Family Photo Shoot Ideas that Capture a Moment in Time

familyphotoshootideasAs a photographer, you will shoot families on a regular basis. These photos are meant to capture a moment in time and preserve it forever. The last thing that you want to do is create an uninteresting or boring shot. Learn some tips from this course on how you can turn boring photos into exciting ones with different elements and tips.

The fact is that there are many aspects of the picture that you should consider when coming up with family photo shoot ideas, which are detailed here.


The background that is used for your family photo is one of the composition basics that can make or enhance the typical boring family photo. If you have a busy background, it may distract the viewer from the subject of the photo. This means that you need to select a simple, distraction free background that will not distract from the family, which should be the point of interest in the photo.

If you are shooting outdoors, you should ensure that there are no out of place objects or people in the shot. Also, be sure that there is no harsh light that is casting shadows on the family members’ faces, which can obstruct the view.

Point of View

If your goal is to create a visually interesting photo, you need to find a point of view where you can see your subjects in a different perspective. Consider getting above the family or below them. By altering your position even just a little, you can create a new perspective, other than the traditional eye-level shot. This idea can work for any type of photo that you are taking, not just family shots.

The Rule of Thirds

When you implement the rule of thirds, you can easily create visual interest in your photos. This rule is applied in good photography and states that the frame is divided either horizontally or vertically into thirds with either two horizontal or vertical lines. This is an important concept of any photography that you are taking. When you are coming up with ideas for family photo shoots, you should try placing the members where the lines intersect, which will create a new image that will cause the viewer’s eye to scan the entire photo.


Lighting is a critical part of producing quality family photos. The light that is available in your family photo can provide the following effects to your photos:

·       Emotion;

·       Volume;

·       Beauty;

·       Color.

Because there is such an immense impact on photos by the lighting that is available, it is essential that you understand how to manipulate it to work for the shot that you are trying to create. Check out the following course to learn more about how lighting can affect your photo, and how you can control the results that you create.

Creative Posing

Contact between family members will always turn out great in the photo. Have the family hold hands, wrap arms around one another, snuggle or rub cheeks. You should also consider having family members put their hands on their hips or in pockets to achieve a more natural look than just hanging by their sides. Also, ensure that babies are not placed directly under the chin of the parents, as this will look odd and unnatural in the photography. Check out this course that covers posing photos and learn some more valuable tips.

Pay Attention to the Details

Even the smallest, even most insignificant element can distract from a truly fantastic picture.  Once everyone is ready to have a photo taken you need to scan the crowd for any hair in the faces, tilted chin or tangled necklaces. You will know the family fairly well and you should make final adjustments to ensure that you capture a great representation of who they are.

Keep It Moving

Are you shooting kids? If so, you need to ensure that you keep the shoot moving, or they will become bored and uncooperative. Also, keep in mind that taking natural candid shots is a great way to capture the true personality of a child. If you do want some formal photos, you should get them at the very beginning of the photo shoot and then take pictures of the members of the family acting naturally. For more information about photographing kids, check out this course.

Take Tons of Photos

When you are photographing more than one person, you will find that someone is looking away, blinking or wiggling in almost all of the shots. This is why you should take a number of photos of one pose to ensure that you capture at least one usable option. Also, be sure to use a variety of close up photos and ones taken from a distance. When you take shots at various lengths and with the family engaging with each other, you will produce some unique shots that will be “out of the box” appealing.


An essential part of any family photo shoot is having all of the equipment that you need. While you will likely hold the camera for a huge number of the shots, you may also want to consider using a tripod. This can help to steady shots and create more visually stunning images.


An essential part of any family photo shoot is editing. Chances are not every photo will be perfect, and you may have to do a little in studio magic to create the images that you want. However, with modern tools including Photoshop and other software programs you can manipulate a photo to create any type of look that you desire. Be sure to present the best options to the family, and give them the option to purchase all of the shots that were taken on a disc.

Remember, when you photograph a family you have to be creative and try to connect with your subjects. Doing this will help them relax, which will allow you to capture more natural shots of your subjects.