Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Technique Tuesday: Family Portraits and Posing The Groups; Road Trip Mania!!!

Good Afternoon Everybody,

I hope the world is treating you well as we head into the holiday season.  With Turkey Day right around the corner, I can’t believe this year has gone by so quickly.  Anyway, it’s been a good one, and a busy one – hope the same is true for you.

Hey gang, just wanted to give you a “heads up” that my DPT blog is going to be changed up over the next few days beginning on Friday, and it’s all in good fun ;~)  As I mentioned yesterday, my buddy, Kent Smith, and I are heading out on a very ambitious road trip (adventure) covering over 3,200 miles over the next 5-6 days. 

To Cabo

Kent is picking me up in Edgewood, KY on Friday morning about  10:00 a.m. We then head directly west to San Diego – 2,211 miles – then make a hard left, cross the Mexican border at Tijuana, and then hi-tail it to the tip of the Baja peninsula – another 1,000 miles!

Jeep Why does Chevy Chase come to mind ;~)  We are making the trip in Kent’s just recently acquired Baja Jeep – OMG!!! – 3,200 miles in THAT!!!  Yep, that’s going to be the story for the next few days.  I thought I’d blog the trip just for the fun of it, even trying to get some good images along the way.  Anyway, stay tuned, I’ll keep you posted. OK, that’s the latest craziness from this end, so why don’t we get right to today’s post.  Here we go…

Technique Tuesday: Family Portraits and Posing The Groups

This request comes up a lot here at DPT; how to pose groups? So I thought I’d touch on some quick pointers for you guys and girls as we enter this holiday season. 

Fun Family Portraits We recently did a family portrait session for one of my favorite clients.  I actually photographed mom and dad’s wedding about 14 years ago and we’ve been doing their family portraits, every couple of years, since then.

In today’s tutorial, I just want to walk you through how we managed the shoot for the family this fall.  The images I’m going to share with you represent my normal family portrait shooting routine.  I’ll show you how I begin with the larger groups, add a little variety by changing locations, and then how I break the groups down into smaller groups to finish the shoot.

The goal is to come up with a lot of  photographic variety for the clients so they can best enjoy both the shooting experience and the final delivered images.

Why not hit the PLAY button below and enjoy the show.


Hey gang, that’s it for me today.  We’re pretty busy around the studio putting finishing touches on our holiday decorating and our trip to Cabo, Mexico.  OH, BTW, I just got a call from a good client that’s wants a family portrait on Thanksgiving Day.  It’s never-ending sometimes ;~)

Hey, have a great rest of the day, and I’ll plan to see you again tomorrow for another episode of the one that got away.

See ya’ then,  -David


  1. Thanks for this video tutorial, David--I picked up some good ideas. A couple of quick technical questions:

    - Are you working from a tripod on a session like this?

    - Most of the images you showed are horizontal; do you tend to prefer/sell more horizontal images than verticals? Is there a methodology you use for choosing one orientation over the other?


  2. More a request than comment. Love the picture of the baby on the bottom left of the video intro, could you feature it (or tell me the link if you have already) or do an infants special with what kind of shots you look for like you did here with groups. Thanks for all you give so freely, you're an excellent teacher and I learn so much from you and have read every day since I found the blog soon after getting my dslr. Keep up the great work but do make sure you take the time to enjoy that vacation, thanks again

  3. David;

    Have a wonderful trip in that cool looking jeep. Please be careful.


    Steve M

  4. Hi Dave,

    Love your posts and tutorials. I would ask you to get curious about a word that you always mispronounce - Foliage.

    It would be FOIL-ige if it were around the "Reynold's Wrap" plant, but everywhere else it's pronounced FOAL-e-ige.

    Thought you would want to know.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Thanks David, great tutorial. Would love to see how you set up the lighting for these group shots. Or a bit more detail on what you did (I know you mentioned off camera flash) also, what time of day do you tend to shoot, Do you just look for a well shaded area? That park looked perfect, but what if you're in your clients yard, what do you look for? Or if there's another tutorial you have that may explain these answers let me know. Thanks so much!