If you are the family Designated Picture Taker (DPT), you are in a position to be the one person (except for Grand Daddy Big Buck$) that all other family members from age 5 to 100 adore and suck up to. There are only a few things you need to be able to do for this to work 100% of the time. Here they are:
Timing: Don’t start snapping pictures of everybody when they first arrive at a family gathering . . wait until the women have had a chance to “freshen up” and everybody is settled and comfortable (a few glasses of wine usually does the trick).
The Camera: Use a good photography camera, have some knowledge about the camera’s settings for the pictures you are about to take, and take charge of the situation (act like you know what you are doing).
The Picture: There are only 3 types of pictures you will take at a family gathering:
▪ Group Picture: Make sure you take at least 3 of these and prompt somebody to “do” or “say” something funny (or you can) just before taking each picture.
▪ Small Grouping (2 to 8 people): Again, take at least 3 shots and do something to get them to laugh, or at least smile, before taking each picture.
▪ Individual Pictures (1 person): Take only 1 picture, but try to get a smile or laugh.
Listen Up! Here is the key to being the kind of DPT that can either put you in the family catbird seat for the rest of your days, OR possibly being labeled a misfit and cast aside like road kill.
Remember This! Everybody, and I mean everybody, wants to look good in a picture, especially a family picture!
You’ve got yourself pretty much covered in the “Group Picture” simply because of the sheer number of people in the picture. There will not be a perfect picture out of the three taken, but the best one will have so many little individual flaws, nobody’s going to make a big fuss about how they look in this one.
The results of the “Small Grouping” pictures can be a little tricky. This is where it is essential that you, the DPT, know the sensitivity level of each person in the picture (this can only be learned through experience). If 1, 2, or even all 3 pictures show a bad image of a medium to high sensitivity level person, you must quickly and decisively delete the picture (s). Remember, they will all be hovering around the camera and, just like you, seeing these pictures for the first time. Nip the bad one(s) in the bud before they even have to ask you to delete them! This is even more important when you’re down to 2 or 3 people in a picture, unless it’s a husband-wife photo (they don’t seem to care).
The “Individual Picture” is the easiest . . just show the 1 picture to the subject and if it’s not good, delete, take another one, delete, take another one, etc. Within 4 minutes you’ll have a good picture and another good family friend until the next family photo shoot.