View Full Version : How to shoot pictures of family on day out

24-05-2016, 11:06pm
I took my new DSLR camera out over the weekend but was not able to take any great looking pictures. I believe my technique needs help.

Looking for tutorials (e.g. Youtube videos) on how to shoot photographs.
Specifically, from how close/ far to shoot your subjects, what height you should point your camera at the subject etc.

Did you come across any material that changed the way you take photographs?

25-05-2016, 12:32am
I'd recommend having a look at kelbyone. You can subscribe for a month for $25, watch as many videos as you want and then stop your subscription. There are some really good videos on family photos. They take you to a location, tell you how to position people, what to look for and then show you what the photos look like every time they take a photo. You can buy or hire individual courses, but for the cost of subscription, it's worth just doing a month because you may find heaps of other areas you want to look at. I.e. composition. They are generally about an hour to 3 hours long.


25-05-2016, 6:43am
As you are just delving into the photographic world, your technique would definitely need improving. It takes years to get to an advanced level. But along with technique comes a range of things. camera settings, compositions, learning to 'see'. Light levels, understanding how your camera meters light in high contrast situations (sun behind the subjects) and more.

Tell us more about these photos you have taken, you say there were not any good ones. What was wrong with them? Once you know what is wrong, you know what not to do next time. Are they blurry, over-exposed, badly composed.... what else is wrong with them?

For example, say the photos are blurry, we then need to decide why they are blurry. Was it subject movement, camera shake..? Once we know that we can then advise on how to rectify it.

Post some of the photos to this thread, and let us guide you. Once we can see your 'bad' ones we can give advice on why they are bad and what to do to make the next lot better. However, like most things, practice makes 'perfect'. Learn from your mistakes, do not make the same mistakes over and over, use AP members to guide you, that is what the site is here for. You have been a member for a few weeks now, use us to help you improve, start sharing your photos with us and asking questions related to those photos.

25-05-2016, 11:43am
I have been in your situation - you look at other people's photos on the site here and get a little down in the mouth when you look over your own. The good news is with a little practice and guidance the pictures will improve at a logarithmic rate.

As Rick suggested, post some of the pics you are not happy with - let us know what you don't like about the shot and ask for people to help you work out how it could have been better. In actual fact you have picked one of the hardest subjects to get great looking shots. Family can be difficult, after all it is a family outing and not a pre planned photo session, but with some experience you can take some shots which the family will appreciate for years.

I have taken my camera to every family get together since 2006 and I can see how with practice my technique has improved.

25-05-2016, 8:45pm
I agree with Rick, we were all where you are once upon a time. Post some photos, be prepared for critique.. the harshest critique can help you out, but you have to be prepared for it and not take it personally. I started here with my first DSLR more than a few years ago now, and like you, posted asking for help. The best help I got was some harsh critique on the photos I'd posted, I took the advice, learned from it, and now I'm taking photos professionally and earning a living from it!

26-05-2016, 8:47am

Did you come across any material that changed the way you take photographs?

For me it was easy .. but a long and arduous process.
Used my own material!
That is, shoot .. didn't like. Kept looking at the images over and over to find out why I didn't like them.
Shot more, didn't like them either .. same as above re viewing them over and over.

Finally after many years, I still shoot and don't like(all that much), but now at least I know why I don't like them as much.

ie.(if you haven't yet figured it out!) .. experience.
If you are really keen to get into photography, no amount of courses and tutorials can help you see.
Seeing is basically 99% of what getting good images is about. if you only know 1% of the technical aspects of getting good exposures, I think that's probably enough.

While it's probably true that you could do a course on photography to learn the basics of composition, almost certainly it'll show you how to take photos the same way as others do.
So you'll see just the way others do.

And like Rick said .. post images for critique, and accept that critique without getting personal.(ie. if someone says it's not good in some way, they usually do it simply to help .. not to debase your ability!)
AND .. further to that, try to critique others images.
I've found that in expressing my opinion on what I think others could have done 'better' .. it helped me to commit to memory some of that advise when I'm out shooting.