The Hawaiian Island of Kauai is one of the top destinations in the world. From its vibrant underwater world, to tropical landscapes, the islands of Hawaii are simply captivating. With so many family friendly activities Kauai is a dream vacation for families. What better way to treasure your Hawaiian vacation than with timeless family photos? Photos are a way to help keep your family memories alive. Here at Pacific Dream Photography, we have lots of tricks up our sleeve. After all, nothing beats reminiscing about some of the best memories as the years go by. Here are 6 tips for taking great family portraits.

Bend It The number one obstacle we face while photographing families or people in general is stiffness. As soon as the camera comes out, so does the stiffness. It is our job as a photographer to make sure our subjects are as relaxed as possible. This creates natural photos. Ask your subject to shift their weight on to one foot, away from the camera. This creates a natural look, as well as a flattening angle. Ask you’re subject to place one hand in their pocket. This creates a relaxed look.  The best way to show someone how to pose, is to face your subject and do the pose yourself.

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Let the Kids Be Themselves It is very common for parents to tell their kids to put on a big smile and be on their best behavior. While this can be a good, our goal to capture natural photos. The best way to capture natural photos is to let the kids enjoy themselves and have fun. When kids are having a good time, their personality comes out. That’s what we like to see. Let the kids be kids, and be ready to capture the moments.  

Lighting Matters Lighting can make or break any family photo. At Pacific Dream Photography, we book our sessions at sunrise or sunset photo sessions to ensure the best lighting. It is important to make sure that there isn’t too little or too much light on your subject’s faces.  You may have the perfect family or an incredible backdrop, but without the right lighting, you can still be left with a dull photo. The right quality of light will bring your photo to life. 

Wardrobe It is important to inform your family on what to wear. The right clothing can change the whole look of a session.  By choosing simple, classic clothing, your images will give a timeless feel. After all, your family will look at these photos for years to come. Inform your family on coordinating colors, but not matching completely. Clothing that fit into the right color scheme are much more exciting than white shirts and blue jeans.  Tell your subjects to limit patterns and logos, as this may aid in distraction. 

Get Close Even though they are a happy family, they probably aren’t getting close enough. Closing gaps between heads and shoulders completes the overall composition of the photo. Laugh, joke, and have fun with this. Get the siblings together. Better yet, tell the family to give each other a big group hug.  

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Have Fun Keep the energy up! Create some fun shots near the end. Families love to laugh and have a great time. Tell your family to jump in the air, make funny faces, or squish together. Ask the siblings to get on each other’s backs and race down the beach. This creates candid photos and lightens up the overall mood of the shoot.

As Hawaii photographers, it is our job to create timeless family photos. Use these tips at your next photo session and your clients will be in for a treat! For even more tips, check out our older blog post on posing here.

Michael W. (Pacific Dream Photography at the Grand Hyatt Kauai)