By Bethany Cleg
Family photos should be more than just a record of a particular day in the life of its members. Family photos should also make a clear and graphical statement about the interests, values and priorities of the family. There is allot of unsaid information communicated in a family photo. To ensure that your family photos are unique and capture the spirit of you and your loved ones, consider these ideas for backgrounds.
Secondly, I must preface that if you are planning on shooting family pictures yourself and its a “once a year” type of activity maybe consider renting a nicer camera and lenses for the shoot. Its not expensive and its cheaper than buying a camera that you may not end up using that much.
Here in Australia I recommend this aussie camera hire site as I use them all the time. Also if you have a baby in the family read this guide here first to get some tips on how to handle your baby for easier photos.
Around Your Community:
1. Every community has civic points of interest. Look for a noteworthy regional feature in your area such as an historic tree or an antique building that played a significant part in the town’s past.
2. If you live in the country, look for a classic barn and ask permission of the owner. To increase interest, frame the photo to include the barn door hardware which will add a distinctive graphic detail.
3. Nighttime settings can be especially romantic for a photo of a couple. Choose a glamor spot for night shots, keeping in mind that it may be necessary to consider a lighting hire for sufficient illumination.
4. Use as a background a place that has sentimental value for the people in the pictures. For instance, if the picture is of a couple who were high school sweethearts, use a building or other structure of the school such as the bleachers on the sports field. This is especially meaningful if the couple were involved in sports while in high school.
5. An old covered bridge cannot be equaled for nostalgia, romance and history. There are covered bridges in every state in the US, so check to see if there is one in your area.
The Great Outdoors:
6. A zoological park can be a fabulous place for a photo if the subjects are animal lovers. A large mammal such as a big cat, elephant or giraffe will add a surprising and dramatic element to the picture and will make a statement about the importance of animals in the lives of the family members.
7. Moving water of any kind will add sparkle to a picture. Check with local parks and recreations
offices to see what is in your area. Look for waterfalls, lakes or rapids and plan to shoot when the light will emphasize the water movement.
8. A botanical garden will provide many exceptional choices for backgrounds. Plants are naturally beautiful. Frame the family group between two trees or peeping through the leaves of a large plant. Flowers in bloom will add color and proportion to the photo.
In Your Home:
9. For pictures taken in the home, find a background that expresses a unique family trait. For instance, a family of readers might pose in front of a bookcase. A work shop or craft room would be an ideal location for a photo of a family of hobbyists. These settings will bring out smiles naturally as family members recall happy memories of fun and creative times together.
10. An athletic family will want to incorporate their love of sports into a photo. Larger equipment such as surfboards, snowboards, skis or boating gear can serve as a photo background and as an expression of the lively interests of the family members. Using authentic settings rather than artificial studio backgrounds on canvas will make your family photos one-of-a-kind as well as far more interesting. Photos in real settings convey much more than a family likeness. Carefully chosen, the photo background will contribute to the family history and lore so that future generations will better understand their roots and where they came from, which is always a primary reason to take and preserve family photos.