Family Photo Tips From Royal Wedding Photographer Hugo Burnand

16/08/2011 17:03 | Updated 22 May 2015
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If you've got quality family time lined up this summer, don't forget your camera. Research from Disneyland Paris shows over half of us don't have a single photo of our family together on the last holiday we took.

Those gorgeous holiday memories will stay with you forever if you get snap happy with your family. But to avoid out of focus, half heads and tears before the shutter goes, we've got top tips from Hugo Burnard, the man behind Kate and Wills' royal wedding pictures, to help you get the best photos of you and your little ones, whether you're home or away...

Always use a flash

Even when photographing outside on a bright sunny day. There are dark shadows on your face and neck caused by the sun hitting your eyebrows, nose, and chin. A flash will fill in these shadows giving you an evenly lit picture.

Think positions

To catch your family at their best, try having them stand at a slight angle and have them put their hands on their hips to help with their posture.

Put them in the centre

Pop your children in the middle of the photo for a dramatic effect. For more artistic photos, move them to the side so the viewer's eyes can pass through the whole photo and not just get stuck in the centre of the frame.

Stand back

When photographing people in front of large objects, have your subjects stand about 5ft from the camera, not at the base of the object. This will allow you to frame the background object in the shot while still being able to see your subjects clearly.

Get rid of red eye

Red eye is caused by the reflection of the light from the flash off the retina at the back of the eye. To avoid this, change the direction of the flash to be above your children's eyes. If the flash is in a permanent position, try changing the camera from landscape to portrait.

Family photoRex

Pack batteries

Take an extra battery for your camera, your battery charger and have at least two media storage cards. Don't be stuck with a dead camera or full memory card right when that once in a lifetime magical moment comes up!

Check out the presets

Get the most out of your camera by using some of its preset settings and scene selection - you can capture some great effects.

Keep it fun

As the saying goes, 'you get out what you put in' and this is definitely true when taking a family photograph. In order to capture the personality of everyone in the picture and grab the light in their eyes at that magical moment, remember to exude positive energy yourself. Smile, have fun, enjoy it and you'll be sure that your subjects will too - resulting in a great shot!

Have a helping hand

Taking pictures of small children can prove tricky as we all know they get distracted by the smallest of things. Giving them a toy to play with can be a good way to get their focus but sometimes you don't want this showing up in your photo. A good trick is rolling up a small ball of sellotape, with the sticky side out and placing it into the palm of their hands. The tackiness will keep them interested, you won't be able to see it in the final shot and best of all you can capture some beautifully posed pictures.

Keep it level

The key to perfect photo composition is to bring everyone down to the same level. So, for example, make your adults sit or kneel down and keep your children standing. As well as making sure you capture everyone in the shot, this helps to give intimacy and warmth to the picture, especially when shooting families.

Hugo is the photographer in residence at Disneyland Paris. If you're heading off there this year, look out for him and his camera!

Follow Hugo's advice and hopefully you won't end up in our gallery of the worst family holiday photos...


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