How To Take Good Family Photos

By | 28/10/2022

Family photography portraits capture a moment in time with those yous intendance for well-nigh. They are treasured memories.

Perchance you decide to start an event, wedding or portraiture business organization, where family and grouping shots are standard. Y’all need to bear witness these people in their all-time light.

From choosing the right gear to posing the family members, we encompass everything you need to know near family photography.

A family all wearing denim captured from a behind perspective

What Is Family unit Photography?

Family photography is all about capturing groups of people that accept family ties. These range from the small group, such equally parents and their children.

Newborn photography also falls nether this umbrella. Families often want to testify off their newest members.

Of course, if family photography were as simple as picking up a camera and shouting ‘say cheese!’, we’d all be doing it. Only it’s non; there are a ton of petty intricacies to information technology.

Frequently, the members of the family unit or grouping are inexperienced models in front end of the camera. You need to brand them feel comfortable and at ease.

Natural images are the best, but they shouldn’t all be candid. Y’all, the lensman, accept the control. Simply the family unit supplies the mood, tone and the action.

A family of four posing outdoors
Photograph past Harrison Haines on Pexels

Camera Equipment

The Best Cameras For Newborn Photography

Photographing newborns is no like shooting fish in a barrel job. Thankfully, most of them can’t move and then well. So they tend to stay where you place them.

This doesn’t mean they tin’t fall, curlicue over or pull faces that are less than admirable.

A camera for photographing scenes with newborns in them needs to have a wide range of settings. This includes specifically ISO and shutter speed.

Your lenses should take a variety of apertures. The wider ones volition help you in low low-cal as you have to be gentle with using bogus light sources.

Luckily, near DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have the chapters to shoot unlike scenarios. For other photographic camera gear recommendations, read our article here.

A portrait of a baby chewing a wooden block

Essential Family unit Photography Equipment for Better Portraits

Like newborn photography, your family photography will do good from having a broad range of settings.

Virtually settings, such as ISO and shutter speed, depend on your photographic camera of choice. A higher-end camera will give you a broader range.

The lenses you choose decide the discontinuity at which you tin photograph. This allows you lot to apply a small depth of field. Information technology is great for blurring out backgrounds.

Having a wide range of focal points is helpful when it comes to photographing family photography portraits.

The variety lets you get closer and further abroad from your subject. Perfect for keeping their attention. Information technology allows you to stay back for the shy members of the family.

For all the recommended camera gear, read our article hither.

A person holding a Canon DSLR

How to Choose the Right Camera Settings for Portraits

Your photographic camera allows yous to photograph the scene. But as you are using manual mode, you demand to make sure your photographic camera settings are up to speed.

A low ISO is always the all-time. This determines a higher quality in your images.

College ISOs will add digital noise or grain into your images. These should merely be used for low light weather condition.

Shooting in Raw is another must. This setting gives you then much more than play in postal service-processing.

A jpg comes out of your camera candy. There won’t be much yous can practise to help information technology if it’due south less than perfect. Larn more about the recommended camera settings for family pictures.

Casual family photography of a mother and daughter hugging on a street

How to Photograph Your Family unit

Family Cheat Sheet

A cheat sheet is a great fashion to discover out how to capture the photographs you want. It’ll help yous get the most out of information technology with hints, tips, and techniques.

They are great to take printed. This allows you to follow the exact workflow in capturing your settings in a perfect manner.

Yous can also put them on your telephone or tablet. Paper-free versions can come up handy during certain photoshoots. Ane of the best examples is photographing indoors in low low-cal.

That cheat sheet starts by deciding if yous are just using natural lite, or incorporating a flashlight too. From there, it is a stride past step guide.

Read here on all of the family photography portrait scenarios you may encounter. And how to photograph them finer.

Two kids sitting on a kitchen table eating grapes
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels

Acme Ten Rules For Portrait Photography

In all areas of photography, there are rules. They are more like guidelines for you to follow, as these rules can exist aptitude, warped and broken.

These guidelines are hither to help y’all get the most out of your family unit photography.

I of the biggest rules to follow looks at the aperture. Aperture is how wide or narrow the diameter of your lens is. Information technology is determined past your lens, not by your camera.

This is something that affects the depth of field of your scene. It decides how much of your epitome volition be in focus or non.

By using an aperture between f/8 and f/16, you ensure your subjects are in focus.

This is yet small-scale plenty to make sure that the background can notwithstanding be blurred for maximum effect.

Read our other 9 ‘rules’ here. And once yous have a good knowledge of them, break them.

Seven Creative Family Portrait Ideas

Photographing your family unit (or someone else’due south) doesn’t take to be a serious affair. You will benefit from a lively, creative and fun shoot.

These images are going to be the memento for the family for a long fourth dimension.

One very creative way to look at your group is to employ the foreground and the background. This is a bully way to incorporate variety into your series of shots.

Considering of this foreground-background, the differential focus could work well here.

If some members of the family are at the front, they can have a unlike mood to those at the back.

It can create contrast or juxtaposition within the shot. This can create interest and a happy reminder of the twenty-four hour period.

Read here for more than creative ideas to capture that family unit.

Cue family photo of four kids shielding their eyes from their parents kissing behind them

Black and White Portraits

Capturing family photography portraits in black and white can have very powerful effects. It allows you to await at the scene in a very different way.

Hither, texture, shape and grade take precedence. Light and dissimilarity become more important in images that lack colour.

You lot are less distracted when you lot photograph every bit the scene becomes simplified. Not every image has that powerfulness in black and white.

The images need to be strong and not rely solely on color to make them interesting. Read our commodity here on all the assist yous may demand.

Black and white portrait of a couple kissing by the sea

Taking Fun and Natural Family Portraits

Taking fun and natural family photography portraits tin be challenging. You are working with normal, everyday people who are not used to posing in forepart of a camera.

They can come up out as being rigid and strong, whereas the mood yous are looking for is relaxed and confident. One way to get past this is to spend time with the family.

The more pre-shoot work yous practise, the less you demand to do when shooting. Spending time with the group tin help them to relax around you lot, bringing out their warmer side.

This makes information technology easier for you. For other important tips on how to get that natural look, read our commodity hither.

Family portrait of a man holding his young son

12 Dos and Don’ts of Family Portrait Photography

As yous will photograph families more and more, yous will get-go to see which images work. Some ideas are good for some scenes. And the aforementioned ones won’t translate to other environments.

It all comes from practising and disquisitional evaluation. Our article can salve you lot a piddling time and help yous with a bunch of dos and don’ts for your family unit photography.

Exercise squish your groups together. Information technology makes subjects wait every bit if they actually similar each other (imagine that?!).

But don’t become them to tilt their heads towards each other. This pose is saved for the lovey-dovey shots.

A family of three posing by a wall

What to Wear for Family Photographs

Knowing what to wear is half the battle in family unit photography. There are many options for color, texture, and patterns.

At times, you don’t want the article of clothing on your subject to clash. Distractions take the involvement and power abroad from the actual family unit in the shot.

Some clothing items tin even add Moire to the shot. This creates a distracting surface area of your scene and the last matter you want.

For all clothing help, run through our commodity hither. It might make the divergence you’ve been looking for.

A family of seven posing outdoors
Photo by Karthika Gupta

How to Take Documentary Family Photography

Family photography is a fashion to document your family, or someone else’s, at a specific moment in time.

Moments fade way also fast. We all too soon miss those split-seconds. Trust me, I am the father of a ii.v-year-one-time, and it all went by in the snap of fingers.

There are no other photographs more than natural than those institute in documentary family photography.

This is all nearly capturing the family unit in all its highs, lows, tears, and smiles.

Although it seems like candid photography, the photographer here has full control of the capture. The important thing here is to allow the family-run its course. Try not to touch the scene in whatsoever style.

Read more of our tips on how to create cute documentary family photography.

A monotone family lifestyle portrait

How to Easily Focus for Sharp Group Photos

Focusing can exist a pain. Especially when yous take a few adults standing withal, and the child keeps moving.

You lot are going to have difficulty as the child is going to be closer to the camera than the others in the shot.

One tip here is trying to become everyone on the same row. This means that if y’all focus on one person towards the centre, the others volition likewise be sharp.

All of the people are the same distance from your sensor. Having them all in 1 row will also let you to line their anxiety upwardly and then y’all ensure their overall precipitous focus.

Read our article here on how to keep the focus on the family unit.

A large group posed on a wall

Family Photography Inspiration

If y’all are stuck for inspiration, there are many places y’all can await. Pinterest has the largest drove of images for searching grouping or family photography.

They volition prove you images of groups of friends, wedding parties and even work colleagues grouped together.

This commodity hither gives yous a few great examples of how different artists run into families. Peruse at your leisure.

A couple posed by a mirror
Photo by Daria Sannikova on Pexels

11 Best Techniques for Taking Family unit Portraits with Pets

Pets are family members so they should be part of the family photos.

A photoshoot involving animals is fun and tricky at the aforementioned time. You might take everyone in the perfect position when the canis familiaris decides to run away.

It’s a skilful idea to prepare the owners for the photoshoot, and tell them your ideas. You can too ask them to click a few images of the pet at domicile. This way, the animate being won’t be scared when you offset working with your photographic camera.

Read the other x techniques for taking family portraits with pets here.

A family walking their dog

How to Use Golden Hour Photography

The golden hour is around i hour afterwards sunrise and ane hour before sunset. These are great times for photography, as the lite you get is astounding.

There are computer apps that you can employ. The Photographer’s Ephemeris or Helios Golden Hour works for iOS.  Blue Hr Figurer is for Android.

These will give you the times of this golden hr in a particular place.

The sun, due to its depression position in the heaven gives y’all a soft light. The transition from light to dark is gradual, creating calorie-free that’s great for portraits.

It is also warm as the dominicus creates an orange glow, oftentimes associated with calm and happiness.

Read our commodity on how you can use it to your benefit. It helps yous capture the family unit in one of the best light situations possible.

family photography of a couple dancing in a field
Photo by Hillary Grigonis

15 Best Poses for Photographing Families

In family photography, information technology’southward all nigh your subjects appearing every bit natural equally possible. Poses that build on each other allow the photoshoot to flow.

Enquire one of the parents to hold upwardly their child while they’re walking with their partner. This pose is excellent if the child gets tired.

It volition show off the closeness of the family. A beautiful moment to capture.

You will need to remember most your placement. Become alee of them and shoot them as they come up closer towards y’all.

For all the other fourteen poses for the family, read here.

family photography of a couple and young child walking on the beach
Photo by Sarah Rodriguez-Martinez


A Photographer’s Guide to Posing Men In Portraits

Posing men often involves highlighting angles and emphasizing unsaid ability. This also comes out from the use of stiff and sharply-divers lines.

These means emphasizing the V-shaped trunk and the jawline. Concentrate on these while downplaying circular shapes and not-dominant body language.

The prominence of these lines, as well as the features in the subject’s physique, tin exist controlled. By adjusting the positioning of the subject in relation to the camera.

And, to a certain extent, through lens choice. The effect of the pose should be to show broad, stable shapes with a clear construction.

This gives the composition a visual strength which communicates the idea that the subject himself is potent. Bank check out more posing guidelines for men here.

A casual posing gentleman

Best Female Poses for Portrait Photography – Posing References and Tips

Women’s poses in portraits highlight the curves of the female course. In dissimilarity with men’s poses, women’due south avoid direct lines and hard angles.

There is one key thing to remember when posing women. The viewers’ eye should motility around the portrait with ease.

You guide it forth with the curves that you introduce throughout the pose.

Subtle curves can be created by angle parts of the body. The wrists, elbows, and knees, can all be placed independently. They will work in harmony with the model’south grade.

The ‘South Curve’ is a classic pose. Information technology guides the viewer’s center down the frame from the confront, to the artillery and hands. From here, it follows on to the model’southward legs.

Learn more about posing female person models.

A girl facing away from the camera on a road

Capture the Romance: Photographer’s Guide to Couple Poses

Knowing how to pose couples is one of the biggest help in all portrait and group photography. Often, when you assemble a grouping for a group shot, yous first in the middle.

Having the married couple posed offset. Everyone else fits effectually them. Try a serial of triangles and shapes. The focus is on the couple, after all.

Past interacting with them and not only photographing the couple, but you lot also help to calm them. Your images should reflect their happy, comfortable side with each other. Aid them out.

For more tips on how to pose couples successfully, read our article here.

A couple posing on rocks by the beach

15 Best Poses for Photographing Families

At its well-nigh basic, the family portrait is a group photo. The subjects are often members of the same family unit.

It’due south similar a tape of who’due south part of the family and highlights the relationship between the people in it.

The classic family unit portrait shows the family in a studio, posed as a group, facing the camera. However, recent years have seen a trend toward creative family portraits.

These could highlight the personality of a family. They can even nowadays the family members posed unconventionally. A visually interesting setting keeps up the same mood and theme.

The important thing to recall is to keep the limerick balanced. Y’all’re working with many people in a unmarried image.

This article presents some ideas that volition help you create poses that intermission the mould of traditional family portraits. This helps to show the unique family unit dynamic of your field of study.

A family of 5 posing outdoors
Photo past Hillary K Grigonis

Wedding Poses: The Ultimate Wedding ceremony Party Posing Guide For Beginners

Posing a family of dozens of people you have never met earlier is daunting. They might already take had a chip to potable, which should assistance, but it does not.

The best way to approach this is to have a vision. How do you lot desire to portray the ii sides of the now extended family unit? Where is information technology going to take place?

Scouting the area is a huge benefit to you in achieving the all-time photo possible.

Look for the areas that can hold a large number of people. It is great if information technology gives yous that warm, happy mood.

Read all of our tips here on how to get the very best from your wedding poses and family photography.

Posing is necessary for wedding and family photography

12 Composition Tips for Family unit Portraits

Just because you are photographing someone’s family, it doesn’t mean it has to be at heart level. Most of the images you volition see are like that, and so suspension information technology upwards.

Showing a different perspective helps to create something interesting and creative. And allow’due south face it, all families are different. They all have their quirks.

Employ these to your advantage. If the grouping has minor children or even toddlers, go the adults on the ground too. It’south a groovy, playful way to capture the family.

Desire to know more composition tips for family unit photos? Read them here.

Close up family photography of the legs of five people by a swimming pool

Newborn Photography

How to Photo Newborns

Newborns are keen to photo, as they sleep a lot and don’t move. But they need a lot of attention and cooing when they are awake between shots.

They are both your easiest and toughest clients. It goes without proverb that condom comes starting time. Y’all will see many images where the newborn looks completely on their ain.

Yet, it isn’t the case, information technology comes down to clever mother placement and image stacking. Postal service-processing allows this effect to happen.

Read all of our tips on how to photo newborns here.

a newborn baby posed with fireman paraphernalia

Posed or Lifestyle Newborn Photography: Which 1 is Correct For You?

Posing people, particularly newborns, should be quite piece of cake. Wait for them to fall comatose and then pose them in any number of humorous positions you see fit.

Later on that, permit’southward get back to work. Unfortunately, information technology’s nowhere well-nigh that piece of cake.

This is an art form in itself. First slowly and make sure the baby is comfortable and about of all, safe. Posing a newborn is not the same as posing men or women.

What you wait for in adults, y’all look for the opposites in the baby. Fat rolls and wrinkles are the focus, aslope their expressions.

Place them in poses that extenuate and prove these off. Read our article here for all the tips you will ever need.

A black and white portrait of a newborn baby

The Complete Guide To Newborn Photography: 67 Tips

Newborn photography is a pop and lucrative niche. Yous need a lot of practise to stand out from the crowd.

Simply don’t worry, we accept a complete guide to newborn photography. It includes 67 amazing tips to help y’all meliorate your skills.

A close up portrait of a newborn baby

Studio Photography

Tips for Setting Upwardly Your Dwelling Photography Studio

Your studio is where all the gear comes together. This is your controlled environment, where you lot set up your camera, lighting, and other accessories.

These allow you to take portraits in the style and manner that suits you. If you’re merely getting started with studio portraiture, yous’ll want to set your own studio.

This is the nigh affordable situation. It saves time, energy and the toll of renting a space when you lot need it.

Of course, setup isn’t everything. You lot will still demand to work with the subjects in the studio. Later on all, you demand to become the wait, feel, and the effect that you want in the portrait.

The sooner you can go comfortable with working in the context of the studio, the sooner you’ll be able to improve your family photography skills.

A photography studio

Best Lighting Equipment to Get Started With

By working in a studio, or building your ain, you will notice a lot of different choices for lighting. Flashbulbs are the most mutual as they are cheaper and widely bachelor.

But at that place are other forms that will provide abiding light, rather than a flash. These are incandescent and fluorescent and are often used in studios.

Read our commodity here on the departure between these lights. Y’all’ll want to know why and when you lot would use them.

A speedlight and light wands for lighting family photography

How to Use a Dazzler Dish to Create Cute Lighting

A beauty dish is a great piece of studio equipment. Not a surprise, it is a dish-shaped lighting modifier. It is often painted silver on the inside.

The light bounces into the back of the dish and reflects around the sides and then out the front. This provides a beautiful, soft light that falls on the discipline at equal strengths.

Yous will see that compared to a flashbulb, a beauty dish spreads its intensity over a wider area. Information technology tin be used with a ‘filigree’ which allows a more than directed light source.

Read our article here on how to use one, let solitary all the reasons why yous need one.

A portrait of a female model

ten DIY Speedlight Flash Modifiers

If you accept a Speedlite, why non effort some DIY projects. Shop-bought modifiers tin be expensive to buy. You lot might find you don’t utilise them all the time.

Creating them at domicile means that y’all get to try unlike ways. You’ll need a few to lite your portraits without spending a lot of money.

You can attempt before you buy, or keep the ones you fabricated. This lets you exist very artistic in obtaining the lighting look y’all want.

With a few small pieces of plastic, you lot can create a few different modifiers. Other items you lot might accept laying around the business firm.

You lot might need to buy a pack of Pringles. Just then you can enjoy them likewise! Check out our tutorial.

A can of Pringles and straws

How to Utilise a Photography Reflector for Perfect Lighting

Reflectors are a cheap and piece of cake way to add more than light to your portrait photography. They are cheap, lightweight and easy to use objects.

They don’t crave batteries, pregnant they can go anywhere.

There are many different types you tin buy. Most will come up with combined styles, such equally gilt, silverish and diffused.

They all accept a different effect on the added light hitting your bailiwick. We collected a number of ways to utilise them for the perfect lighting.

two photography reflectors by a wall
Photo past Hillary Grigonis


Portrait Lighting Terms: A Concise Glossary

Studio lighting is a vast topic unto itself, and there is a large amount of terminology that you’ll see when dealing with it.

Becoming familiar with the vocabulary of lighting will assistance you lot become better at working with different types of calorie-free.

Sources, patterns, and tools will assist you take successful portraits.

This short glossary is a handy reference that you tin refer to when assembling your lighting kit.

This will too allow you to manipulate your lighting setup while working in the studio with people.

Portrait of a female model

Lighting Patterns and Tips

Entire books have been written on the many lighting patterns that photographers can use in dissimilar scenarios.

Portraiture is only ane area where very basic lighting patterns can work wonders. These are:

  • Split lighting
  • Loop lighting
  • Rembrandt lighting
  • Butterfly lighting
  • Broad lighting
  • Curt lighting

These patterns are among the most useful and easy to create with bones lighting gear. Many more avant-garde lighting setups are, in fact, variations or elaborations on these basic ones.

Memorize these, and yous’ll have a solid foundation of lighting choices when yous demand to accept a portrait.

With these basics mastered, you’ll be better prepared. Y’all will outset to assess more advanced facets of lighting such as the quality, direction, and ratio.

Positions of lighting setups for family photography

Utilizing Natural Window Light

Using the natural low-cal that shines in through a window is a great way to get soft calorie-free. This is cracking for an indoor bailiwick which is often overlooked, and it costs naught.

The effect of the window on the outdoor light is almost the same as that of a softbox on a wink. For example, the intensity of the light is lessened.

If the calorie-free itself is done right, the effect tin can be impressive and professional person-looking while maintaining soft-light conditions.

Y’all are harnessing the power and intensity of the light. Moving the subject closer to the window gives the scene more than lite. Away from the window gives you less.

Merely this is exclusively a natural light source dependent on the time of day and weather. You’ll need to pay close attention to the quality of the low-cal. Read our commodity to learn more nearly using natural window low-cal.

A couple posed in a cafe

10 Things Your Photography Contract Must Include

A photography contract for family unit photography is to ensure both parties retain their rights.

It makes certain that neither side tin can practise annihilation with the images that were not pre-discussed and agreed upon.

Adventure of prosecution from either side tin can be enforced if consent was not given.

One dominion for photographing people is to get a model release. This is a contract between both parties, assuasive the utilise of the model’s image.

Nearly stock photography requires this if you wish to sell the images online.

Read here for the other ix tips on what your photography contract needs to have.

A girl posing sitting on the ground of an outdoor carpark
Photograph by Natalia Robert

Pixieset – An Paradigm Sharing Platform

As a professional person lensman, delivering your images in a timely fashion that matches the quality of your photos is paramount.

That’southward where Pixieset comes in. This is a platform that allows you to hands share large files with your clients. This all comes at a monthly fee.

This ways your clients will be happy, satisfied, and likely to piece of work with you again! It’s one of the top options for file sharing.

For the total review, and information on how to go started, read our article here.

A screenshot of pixieset website
Photo by Natalia Robert

Post-Processing Family Photography

Portrait Work Flow

We tin all do good from using a workflow. This is a smashing way to make sure you exercise everything y’all demand to step-by-step, on time.

This is a perfect manner to tackle a paid group photograph as it ensures that everything goes according to plan without missing or losing images.

The best advice nosotros can give you is to make sure you upload your images correctly.

Use a folder, on your hard drive, that you will remember. Use the clients’ proper name and/or date for the best organisation.

All of the tips covering the workflow are constitute here, in this article.

A smiling man posed for a headshot
Photograph by Italo Melo on Pexels

Editing Portraits in Lightroom: What You Absolutely Must Know

Adobe Lightroom is perfect for the majority of your portraiture post-processing. It affords you lot a smaller toolset than Photoshop.

But it enables an easier workflow and archiving process through its library module.

For global changes to an image too as cropping, Lightroom has all your bases covered.

Plus, if you are working with a big batch of files which need editing and organization, Lightroom is your become-to program.

Information technology has the ability to utilise presets to many photos and adds metadata and notes to your files.

This guide gives you lot a solid overview of how to organize your portrait files. And how to perform the major corrections and edits that portraits ordinarily need.

Diptych of a portrait edited with Lightroom successfully process your family photography shoots

How to Photoshop Portrait Photography

When you think of removing bags nether your subject’s eyes, you’re thinking of ‘retouching’. This also goes for getting rid of unflattering marks and stray hairs.

Retouching portraits is an essential skill, and Adobe Photoshop is your go-to tool for these edits.

It’s ofttimes the final stage of portrait photography earlier yous take a finished product.

This article has tutorials on some of the most used retouching techniques. These include spot healing, frequency separation, and dodging & burning.

Read our tutorial on how to photoshop portrait photography.

A screenshot of retouching family photography in Lightroom

10 Awesome Photo Editing Tips for a Faster Workflow

The reality is, the faster you edit, the faster you are done with your work. It will give you extra time to work on other projects.

Oftentimes, most of your images will only need a lilliputian tweaking with the local adjustments, such as
and white balance.

Ane of the best pieces of advice nosotros tin can pass on is to work on all images as. It is very easy to become sidetracked, encounter an image we actually similar and edit it for 2 hours.

Care for all images relatively the same. Process equally you need to, looking at the bigger moving-picture show. Would yous rather submit one image or many?

Cheque out our tips for a faster photo editing workflow.

A black and white wedding portrait

5 Beginner Blunders in Postal service Processing Portraits

When it comes to post-processing, don’t overdo information technology. A good artist knows when to cease, take a step back and admire their work.

There are sure things photographers tend to do when editing their piece of work. One area is to put as well much mid-tone dissimilarity into their images.

This blazon of contrast is found in Lightroom nether the ‘Clarity’ slider. This gives the edges a little pop. It also helps to pull out details in the skin.

It works a treat – in small-scale amounts. Don’t crank it up, but use enough. No more, no less. Read more tips on what to avoid doing here.

lifestyle family photography of a couple with a little girl


Family photography is a genre that requires knowledge of unlike photo genres. Yous demand to know how to take good portrait and group photographs. You also have to exist able to show the connection and human relationship betwixt people.

Utilize our guide to improve your family photography and be able to capture precious moments and memories for your clients.