bokeh wouldn't hurt.

This is subjective but as far as composition, if camera was lower subject necks would look taller and child would be closer at eye level, instead of looking down on her. Husband should sit taller too.
 
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SquarePeg

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I like it. It may have a bit of a yellow cast from the trees. Or maybe you just need to whiten his teeth a smidge. And watch the clothes - the kid’s sweater is unbuttoned - looks messy.
 
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