There's something in photography that kind of took me a long time to figure out and I am a little ashamed to say that. But like my photography I try to keep it real here on the blog. For some reason I never thought to work around my subject to work more efficiently and get a variety of photos without having to think about what direction to give them next. It's easier to let them do their thing and you to compose your photograph around them. In order to visually demonstrate I am using my cute red headed son as an example.
The first photo above is your standard up close full body portrait. It's straight on and what most photographers think to do when photographing.
However, I encourage you to stop and think for a second. Even though the first photograph is beautiful and you would probably be happy with it what else could you do with this scene? The easiest place to start is just by pulling back. Get more of the surrounding scene, which will help tell a better story.
Next pull even farther back incorporating the entire background. Pull backs are a great way to make environmental portraits. If you don't know what an environmental portrait is, here's a great place to start. Surroundings are more interesting for the viewer when incorporated with people in a photograph. They allow the viewer to construct a story in their mind about what's going on making it more captivating for them.
Move to the side of your subject and again get close and pull back from that position as well. For some reason when people first start taking pictures their feet or tripod never move. They stick with one position and wait. However, if it feels stagnant, like it's not working, move. It's that easy.
So at the end of your session, whether it's with your kids or a family, move all the way around them, 360 degrees. Just this one little trick can improve your photography immensely. If you decide to try it post it to your Instagram and tag me. I'd love to see your results. In fact, I hope they are way better than mine.