How To Take Great Family Photos
When little ones arrive time seems to accelerate as you watch them grow and develop from day to day. Smiles and funny faces, firsts and special occasions are all there to be captured so that you can enjoy them again and again. Anna Southgate specialises in exactly this; the capturing of beautiful candid moments. She says, “I kept being asked if I did family photo shoots by people who had seen the photographs I’d taken of my own family.”
Favouring black and white, and location shoots, Anna’s pictures brim with tenderness and nostalgia. “My aim is to capture meaningful and natural photographs. This is why I encourage families to have the photos taken in their homes or at low key events such as birthday brunches. I like to mix reportage with portraiture and am inspired by photographers such as Elliott Erwitt, Dorothea Lange and Vivian Maier. I love how their photos tell stories and I hope this comes through in my work too.”
Anna was inspired to start a career in photography after noticing a lack of photos of her own family, “Growing up, there were barely any photographs of the grandparents that I didn’t get to meet. I think that has always struck me as terribly sad and has added significance to candid shots for me. There’s a photograph of my mum at her 18th birthday that I’ve always loved. For me, it’s a little scary to think how many special memories people have stored only on mobile phones. Photographs should be printed and kept for when you need them, they tell us our history and serve as a way to find our place in the world.”
As well as photographing families, local businesses and weddings, Anna also runs photography workshops. Her next one, entitled ‘Instagram Bootcamp for Creative Business Owners’ will take place on the 10th March, 10am – 2pm. Tickets are priced at £25, visit www.auguststorycompany.com for bookings.
ANNA’S TOP TIPS
Lighting is Key
Find the best light and work with it. In most homes, this will be near the biggest window. Stand with your back to the window, without blocking the light, and play with some different angles to get nice light on your subject.
Focus on their Eyes
Most cameras will allow you to set your autofocus on one point. This can be really helpful when you’re starting to take portraits.
Go Down to their Level
When you take photos of children take them at their height. You will get more of their lovely faces than if you’re looking down at the top of their head.
Don’t Force It
Try not to annoy people; particularly your children. If they don’t want their photo taken or shared on social media, respect that.