Family Photography is one of most common genres of photography for amateurs, professionals, and weekend warriors because of its universal demand. Virtually everyone in this world wants a nice photo of their family, regardless of their budget, and there are plenty of photographers out there to meet the demand. In this article, we’ll give you a guide to family photography to help you take better family photos, whether you’re doing it for money or you just want to take better pictures of your own loved ones. For even more in-depth video tutorials, see our Family Photography 101 Workshop.
What is Family Photography?
Family photography is a type of photography that focuses on capturing the likeness, relationships, and emotions of a family. It typically involves a photo shoot of family members together, either in a studio setting or on location. The goal is to create lasting memories and artistic images that showcase the unique bond and dynamic of the family. Family photography can include posed and candid shots, individual portraits, and group shots, and can be done for special events, mini sessions, smash cake sessions, holidays, or just to document the growth of the family over time.
Family Photography Tips
Here are some essential tips to make your next family photography session a success:
Schedule and Find the Best Times
Choose a date and location that works for everyone with clear start and end times. For capturing quality family portraits, the most important thing to consider is timing – not only what time of day it is but also the season. The best time of day to take quality photos is, for most outdoor locations, golden hour, which is typically just before sunset or just after sunrise.
During this golden hour, natural light softens as the sun begins to dip below the horizon and its rays are diffused by larger particles in the atmosphere.
When considering what season to shoot, keep in mind that different months offer unique opportunities from gorgeous monochromatic snowscapes in winter to beautiful soft colors surrounded by lush green foliage in springtime.
Advise the Family to Dress Appropriately
One of the most important, yet sometimes overlooked details, is the outfits. Most importantly, families should choose clothing that has a unified feel – having everyone in the portrait wearing something in the same or similar color palette to add cohesion and consistency to the overall imagery.
In addition, picking out timeless styles will make the portrait look just as great 20 years down the road as it does today. Avoid trends or outdated fashion and stick to simple, tasteful choices. Also, making sure everyone feels comfortable and confident with their outfit choices is key, so pick out clothing items that reflect each person’s individual persona! Lastly, consider the location and choose clothes that complement the background and season.
Make It a Comfortable Family Photography Experience
Encourage your family to relax and be themselves. This could mean planning activities and encouraging natural interaction for more a lifestyle family photography feel. Consider having them play games, tell jokes or just talk to each other to help put everyone at ease.
Of course, be sure to get a few traditional poses too, with everyone looking into the camera, smiling, and looking their best. Find the right balance of traditional vs lifestyle family photos based on the client preferences that you discover in your planning and talk through calls.
Use Natural light For Most of The Family Photography Session
For the majority of your photos, shoot in natural light. This lets you focus on getting the right interactions and expressions without having to adjust flashes or worry about the shadows that your flash might be casting on your subjects. It also lets you get more photos and more variety of photos since you don’t have to worry as much about set up time, moving the light, or other factors.
Of course, this depends on your overall style and your proficiency with flash.
Consider All Possible Family Combinations
Include a variety of poses and groupings, such as individual portraits, family portraits and fun candids. Split up the groups into different organic pairings, such as kids only, parents only, kids and dad, kids and mom, etc.
However, as you work through your combinations, remember to start with the groupings that involve the children first, as they are less predictable and generally have less patience for photos than the adults.
Prepare the Right Family Photography Gear and Other Items
Be sure to pack the right gear for your style and the scene. This will vary from photographer to photographer. However, here are a few items to consider:
- Medium Zoom Lens
- Off Camera Flash, Flash Stand and Trigger
- On Camera Flash
- Camera Bag
- Extra Battery
- Plenty of Memory (at least 32GB)
Edit the Family Photography Photos
After taking pictures, photo editing can bring out colors, correct mistakes, or add an overall tone or style to the photos. Editing also helps to rid memories of flaws like red-eye, overexposed areas, or distracting objects in the background. Consider using Lightroom to correct your photos from scratch or start with a Lightroom preset. To turn around and deliver your photos even faster, even consider AI Photo Editing, such as Impossible Things.
Family photography is a special way to capture memories and relationships with the people your subjects love most. Professional photographers should know just how to make a family session filled with fun, laughter and warmth. The photos should be artfully crafted to provide an end result that perfectly captures the essence of each family member and their special bond together as a unit. By following these tips, you can ensure that your family photography session results in beautiful, timeless images that capture the love and bond of the family. For even more in-depth video tutorials, see our Family Photography 101 Workshop.