Taking a photo a single person is more or less a piece of cake. Especially in this day and age where the only drawback of shooting a thousand photos is navigating through themess in your computer. I think that most modern photographers have adopted the idea of snapping 10 or 20 photos just for one decent shot. With my own kids, there is no other way of capturing their photo.
As the number of individuals in a portrait increase, the odds of nailing that perfect photo fade. It’s tough, neh, near impossible to have every single person looking their best especially when adding the dynamic of hyper children. With all this in mind, I decided to attempt a near perfect family photo…and here’s how I did it.
The idea was simple, photograph each member of my family individually and use the best of each of them to “build” a single family photo on our red couch. Pretty straightforward, but even simple ideas have their share of hurdles. How was I to control the light and keep it consistent, What will I use as a back drop, what should we be doing? Two of these problems were pretty simple. If I draw all the shades in the house and use a big softbox at the same output for each of the photos, the light should remain consistent, and if I use a simple white backdrop, all I have to worry about is keeping it white. Simple enough. With a few test shots, we were in business.
I started out just shooting the standard “stare at the camera and smile…” But we can do better than that. So instead why not pose with something that symbolized what we’ve been us to this past year…then we don’t have to write a Christmas letter…win/win.
In the computer, the photos went together very easily, sure I had to tweek the leather on the couch here and there, but I used some photoshop to smudge and blur it in places, and when it is all said and done, it looks pretty good. The carpet on the other hand was a headache that I just decided to leave as is… we’ll pretend it’s “modern.” I had to cut out parts of each of the photo so we all appear fit on the couch giving it a more realistic feel. Finally the look of the photo needed some pop. A subtle HDR filter was perfect because it brightened up the colors and gave the photo a Norman Rockwell quality that works well in this particular case.
Well there you have it. Merry Christmas =)