spontaneity in family photos

Spontaneity in Family Portraits

What makes a family portrait stand out?
Is it one where everyone looks handsome, smiling in their Sunday best outfit? Or is it one that shows spontaneity and energy? The portrait that catches a child looking devilish instead of smiling like a cherub. Preserving Your Family Memories Through Photographs
The easy answer is it’s both.
33 Absolutely Charming Family Portrait Ideas
Show energy and personality
As a photographer, my favorites portraits are the ones that reveal personality. It’s challenging to capture personality in a posed photograph. Ironically, it’s often posed photographs that open a session up to spontaneity.
You would think that spontaneity with children would be easy. But kids aren’t that different from many adults. There are always people that hate having their photograph taken.
They are shy, self-conscious and posing for a photo for them is like a painful trip to the dentist. Their expressions show it.
Then there are kids and adults who are carefree, easily smile and effortlessly take posing directions.
Use the great outdoors
I prefer photographing families outside because it allows for a more relaxed atmosphere. It lets children expel their energy after posing and inject some of that same liveliness into their poses.
Back to spontaneity, obviously it can’t be forced. The photographer, however, can encourage it.

Play like a child
If I’m playful and funny, then ideally the family will be as well.
At the same time, everything I do as a photographer needs to be intuitive. I need to automatically dial in all of the proper settings on my camera and select the right spots for photographs so that technically the photograph is a good one.
Experience Matters
This comes with experience.
Experience also helps you dial in spontaneity. You intuitively assess the personality of a family and the individuals in a group to coach moments.
It doesn’t mean I’ll know when a little girl will decide to pull away from mom to twirl or put her hands on her hips to strike that Instagram pose, she’s seen adults do. What I do is give permission to allow it to happen.