Family photos are a great way to capture memories and moments with your loved ones. However, sometimes they can be a little tricky to get right. Kids can grow up in a blink of an eye; if you’re lucky, the photos you take of those times will last a lifetime!
While there are no rules for taking great family photos – everyone and every family is different – there are elements that almost always make for good pictures. Here’s how to take better family photos, with nine easy tips:
Tip #1: Have Fun!
Family photos should be fun. If you’re stressed out, your kids will be too, which definitely won’t lead to better photos! It’s vital that you and your family feel relaxed and happy to get good pictures. After all, the resulting images of smiling faces will be more interesting than someone looking away from the camera or not wanting to participate in a shot. Make a photo project out of it, and have fun!
Tip #2: Tell a Story
When you’re taking family photos, try to tell a story. If you want successful results, think about the setting in advance, pick an activity or pose that will fit together nicely. You can ask your kids what they want to do; maybe they can suggest ideas to you. Remember that everyone should have fun in your family photos.
Tip #3: Be Yourself!
Everyone has their style when it comes to taking photos. Some like the classic approach; others want a little more intensity. Regardless of what you choose, always be yourself! While it’s great to get inspiration from other people, family photos should ultimately reflect who you are and how you see yourself. If your best friend takes impressive shots with their phone, don’t worry – they’ll likely look different from the ones you take.
Tip #4: Use Lighting
It’s essential to consider your lighting when you’re taking family photos. Not only does it help you understand where and how to take the pictures, but different lighting can change the mood of a shot in an instant. For example, using soft light in a low-key photo with shadows will add more drama than flat sunlight.
Sometimes, using natural light is the best option; but you might need to be more creative at other times. Don’t forget that you can also create your own “studio” indoors by lighting up a room with lamps or placing them strategically for flattering effects.
Tip #5: Plan Ahead
You should take family photos often because children don’t stay small forever! But if your life is hectic, then you may not have the time to plan. However, it’s still worth trying to schedule a shoot at least once every six months – be flexible with the timing of your shoot. You could also work with a children’s photo editing service to get the best shots, and at a minimum, start with one or two photos so you can avoid editing later.
Tip #6: Look for Interesting Backgrounds
Backgrounds are crucial when it comes to taking great family photos. While everyone must be placed nicely in the frame, the background will determine how good your shot is. Try to avoid cluttered or messy areas, as this can detract from the focal point of the photo. If you’re looking for a clean background, try shooting in front of a white wall or using an open field.
Tip #7: Use Natural Props
One way to make good family photos is by using natural props. You want to make the photo about your family, not about an item (like a truck or stuffed animal). But if you decide to use props, try to stick with things like leaves, boats, bikes, etc. That way, the props are simple but effective.
Tip #8: Watch Your Angles
There’s a thin line between good and bad composition when it comes to taking family photos. Your best bet is to experiment with different angles until you find the ones that work for you. Try shooting from low angles or high up, and remember that it’s okay if your arms get tired! Also, consider using a step stool or chair if you need to take pictures of your kids.
Tip #9: Don’t Ignore the Details
Finally, make sure that you capture even the smallest details when taking family photos. An unruly strand of hair or a missing button will distract from an otherwise great picture – and if you can edit out these “tragedies,” then it’s worth your time to fix them before showing off your masterpiece. If you can’t edit, you’ll need to retake the shot so that everything is perfect.
Also, don’t forget about including everyone in your family when taking photos! Some people choose to include pets or other loved ones for their final picture. Perfection takes time, so don’t give up on taking great shots because you don’t get it right on the first try! Be patient and work with your children to get the best pictures possible. Also, remember that it’s more important that you enjoy yourself than that you pick out “the perfect shot.”
Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.