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Five Tips for Great Outdoor Family Photos

Here are some tips for capturing great outdoor family photos! These tips and tricks will help you up your game to capture frame-worthy family photos in the great outdoors.

Understand Basic Camera Features

If you don’t understand the basics of your camera, there is a lot that can go wrong with your outdoor family photos. Making a few minor changes to your camera’s settings can make a big difference in your outdoor photos. Here is a great outline of the most important digital camera settings for beginners. The ISO, aperture, shutter speed, and white balance are some of the most important things to understand for outdoor family photography!

Know Your Subjects and Plan Ahead

If the family you’re working with consists of two adults and two small children, you’ll need to have different ideas and plans for how to position your family than if you’re photographing three adults and two seniors, for example. The heights of the family members and their different abilities (whether they can sit comfortably on the ground, etc.) need to be planned ahead so you can optimize the space and time to get the best shots. Take some time before the shoot to gather ideas and inspiration for how you might want to position people and what types of shots you’d like to capture for them. Then, make sure to get to the location early so you can scout things out and have an idea of where the best location is to begin the shoot.

Find the Best Lighting

Lighting is one of the most important elements of outdoor family photography. As much as we all love a beautiful, sunny day, it doesn’t always make for the best photos. If the sun is too bright, it can create harsh and unflattering shadows. Try to schedule your outdoor family photos in the morning or evening, when the sun is lower. That golden hour in the morning and evening provides a softer light that is perfect for outdoor photos.

Start with Posed Portraits

This is especially important when working with children. Their attention spans are short. Attempt to get the posed portraits done first, before the kids get too antsy and want to be silly. Once you’ve captured a few posed portraits, let go of your urge to control the shoot and let the kids be kids. Have your camera ready to capture the candid and real moments within your family.

Bring Props

Sometimes the family you’re working with will have their own blankets or props they’d like to use, but it’s always a good idea to have a few things on hand that can add value to the shot. Have an extra blanket, a nice looking folding chair if you’re working with an older person who can’t sit on the ground, etc.

We also recommend carrying some distractions for the kids. Snacks and drinks can prevent premature meltdowns, and silly toys can help make them smile.

The bonus tip is to have fun! If you’re ever wanting to become more confident with your camera, Digital Workshop Center offers live digital photography classes, beginner to advanced, with our instructor and local photography expert, Josh Hardin. As a digital photography school, we will teach you hands-on photography lessons the right way, and your instructor is always live! You can begin taking great outdoor family photos before you know it!

Interested in Photography Classes?