Photo by Jessica Rockowitz on Unsplash

I like the way photographers take photos of families now. Such a lot of fun different poses to try with the family. To get to a studio and have them do the professional posing, the backdrop of the library, and the formal way to do photos of families is really hard on some families. Like the photo above, the family is all together, and casually dressed for a picture to hang on the wall. BUT WAIT!!!! Don’t you need to see their faces? Well, in my way of taking family photos, you can be casual, but really, I think it’s important to get the faces of everyone, and especially catch them when they are smiling if you can.

The above photo is more of a casual photo, and still you see their faces on everyone. But, here are some tips on what to really look for in taking photos of families:

  1. DO Tell Them What to Do.
  2. Do NOT Pose Your Clients Facing the Sun.
  3. DO Communicate With Your Clients.
  4. Do NOT Forget the Surroundings.
  5. DO Tell the Family How to Pose.
  6. Do NOT Go Overboard With Editing.
  7. DO Keep an Open Mind About the Results.
  8. Do NOT Take Just One Photo.

I think all of the above steps are very important in taking photos of a family. Let’s look at some examples:

6 Tips for Your Family Photo Shoot - Me Ra Koh, The Photo Mom
Photo by Me Ra Koh

I’ll be honest, I almost always pray that the number of people in the family is an odd number (3, 5, 7, etc). Because look how pleasing that is. Putting them all in some kind of pyramid is just good composition. And of course, in a setting like this, the parents should always be in the middle. That is one thing I think is important.

If you do have an even number of people in the family (4, 6, 8 etc.), then you have to be bit more creative. You can still create some kind of pyramid with even number people, like this:

20 Creative Family Photo Ideas - mybabydoo | Photography poses family,  Family posing, Family photo pose
Photo by My Baby Doo photography

The family members are hardly ever the same size, so, it’s not too hard to create a pyramid type pose with even numbers. Just be creative, but, think pyramid. This also gets into the steps of telling where people need to stand, and also how to pose them, as listed above.

Funny Family Portraits | Awkward & Bad Family Portraits

When taking photos of families, be aware of the surroundings around them. Is there a tree coming out of someone’s head? Is the weather something to consider.

And the other thing to tell your family ahead of time, is Don’t all dress in the same clothes. It just looks unnatural.

57 Matchy-Matchy Families - | Funny family photos,  Awkward family portraits, Funny family portraits

The family might think it’s fun, but have a few of these type of photos handy, so you can show them how awful it looks.

When telling a family how to dress, I have always advised them to wear earth-tone colors, or something that is not going to distract them from their faces…. which is the most important part of family photos.

10 Tips for Preparing for a Family Photoshoot - Oh Lovely Day | Chandra  Fredrick
Photo by “Oh Lovely Day” Photography

See how nicely this family dressed in earth tones and it just makes the viewer look at faces, and not the clothes.

Next tip to watch out for, and I have seen photographers just overdo some of this, and that is Don’t go overboard with editing. You may get photos that look like this:

Hilariously Bad Family Photos Go Viral | PetaPixel

Just let the photo speak for itself. You will not win awards for bad editing.

Finally: How do you get photos of families without someone blinking or closing their eyes, or making funny faces. That is the final tip as listed above. Take lots of photos. I have this belief that if you countdown to when you are going to snap your camera, that on the count of 3 everyone will blink. However, just for fun, I will count to 3, but, start snapping photos at 1, 2, 4, 5, etc. And as long as they seem to stay in the pose, I will keep snapping. But, I don’t take a picture on 3.

Here are some excellent family portraits, and the reason I am posting these photos is for you to study them, and see all the good things you like about it. All of these photos, in my book, are just excellent family photos:

15 Family Photo Session Tips & Advice from a Professional Photog
Photo by Daisy Beatty photography
Tips for a Successful Family Session — Mike B Photography
Photo by Mike B Photography
Primavera Family Session | Mansfield, TX - Sarah Hoover Photography
Photo by Sarah Hoover Photography

Enjoy taking photos of families, but, study the good photographers and see how they pose them, and to what degree of editing they do. My rule in photography is to be a copycat in portrait photography, because you will get it right, if you follow the professional portrait photographers. Use the tips listed above to help guide you in making good photos.

There are certain lenses recommended for portraits. Click on this link: portrait lenses to see what is recommended.

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