Photography Tips From a Family Photographer

Getting a great family photo can be easier said than done, am I right? Framefox has interviewed the talented family photographer, Hannah Web Photography. Getting all of her professional photography tips and tricks of the trade to help you capture great family photographs.

Introduce Hannah Webb Family Photographer…

Hi, I’m Hannah. I’m a Newborn & Family (with a dash of weddings) photographer based in Auckland, but I hail from the deep South, Dunedin. I live in Greenlane, Auckland with my husband Pete, our kids George (3) & Phoebe (1) and our distinguished Senior Dog Manny.

Describe your photography style…

I love to capture simple, natural looking photographs, candid and ‘lifestyle’ portraits.  I love dreamy, natural and boho inspired  newborn sessions with baby-led posing (so nothing too forced, no big props etc), alongside lots of family shots capturing those first days.  For my family photographer shoots it’s all about capturing the chaos in the outdoors, or coming into home as a bit of a  documentary capturer of the memories. I aim to create images that have a bold , warm and natural feel to it.

Your ability to capture relaxed and candid portraits is extraordinary! What’s your secret?

That’s exactly what I aim to do, so thank you! I think it’s about keeping everyone comfortable in front of the camera – it’s about letting the kids be kids, and getting creative in the ways you interact with them.  Instead of barking “Smile!” or “Cheese” (because every Mum knows exactly what sort of fake smile you’ll get from that), you need to be funny, and make them laugh!  Same goes for the Dads (hehe).  Keeping people moving  – hugs, tickles, walking, picking up leaves and flowers etc, is a great way to get those natural shots.  And give them lots of breaks to run around and go crazy (the kids, not the Dads), and then see if you can sneak in a few shots of that!  Your own energy is contagious – so it’s all about keeping things calm, and positive, especially if things are going not quite as you expected!

Family photographer tips

Do you have tips for others wanting to take great photos?

Manual Camera Mode

If you are wanting to really take great images, then take the journey of learning how to use your camera in manual mode, and shoot in RAW so you can edit your images properly.  ‘Presets’ are a great way to look at different styles of editing, and keep things consistent, although they are rarely a “one click” fix.

Rule of Thirds

There are a whole lot of golden rules that you can easily look up, although I probably break quite a few of them. The rule of thirds is always a great place to start, and try not to crop out limbs, unless you are intentionally getting in close!

Sunset Shots

Golden light is always beautiful and forgiving, so shooting an hour before sunset will give you that gorgeous glow, and less harsh shadows.  

Shoot heaps!

If you shoot everyday, you will see dramatic improvement –  your kids might not love you for it though, so maybe get a few flower and still life shots in there too.

Capture reality

Don’t worry about getting everyone looking and smiling – get them being silly, get them crying over something ridiculous, like the way you cut their toast basically ruining their life,  get them hanging upside down or being chucked in the air with Dad, get them hugging their beloved and tatty toy.  Get the things you’ll look back on and will trigger a memory and a feeling of what once was.

Hannah Webb Photography Family Photo Tips

Do you have any tips for picking the right family photo to frame?

I’m just doing this right now, and it’s hard! And it’s such a personal choice too – I think the best way to do it is to find something that really captures the personality of the subjects, at that exact point in time.  Look at gallery wall options too, (then you don’t have to pick just one!).   Also my problem (like any Mum), is that I’m hardly ever in any of them, so it’s a good reminder to hand the camera over to someone and get in those shots!

What’s your favourite thing about being behind the lens?

The awesome people I get to meet from all walks of life, and finding a way to connect with them.  Getting to work with gorgeous little bubbas, and getting to be buds with the older kiddos – I always end up checking out their sweet toy collections and having random yarns. 

Any photography or framing trends you are loving right now? 

For me, it’s always going to be a tie between a B&W print with a simple black frame, or a bold colourful image in a lighter wooden frame! Although I do love the rustic look of a handmade and hand torn print for something a little bit different.  I’m loving simplicity in set ups at the moment – eg 4 same sized B&W framed prints in a gallery wall line-up.

Do you have any tips for creating a Nursery Gallery Wall?

I think there just needs to be a common thread of something throughout your gallery – a colour that shows up in each item, even subtly or a consistent frame colour/wood throughout.  The beauty with prints these days is that they are so affordable you can update so easily, so don’t overthink it! A little draping of bunting or something a little bit unexpected like a rattan or macrame hanging can be a great addition too.  And don’t put the gallery wall right over baby’s cot or you’ll give yourself another reason to worry about baby sleeping!

How do you bring photography into your home and interior style?

We have just moved, so it’s a bit of a project for me, and I’m looking forward to getting some Framefox frames and shots up on the wall!  I love having little subtle placings throughout the house, and am working on one wall having a dedicated space in our living room for some family shots – keeping nice clean lines and a simple minimalistic look for these ones, which I think will look great.  I’m going for a little more of an eccentric look for the shots – so rather than a traditional family posed shot I want to capture funny little memories of the kids, and I think it will help keep things a little more ‘arty’ looking.  Our walls are pretty eclectic anyways, if I like something then up it goes!

Find out more about Hannah Webb Family Photographer…