As an aspiring professional photographer, it’s imperative to improve your skills to take better family photos. Family portraits can be the bread and butter of any photographer’s business and can become a steady stream of business. As you build your photography business and learn to take better family photos, use these tips to help you learn! Don’t miss our FREE DSLR Photography Cheat Sheet at the end of this blog.

Tips to Take Better Family Photos

  1. DSLR Photography Cheat Sheet _ DWCLet Them Be Natural The best family photos are the ones where the subjects are happy, natural, and in their element. Staged family photos are no fun for anyone, and the results often don’t actually capture the family. Instead of forcing poses and behaviors, take the family outside, let them be themselves, and capture the magic.
  2. Provide Direction – Even though we just told you to let your subjects be natural, as a professional photographer, you still have to give a bit of direction and encourage good poses. There is a fine balance between letting them be natural and not letting them be disorganized. While it takes a bit of practice, you’ll soon find ways for you to be confident and direct the shoot without being too overbearing. Not only is it important to provide direction for good poses, but it’s also important to provide guidance on the shoot location, coordinating outfits, and time of the shoot.
  3. Be Approachable – Families, especially kids, are much more likely to warm up to a new person and cooperate if they feel like they can trust you and you’re likable. Try being a little bit funny, get down on their level and talk to them, and make the shoot as fun as possible.
  4. Be Quick – The ability to get lots of good shots in a short amount of time is the difference between a good and great family photographer. No one wants to be stuck taking photos for a long time, especially kids. It doesn’t take all that long for things to go downhill in a family photo shoot if you’re not quick. The faster you can finish, the more likely you are to get everyone smiling and happy.
  5. Change Up the Combinations – While pictures of the entire family are key, it’s also nice to provide your clients with lots of different photo combinations. Take some of just the kids, take some of just the parents, and maybe even do gendered photos. If you’re shooting an extended family, be sure to think of all the important combinations up front to make sure you cover them all and help the family get what they want out of the photo shoot.
  6. Use Music – If you’re having a hard time getting the family out of their shell and smiling, try turning on some fun kids music. This will get the family moving and break up the awkwardness. Don’t be afraid to take some fun shots of members dancing together and having fun. These can be the best kinds of photos!
  7. Shoot in Manual Mode – As a beginning photographer, it can be tempting to take photos in auto mode because it may seem easier. But by learning manual mode and how to best account for lighting and composition, you will certainly take better photos. Experiment with your manual mode and commit to taking your photos this way for the best quality possible.
  8. Use Burst Mode Even if it’s your policy to deliver only a set number of shots with each session, don’t be afraid to take hundreds of shots. The beauty of digital photography is that you can delete any you don’t like. By taking photos on the burst mode, or continuous shooting mode, you’ll get a rapid-fire succession of lots of photos in the same moment. This will give you the best chance at having the best expressions, eye contact, and composition for your photos.
  9. Learn to Edit – No matter how good of a shot you are or how quickly you’re able to do it, the best photos are the ones that are touched up in a photo-editing software program like Photoshop or Lightroom after the fact. If you don’t know how to edit photos in one of these programs, learning these skills is one of the best investments you can make in your business. Click here to learn more about our photo-editing classes.
  10. Download our DSLR Photography Cheat Sheet – We’ve compiled a FREE list of our best DSLR photography tips and tricks into one handy guide, great for all beginner photographers. Click here to download this guide – keep it on hand to help you take better family photos and improve your photography skills. Download our free DSLR Photography Cheat Sheet to improve your family photography skills.

Ready to learn more about digital photography to take better family photos and improve your skill set? Digital Workshop Center offers a wide variety of digital photography classes to give you the skills you need to take your hobby to the next level. Whether you just bought that new DSLR camera or you are a seasoned user looking to find better ways to use your camera and take better family photos, our classes will help you become more productive and have more fun with your camera.  DWC has classes for all skill levels, from beginner to advanced.

All photography classes at Digital Workshop Center are taught in a live format so you can get your questions answered by seasoned photography pros and practice your skills in a hands-on environment. Our classes are designed to help you take your photography hobby to the next level by giving you the confidence and ability to take amazing photos for your family, clients, and business. Click here to see the full list, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or to register for digital photography classes at the Digital Workshop Center.