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Paul Tanner Photography Blog

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The Ali Family Unit Shoot

Firstly, here’s the disclaimer, the Ali’s are good friends of mine. I’ve known Iraj and Gemma for years and watching their family grow up is wonderful. As you can see they’re a very photographable bunch.

I wanted to keep their shoot really simple, I always think family portraits should be natural and relaxed. When you get a family to sit and chat with each other you start to see their personalities coming out and I feel this can make a priceless record of the unit. What a funny word, family unit. 

Anyway, simple pose and simple lighting is what I wanted, so I set up one soft-box and a reflector and then chose a couple of spots around their home to sit them in and just watched them be themselves.

This simple approach works just as well with a more formal studio background too. The principle is the same, once you’ve decided on the lighting and pose, you can just watch and snap away as the family goes about being ‘the unit’. This gives you the chance to capture them in a way that they have probably never seen before, and deliver some portraits that they will look back at forever and really treasure.