How to take family photos is a question we get often now that DSRL cameras are coming down in  cost and family attempt to take more family and vacation pictures. Here are a few tips to think about when taking pictures, as any one can take a snap shot but we are going take more timeless pictures.

#1 Be Creative
Everybody has seen the same old family pictures…. boring try something new. I am sure you know what pose I am talking about, the one where everybody sits in the lawn with mom and dad in the back. I am not saying don’t take that picture but once you have that why not play around a try to take something more interesting. This is just a style preference but I like to more natural/candid feeling pictures, So I put people in a pose that looks natural but then tell everybody to continue to talk. Taking pictures like this makes everything look like they were just hanging out and you took that photo. Little do they know it was set up. If you are taking family photos with little ones try to be silly as they will respond better, then the sit here and smile approach.


Free Daddy and His Little Shadow Girls at The Skate Park Creative Commons

#2 Use props or a family activity

Using props and games is a great way to  make things more personal for the family. Props also go well with the natural candid idea, because people will be a little distracted by the props or games.  For example lets say we have a family who likes to play outside and go camping, why not take a picture of the family around a camp fire with their tent or bikes in the background.

Family vacation: Shanghai

#3 There is nothing wrong with a Silhouette

Silhouettes are a great way to show less but have the photo mean more. I know this sounds crazy but here are a few times I would consider it. Lets say you have a person who is not happy with a hair cut or how they look if you were to shoot a silhouette those details will start to disappear.  Also I have noticed when I shoot a silhouette of a family they almost always purchase an enlargement, as they look good on their family room wall.

The mists of Nantahala Gorge III

#4 Take time to step Back

We kind of touched on this earlier but don’t only shot formal, sit here and smile pictures, let the family play and interact with each other.  Often I feel like when I am taking family pictures the family get still a quite, if you let them interact and play maybe some personality will start to show in the pictures.  Lets say the younger child always likes to ride on dad’s shoulders maybe this will happen, but if you say sit here and smile you would never know.  I often will pretend to change batteries or cards for a few minuets in a attempt for people to relax then when somebody does something different or unique to their personality I will be ready.


is that my dad ? {EXPLORED}

#5 Let them Play

If you are taking pictures of little ones, it will kind of be like fishing . I always just play with them and try to get them to run around, so I have to take 10 pictures to get 1 good one.  If the little one is playing and running around you will get much better smiles and expressions so I say why not let them play.  Usually mom or dad will try and get them to sit down and smile as we are all trained to do this, but I say let them play as the pictures will be much better in the end.

Bubble Catcher

How to take Family Pictures

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