4 Tips for Taking Beautiful Close-Up Photos of Your Family

Taking a good close-up photo of your family can be an elusive feat. All you want is a handful of detailed, captivating shots that magnify the subject and reveal features that are not usually visible to the naked eye. Instead, your lighting is wonky, grandma looks stiff, and little Rachel has turned mysteriously pale. Here are a few key tips you can use to shoot epic family close-ups.

  1. Get Basics Right

One of the basic requirements of a good close-up is brilliant lighting. Before you decide to take a shot, study or take note of the environment surrounding your subject.  If you’re shooting in a natural, open space (such as a flower field); see how the natural light reacts with the colors in your frame. If you’re planning to shoot close-up images indoors, be sure that your subject isn’t exposed to ample lighting. To eliminate harsh shadows and get a halo of light to surround your subject, consider using a ring light. Because the illumination surfacing from this type of light comes from all directions, it eliminates any shadow that can highlight negative features. Also, most ring-shaped lights give off a circle of light, which leads to a very natural appearance in the final result.

  1. Invest in A Tripod

Perhaps the biggest issue with close-up photography is a blurry effect or shakiness. This is usually the result of unsteady hands while using the camera. To ensure that you won’t shoot wobbling images, use a tripod as it’ll help improve your picture’s focus with a stable camera position. If you don’t have the budget for a tripod, put your camera on a flat surface. A sturdy table would be your best bet; place the camera on its top, and make sure the table’s height complements your subject’s position.

  1. Switch to “Macro Shot” Settings

If you own a basic digital camera, search for the “macro shot” tool and use it for taking family close-ups. In most brands, it is represented by a flower symbol on the settings menu. However, remember to set the camera mode to auto so that it can automatically determine the ISO that’s best for taking close-up shots. Some brands also feature a super macro feature, but you might not find it useful in low light conditions as it will automatically deactivate your flash and zoom. Another thing you can do to make your shots better is set your camera’s timer. If you don’t, you’ll have to press the shutter button firmly, which can affect the camera’s focus. It’s consider a best practice to remove your hand from the shutter button as soon as you instruct the camera to take a picture.

  1. Choose The Right Focus & Composition

For great close-ups, isolate your family members from the background by setting the aperture to a lower number (using shallow depth of field) or by using a less-happening/less-noisy background, if possible. Then, carefully focus and select a specific focal point so that your subject appears sharper against a soft background. If your lens or camera has an autofocus feature, make sure the lens focuses on the subject. If you aren’t able to focus precisely, try moving a few steps farther away from the subject. For those using a zoom lens, try moving back and zooming into the subject.

These are just the basic steps for capturing close-up family photos. As the camera industry innovates, though, it’s alright to believe that new close-up features will be introduced soon.

About the Author

Henrietta Newman is a self-loving empty-nester into smudging, nature, yoga, fitness, healthy living, hunting, camping, hiking, tech, video games, gadgets, recipes, reviews and more.
With a love for the outdoors and visiting local attractions in and around NW PA and Lake Erie, you never know what you'll find in my nest! Subscribe to A Hen's Nest so you don't miss the fun!


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