Easy Tips To Take Your Own Family Photos

by | Family, Top Tips


Do you love family photos but find that you are often behind the camera and not in the actual picture? Are you ready to take your own family photos?

I know exactly how you feel. I try to get good family photos every year. Some years I will splurge on a photographer to get a good family shot, but other years I make sure to carve out time from the photography schedule to take my own family session.

Now, you may be intimidated by the thought of doing your own family session, and it is nice to have someone do your family shots but follow these easy tips, and you can take your own family photos, and get beautiful results.

Have The Correct Equipment

Having the correct equipment is key. If you want to take your own family photos, you will want to invest in the proper equipment.

Sure, you’ve got the camera and the lenses, but you will want to have a good, sturdy tripod and a remote shutter. Most cameras have an internal timer but trust me, a remote shutter will be a lifesaver. You will want and need more than 10 seconds to get into position to look amazing in the shot.

If you have a newer model camera, it may come equipped with built-in Wifi. This is ideal and lets you control your shutter via your phone. Just remember, it doesn’t matter if you use your phone or a remote shutter, keep it well hidden as you don’t want it showing up in the final photo.

Easy Tips To Take Your Own Family Photos

Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is crucial when you take your own family photos. Planning can save you time in the long run.

Plan the location and outfits ahead of time. Ensure you’ve set your composition up correctly and your poses down ahead of time. Make sure you leave an easy “spot” for yourself to slide into.

Make sure that the settings on your camera are correct. Doing a test shot to ensure that your white balance, aperture, shutter speed and ISO are properly set will save you frustration later.

Lighting Is Everything

You may know my motto…shoot for the light and not for the location. Lighting is everything in a photo and you should always take lighting into consideration when shooting. It is no different when you take your own family photos.

Take a second to make sure no one is standing in dappled light, that the sun is shining directly into their eyes, or that no one is squinting. Bring everyone into that perfect light that catches the catchlights in their eyes.

If you are feeling really brave, plan your shoot for the golden hour to capture that perfect evening light.

Capture Individuals

Once you get the shots with you taken capture the individuals or smaller groups. This is a great time to capture individual shots of the kids, your partner and the siblings. Get the family shots out of the way and let the kids play and capture the action.

Set up a shot of you and the kids, and let your partner try to capture it. Also, remember that not everyone needs to look at the camera every time. Candids are great and show the connection between those in the photo.

Have Fun

Remember to have fun! Not every shot has to be perfect. When you take your own family photos, it is more about creating memories than creating an ideal family portrait.

Set expectations at the beginning, relax, enjoy and create those wonderful memories.

I guarantee you will remember this for years to come, and it may be one of your favorite photo sessions yet!

If you are ready to understand your camera and start taking amazing photos of your family and friends today come join The Beginners Photography Essentials Class!

Lifestyle Photographer & Mentor

Hi, I’m Dena, a natural light lifestyle photographer with 20+ years of experience capturing other people’s memories and teaching photographers how to understand and easily use their cameras.

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