Taking pictures is the best way to capture a memory. We take pictures of things and people that we love at moments that we want to cherish forever. Taking pictures and homemade videos is an ongoing, fun family activity. We take pictures of our children until they’re old enough to start wanting to take pictures of us. There is no shame in wanting to make these pictures better and planning out photoshoots periodically to capture growth and development in high quality images. This way, they’ll look better on the walls and shelves.


If you decide to take your own family pictures or hire a professional, or even if you’re a professional yourself, you might need a few tips on photographing families specifically. Understanding how to make them more comfortable and less camera-shy, especially different age groups, helps your art. To make things easier for yourself, think of the process from the end back to the beginning, not the other way around. 


Knowing that you can fix everything at the end will allow you to feel less nervous during the shoot. Here are some tips that’ll make your family photos perfect. 


Edit the Pictures 

People no longer take raw photos and live with it; that’s old fashioned. We take pictures on our phones that allow us to edit them as soon as we take them. Social media platforms have picture editing tools and filters that are suitable for any kind of image. Everybody looks like a professional photographer on social media.  Start using photo editing applications to crop images to dimensions that are ideal for printing and social media, and use customizable presets to make your pictures reflect the right mood and look better. There are tons of free and premium easy-apply filters that you can use to provide you with what you need to make your work pretty. You can also plan to have your pictures edited professionally, or spend some time on a professional editing tool until you know your way around it. This way, no matter how bad the shot is, you’ll know that you’ll be able to fix the colors, the lighting, and even crop out that random dude that photobombed your family. It’ll all be fine! 

The Key to an Awesome Photoshoot is Fun! 

Everything is important in a photoshoot, but the most important thing is how people look. As mentioned before, you have got to plan it out, think about what you’re going to wear so everyone can feel good about themselves and make sure everyone matches the other somehow. You don’t have to wear the same colors ,but you need to make sure no one looks odd. Prepare yourself to be anything the family needs you to be to loosen up and take beautiful pictures with natural smiles and poses. People’s expressions are more important than the setting, background, lighting, and any other aspect. Also, make sure that the kids are not nervous; play around with them and run, laugh, make silly faces. This way you will end up with the best pictures, the ones that actually capture the essence of the family and represent each unique personality. 

Adjust The Lighting, Exposure, and Focus 

Lighting is key. Flashes and artificial lighting will just make your pictures look uglier if used incorrectly. If you actually planned a day, then do it in the sun, an outdoor shoot in the morning is perfect for a family photo shoot. Plan to wake up and start early to take advantage of different sun lighting. You can use filters and reflectors to light up people’s faces. Pro-tip, make sure you are not standing while the light is directly on people’s faces; you want to take pictures from an angle to allow their faces to look naturally beautiful. Also, get some sun in their eyes. Use manual exposure otherwise the camera will set a different one with every picture and will make editing hell for you. Remember, consistency is key and try to lock the focus on people’s faces. You will need to adjust whenever they move farther away or closer to the camera, but if the focus is not right, your picture is ruined!

Finally, just make sure everyone is not standing straight or with still hands, legs, bodies, and facial expressions. Get a tripod so you can freely look around and adjust the setting. Get some props, they’ll be great in helping you balance out pictures and make sure people are not standing in straight lines. Try to adjust heights and weights to make everyone look flattering. The key to a good picture is to make people look their best, not necessarily be realistic. Remember to calm down, get the kids some toys, get the adults some drinks, and have fun! This is how most fabulous pictures are taken. Don’t forget the presets and the filters… you don’t want your pictures looking flat. 


Founder of Paisley.org.uk in 1998 and constantly strives to change peoples attitudes to the town, Brian is a self described Paisley Digital Champion who promotes Paisley via any means necessary. You can also follow me on X