By: James Munroe
Subject: Portrait Photography
Area Working: Vancouver, 100 Mile House, Williams Lake, Kamloops
Lots of people want to know if their family portraits would come out better if they were candid portraits or if they were posed portraits.
It is a really important question to ask. It will mean that whichever one you choose will cause your family portrait photos to turn out much different. It is important to consider not only what style you would like your portrait photographs to be in, but what the event is that you are trying to remember. Sometimes what the event is will give you all of the information that you need to choose between candid and posed family portraits.
If you are planning on taking a family portrait photo or even some parent and child portrait photos, candid (Documentary) shots are the way to go. Taking a candid portrait means you are getting photographs that show genuine emotions and are a real, unique moment in your life. Informal events work better with candid photos because you can get some really beautiful moments when everyone is laughing or smiling or just looking peaceful without the stress of a staged photo.
Here are some examples of informal events that are perfect for candid photography:
Having the photographer off in the distance photographing candid moments of your special party can give a natural intimate feel to your images.
Want to create a lasting memory of your family at a specific time in your life? Have the family dress up in their best looking spring clothes and head to the park. Have your photographer capture those natural moments as you play a friendly game of Frisbee, or while you eat a nice picnic lunch.
Are you planning a weekend trip to the cabin? This is a great time to have a photographer join you for a day, to capture those priceless moments as you barbecue hot-dogs over the fire and tell stories about when mom and dad first met.
On the other hand, the more formal events in life require a more formal style of family portrait. Things like weddings and pregnancy photos often come out better when they are staged because they allow you to get exactly the images that you are looking for without the unpredictability of candid shots. On your wedding day you will want all of the photos to be perfect, especially the portraits of you and your family.
These are the standard poses that most photographers take of a wedding party, or family.
These are all business. These are the corporate photos you see on business cards and office walls.
The creative look that can go anywhere the photographer wants to take it.
These are sensual, private shots for someone special, usually taken at Valentines Day.
These are the shots you’d see on the cover of Vogue Magazine.
The bottom line is that the most important thing to consider when choosing candid or posed portraits is the event you are trying to commemorate. If you are looking for beautiful, light hearted, natural looking photos, then you should probably lean more towards candid photos especially when children are involved because it can be stressful trying to make them pose.
If the event is really important to you, like a wedding, you will want to make sure that you are taking posed portraits because a good wedding photographer will be able to deliver you beautiful posed portraits every time with no room for error. And of course these can be switched up, a few nice candid pictures of a wedding that can be put on social media, and can really liven up a wedding album. Do what feels right to you and think of the emotions that you want to convey with these portraits.