Photography TIps

The Necessity of Connection

At HP Studios, we believe that in life, and especially photography, it's all about connecting.

     With summer coming to a close and Halloween right around the corner, its safe to say that fall is here. It's the time of year for warm sweaters, chilly gusts of wind, and bundling up with your closest loved ones.

The Kirby family

The Kirby family

     So if you're a parent or spouse seeking a photographer, or a photographer yourself looking for tips on how to capture that authentic affectionate look with family or couples, there should be a little something for everyone.

     Having been in the photography business for over ten years, it's always nice to reminisce on humble beginnings, even before I picked up a camera myself. Looking through photos my mom had of us when we were kids (I'm sure lots of you have photos just like this), they tell you to sit near each other, look right into camera, and smile. I distinctly remember this look as very traditional, and taking them was an absolute bore for most kids. Although mom, of course, loves them because she can see our faces all at once. But now that I'm taking photos of younger families and their kids, I love it when we get away from the more harsh posed look and get to have more fun with the shoot. The kids definitely enjoy a more interactive environment which can make for a more natural vibe and provide variety in your photos. Here are a few tips I've gathered to hopefully help out any potential family photographers out there.

Let kids be kids.

It makes for fantastic photos and a great day out!


  1.      If the kids are in a good mood, talk with them and have them help you out! Show them your camera up close and that it's not scary. Even help them take photos of their parents or siblings.
  2.      Let them explore. You can get some amazing shots of kids climbing around and discovering new things. Plan to move a lot yourself, and photographers, have a lens like a 24-70mm handy. A must-have for fast kiddos, and getting your composition just right. 
  3.      Throw out some suggestions of games to play, like: Telephone, EyeSpy, and even a simple staring contest at times can be gold. 


     As for shooting more romantic photos with just couples, the direction of the shoot changes a bit from the previous setup. Since, as a photographer, you'll be photographing two people instead of a family, you might want to bring a tighter lens, such as a 70-200mm, to really capture the small details like handholding, kisses on the cheek, in-the-moment laughs or looks. Also, you do want to stay interactive with your subjects, however, try different talking points. Ask them about when they met, how long they've been together, and from there try and pick up on any other positive conversational topics to keep the focus on them. Remember, the memory of the fun they had matters just as much as the quality of your work.

     All in all, when taking family or couples portraits, the key is to capture their connection and let your pictures tell the story. And as long as you keep a sharp mind, finger on the shutter release, and the right equipment for the job, all there is to do is enjoy the shoot!

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