March 31, 2018 Anna Beltrametti

What’s your style? Choosing a family portrait as unique as you are.

Outdoor family portraits

Family photography Perth. Types of family portraits available to you

Family photography has come a long way since the 80’s and 90’s. In those days it was all about assembling family into neat groups in front of a plain or printed screen. Order would be based on height, sex and occasionally age (think granny or grandpa on the chair in the middle, kids on the floor at the front).

In fact, today there are so many different styles of family portraiture available, it is worthwhile doing a bit of research before you jump in to book your session.

The first step is to find a photographer whose work you admire (online galleries are a great way to get a feel for the different options available at different studios, just google “Family photography Perth”). Once you have found someone whose work you like, I strongly advise meeting with them before you book. This will enable you not only to find out if they are someone you would like to work with but also to get an idea of the sorts of photographs they have produced in the past and the styles that they offer.

All portrait photography genres (family, boudoir, glamour, artistic, branding, wedding) fall into three main categories:
Studio: As the title suggests, any photographs taken in an indoor studio environment.

Environmental: Photographs shot out of the studio setting. Can include indoor or outdoor environments, anywhere your family lives, works or plays.

Composite: A blend of photographs, combining two or more separate images through superimposition.

Within these broad categories is a variety portraiture styles. The one you choose will ultimately depend on your personal taste and your reasons for doing the session.

Casual outdoor

For the active, adventurous family, casual outdoor shoots are ideal for capturing fun, unique portraits of you and your loved ones at play. Whether it’s walking the dog in the park, building sandcastles at the beach, climbing in the adventure playground or exploring local beauty spots, outdoor settings will give your portraits a sense of movement and spontaneity that is virtually impossible to recreate in an indoor studio setting.

Because of Perth’s mild climate, portrait photographers here are able to offer outdoor shoots all year round. Rain is rarely an issue, however it is a good idea to check with your photographer that they are prepared to reschedule if the weather turns nasty.

Casual outdoor photographs are almost always more candid than their studio counterparts. Whether it’s because being outdoors has a relaxing effect or because we forget there’s a photographer in tow, or both, I can’t say, but it’s a fact that our most carefree and unguarded shots are almost always those that were taken outdoors.

Casual indoor

A more traditional style of portraiture, casual indoor photographs are taken in a studio setting, using studio lighting and screen backdrops. Free of the variables that exist in outdoor shoots, such as bad weather or intrusion by other people (especially in public spaces), indoor portraiture is comfortable and secure.

The photographer has complete control over the environment and can create atmospheric variety simply by changing the lighting, incorporating props or moving a screen. The process is faster than a casual outdoor shoot and the results are more predictable.

Couture

Inspired by high end fashion magazines, this style has gained a devoted following over recent years. Popularised by former portrait photographer of the year, Sue Bryce, couture portraiture was originally marketed to women looking for the glamour experience. It is also a unique way to photograph families with stunning results. Sleek and stylish, with a glamorous edge, couture portraits are a stand out in any collection of family photographs.

They can be taken indoor or outdoor, however they are very different to casual or conventional photographs. Couture portraits are stylised, dramatic and driven largely by aesthetics. Being more contrived, they are not as immediate or ‘raw’ as some of the other styles, however they are beautiful to look at and well worth considering if you are after a modern, eye-catching print that will stand the test of time.

Lifestyle

Whether it’s hanging out with the kids in the living room, taking the family on a picnic, or playing with the dogs in the park, lifestyle portraits can document almost any aspect of your life. In contrast to other styles of portraiture, lifestyle photographs are minimally posed, giving the photographer more freedom to capture family interactions – quiet moments, funny moments, intimate moments, and playful moments. They are all as unique as your family, and will be treasured for generations, not only as a family record, but as a tangible reminder of ‘how things were’ back then.

Artistic

Artistic or fine art portraiture aims to capture an idea, message or emotion. Choosing an artistic portrait style is an undertaking in trust, since, no matter how well you have expressed your own ideas about your family and what it is that you think defines you as a unit, the outcome depends completely on the imagination and aesthetic tastes of your photographer.

Fine art by definition is created by the artist, not the subject, so if you choose an artistic style of portraiture, your choice of photographer is absolutely critical. Ask questions. Look at their work. If you have a specific vision for the shoot yourself, be sure to share your ideas with them and see whether they are open to your input. Make sure the photographer you select is willing to take the time to meet with your family beforehand.

Since the purpose of artistic portraiture is to reflect the internal as much as the external, understanding the subject matter (in this case, your family) as thoroughly as possible is critical in the creation of beautiful family portraits that are also meaningful works of art.

Artistic Composite

Artistic composite portraiture is an extension of artistic portraiture. Like its cousin, composite photography depends largely on the artistic integrity of your photographer. The main difference lies in the fact that composites are made up of two or more superimposed images, blended together to create the illusion that they are all a part of the same scene.

The style is regularly used to create surreal images and fantasy scenes, but the possibilities are endless. If you choose this style, be aware that, while the outcomes are generally striking, the process of creating the image is time consuming and fiddly, making them significantly more expensive than portraits that use regular editing and printing protocols.

 

Final word

As a family photographer in Perth I offer all of the styles of portraiture described above. Every photoshoot experience starts with a no obligation consultation to discuss your wishes and requirements and how our team can meet them.

We love pleasing our clients! If you have an idea for your family portrait do not hesitate to contact us.