7 Tips for Great Family Photos

I am extremely picky when it comes to pictures, even during my sister’s wedding, I was directing the photographer. Actually, I secretly took a bunch of pictures for her to make sure my sister got some great shots.  This is why I do my own family pictures.  It is a little extra work, but it is worth it.  This time, I had a small accident, which is why I am out of commission.  I was setting up the timer and running to get in the picture in heels and my booty knocked over the camera and broke the lense.  Luckily it was at the end of the photo shoot.

If your family is like mine, they kick and scream because prepping for pictures is simply annoying. No one likes all the time spent getting ready, matching, etc…, but in the end my whole family loved the pictures.

Here are 7 tips to help you get some professional looking shots without the price:

  1. Find a great location for the shoot.  I love using an outdoor setting, plus it’s free.  I love finding fields, parks, and areas filled with flower beds.
  2. Pose everyone.  As the photographer, it’s your job to take a look at see if everyone is posed correctly. Take time to move people, repose, and frame the shot.
  3. Use a self-timer and tri-pod.  This is your best friend, not only can you take a really good shot, but it keeps everything steady. Just be careful about the camera tipping over as you rush in for the shot.
  4. Go in the early morning or evening. Try and go when the sun isn’t too bright.  First off, it creates a lot of shadows and because it is so bright, everyone squints in pictures.  One big bonus: If you go early or late, you avoid all the other brides and families trying to get their money shot.
  5. Break up the location and times.  Last time I was home, we did 3 different locations and I made sure to do them in 3 days so my family would not shoot me with a gun.
  6. Plan the wardrobe. Your outfits really make or break a picture.  You want everyone to dress similarly for the occasion.  I don’t always recommend having to match perfectly, but you want to let everyone in your party know the expectations.  For example, if you are doing a casual shoot, you would want everyone in jeans and a shirt versus a more high-end shoot that requires heels, big and gaudy jewelry, and full-on glamour shot make-up.
  7. Sneak in some candid shots.  I always try to sneak in some shots without people looking because I think some of those shots turn out so much better than posed shots. Here are a few below that I took when my parents weren’t looking.

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Not everyone knows how to pose.  My mom is one of them. She really struggles on where to place her hands, turn her hips, etc… This is simply the cutest picture in the world, which I captured while my sister was trying to pose her.

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Type of Photo: Dressy, early morning lighting, at a local park with a wedding ceremony location on site. You can 

Type of Photo: Casual outfits, evening lighting, and local park

Photo Type: Semi-Dressy, Late afternoon/dusk lighting, open field

***Make sure to focus on framing and be creative.  Below, I used the branches to provide a soft frame for my parents.

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I hope these tips help you to get the perfect shot. Don’t be afraid to try new poses, backgrounds, and most importantly, have fun!

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