NSW Grandparents Day 2017 - Project
NSW Grandparents Day 2017 - Project NSW Grandparents Day 2017 - Project NSW Grandparents Day 2017 - Project

NSW Grandparents Day celebrates the contribution of grandparents and older people make to their families and communities.

To help you get started here five tips to making your next family photo extraordinary

1. Experiment with lighting

There are almost unlimited possibilities when it comes to using light in portraits. Early morning or afternoon light is often more flattering for portraits but you can also use light to change the mood of your photograph. Try using a window as a source of side lighting or minimizing overhead lights inside and using a bright lamp instead. Think about what you are lighting, we often focus on the face but what about focusing on another element such as hands, feet or profile.

2. Alter your perspective

Most portraits are taken with the camera at (or around) the eye level of the subject. While this is often a good strategy, sometimes shooting from a different perspective can reveal something different about a subject. Get up high and shoot down on your subject or get close to the ground and shoot up. Either way you’ll be seeing your subject from an angle that is bound to create interest.

3. Play with eye contact

Changing where a subject is looking can have a big impact on the image. Try having your subject look out of frame at something unseen. This works best when you are in close and the person is showing some kind of emotion but be careful as this might take the focus off them. You can also think about adding a story and more depth to your portrait by giving your subject another focus within the frame, such as an object or another person.

4. Think about backgrounds 

Even though you are taking a portrait you don’t have to focus exclusively on the subject. Sometimes when you place someone into different settings, with different backgrounds you can dramatically alter the mood in a shot. Try photographing your subject at work, with family or doing something that they love, you can capture some great shots with them reacting naturally to the situation that they are in.

5. Introduce a prop

Add a prop of some kind into your shots. You can add a great sense of story and place to an image and it gives the person you’re photographing an extra layer of depth that they wouldn’t have had without the prop. Ask your subject to bring some meaningful objects with them to experiment with.

Teaching & Learning Resource
This step-by-step guide is designed for teachers and parents to assist students take portrait photographs with confidence. The activities cover aspects of a photoshoot, including point of view, composition and framing. 

This learning resource is closely aligned with the Australian Curriculum:

  • The Arts: Media Arts, Visual Arts
  • Humanities and Social Science: Civic and Citizenship

Download resource here

Main images: courtesy and © the artists:
1. Sharing the most special moments of the day when the sun begins to wake with the most precious people. Emy Dossett, 2016
2. Mother and daughter team. Mamma Maria preparing an Italian dinner of artichokes, whilst her daughter Silvia is practising her food photography. Silvia Maggiotto, 2016
3. I like this shot because it begins to capture the joy and energy of this guy and his delight in his environment.  He's an inspiration! Simon Smith, 2015.

5 Tips images: courtesy and ©️️️️️️️the artists 
Emy Dossett, 2016
Cavallina Jgor, 2013
Silvia Maggiotto, 2016
Louise Hawson, Aunty Glenda, 65, 2016
Louise Hawson, Heidi, 67, 2016
Louise Hawson, Merv, 55, 2016 

Project Partners



The resource was developed by the ACP in partnership with the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS).