Ideas for making your family pictures more creative

family portrait tips for creative pictures in Larchmont NY 10538Summer is gone, the kids are back in school, and it’s your chance to catch up on those projects that you’ve put off for the past few months. Like capturing some family photos. So how do you make sure that your family photos stand out this year?

Stop Sitting

If you’re tired of static family photos, get moving! While this probably isn’t something you can both photograph and be a part of, you can easily swap roles with another photographer and snap their family while they capture yours. So get off you behind and get active! Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Play a game: Tag, ball, hide and seek, etc. Get moving for natural expressions, rather than smile-grimaces.
  2. Go for a run: Run towards, then away from the camera. For an extra fun photo, place a marker where you will all jump at the same time (this may take some practice).
  3. Throw: Encourage action by throwing something. Balls, leaves, stuffed animals, balloons, anything!

Prepare for Candid Moments

This is a particularly salient tip if you have a shy child or a dad who shuns the camera. Once you get the family involved in an activity, look for candid moments where family members are interacting with each other.

Remember, it doesn’t have to be a picture-perfect-positive moment – families have their ups and downs!

candid family photos in Westchester County NYBegin Candidly

When your family first gets together, the kids might have some excess energy to burn off, so find an area where they can run around, with or without parents, while you capture some candid photos (hint: use a telephoto lens and a faster shutter speed). Once they’ve settled down, you can get a few more structured photos.

tips to make your family portraits more creative and engagingCapture Everyone

While you’ll want at least one true family portrait with all members, there’s no hard and fast rule that says every photo has to have every family member in it. So feel free to experiment with some combinations: mom + oldest child, dad + youngest child, all kids, all parents, etc. It can help to call a “break” from posing in the middle of the photo shoot and let everyone interact organically – but keep your camera ready, just in case a good moment pops up.

Extra Tip: If you have grandparents nearby, have them stop by 20 minutes into your photo shoot, they’ll add a spark of “yay, grandparents!” and let you get a few more combinations, as well as a generational photo. Also – if the kids are busy feel free to photograph just mom and dad together!

Tips for creative family photosSmiles Optional

Telling kids to “smile for the camera” is often a good way to kill natural smiles, so don’t despair if you get a few neutral, grumpy, or downright miserable faces. Once kids relax and are allowed to interact with you’re the photographer or their family the smiles will come!

Of course, if this all seems a bit much to learn at the moment, and you really must get some great family portraits, then it’s time to talk to a great family photographer to book your session!


When you’re ready to book your next photo shoot with Jane, call 917-744-3310 or fill out the contact form here.



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Tips for Creative Family Photos

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