Say Cheese! Top Tips for Taking Your Family Photos

In today’s high-tech, selfie-dominated world, we see more photos on a Facebook wall than a dining room wall. And with the hustle and bustle, it can be hard to find time to schedule family portraits. But with growing families, precious moments are gone in a flash. Learn how to capture family memories and turn them into beautiful keepsakes that you will enjoy for years to come with these tips for taking family photos.

Tips to Take Perfect Family Photos

Use the Proper Camera Equipment

Invest in a tripod, so no one is left out of the photo to hold the camera. A remote helps as well, but you can always use the trusty “set the timer and run” trick. If setting a timer, pose your family first and plan where you will fit into the picture. Remember, you will be timed, so choose a location that is easy to squeeze into. No camera, no problem! Smartphone camera technology is continually improving, and guess what? You can find tripods made for smartphones too!

Find a Photography Backdrop

Scout out some solid locations for photos. Looking for something close to home? The family photo in front of the house is always a classic. You can get creative with stairs, or just pose everyone on the couch! If you are up for adventure, a quick web search will show you what some of the photography hot spots in your area are. Whether you are taking outdoor or indoor photos, make sure there will be adequate lighting. The best lighting indoors is generally going to be natural light, so consider a room that gets plenty of sun. For outdoor photos, different times of day offer completely different aesthetics. Many photographers like the golden hour, a time shortly after sunrise or before sunset when the daylight has a warmer tone.

Coordinate Clothing

There is no need to have everyone in the family wear matching polo shirts, but clothing colors should be coordinated for cohesive family photos. Search your closet for items that have similar hues, patterns, or complement each other. A nice color palette will help those photos shine on holiday cards!

Strike a Pose

You can have the perfect backdrop and camera on a tripod, but without proper posing preparation, the photos may turn out stiff, awkward, or forced. Look at family photography online and see which poses you like. Pinterest is full of ideas! Make a list and bring it with you. You can also include different groupings on the list. Perhaps some full family photos, then dad with the kids, then just the kids, etc. Start with the harder photos (full family) first and work your way down.

Have Fun

Taking family photos can be stressful, especially with young ones who have trouble sitting still or looking at the camera. Remember the reason you are taking the photos in the first place — to capture family memories. The pictures do not have to be perfect. In fact, it is better if they aren’t. They should reflect your family’s personality. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Pro Tip: Have kids who don’t want to sit still? Bring along some toys to play with. Those candid action shots sometimes make the sweetest photos! You also can try the ever-popular jump photo. Take action shots somewhere in the middle of the photoshoot to re-energize your family members who may be fatigued with photo taking and burn off energy for those with too much.

Print Photos from Home

Don’t let your hard work sit on a flash drive for years! After going through the effort of taking family photos, the only thing left to do is print, frame, and hang them. Did you know you can print high quality photos from home? Just buy photo paper for your printer. With a number of options, including canvas, glossy, and matte, there’s a style suited for everyone’s home décor! Print, frame the masterpiece, and voila!

If you are in search of a unique gift or just want to find a creative way to display your photos, then check out magnet sheets, sticker sheets, or printable fabric!

Do you have any family photography tips and tricks to share? Let us know in the comments section below.

Stephanie Figy

Stephanie Figy is a business + marketing writer at an A/E firm by day, and a freelance writer by night. In her free time she enjoys traveling with her husband, drinking craft beer, and taking care of her cats and rabbits. You can find out more about her at or @SKFigy.