Your family is constantly changing, and you want to capture every moment to savor and share. Although it would be amazing to have a professional photographer on hand to record it all, it’s easier than ever to take your own fun, flattering family photos. With a few neat tricks, you can turn smartphone snaps into mantel-worthy displays.
Find your light
It’s tempting to haul everyone out into full sunlight or to throw on the overhead lights indoors, but bright direct light can cast harsh shadows on otherwise cute faces. Instead, look for soft, even lighting in a shaded area or wait for an overcast day to take outside shots. Use a selfie light or arrange lamps inside to achieve softer, more consistent lighting coverage.
Focus on the kids
For truly captivating photos of your kids, aim to photograph them at their eye level. If your tykes are feeling camera shy, ask them to talk to you about their favorite toy or cartoon to distract their attention away from the camera or tell jokes to make them laugh.
Plan a fun photo shoot
Instead of rounding up the family for another awkward formal photo at the local portrait studio, choose a theme or activity that captures your family’s personality and set up your camera. Head to the park or beach and spend the day playing and posing for the camera. You don’t even need to leave home — put on your cutest matching pajamas and pile everyone into bed or have a photo-friendly backyard picnic.
Strike interesting poses
Skip the stiff line-up along the porch steps and look for ways to encourage interaction between family members. Side hugs, leaning heads together, or friendly smooches — any tender gesture that conveys loving relationships. For multigenerational family portraits, put the focus on the eldest members by centering them on a couch and encircling them with kids and grandkids.
Play with angles
Get a new perspective on your family by photographing them from different angles. Have kids lie on the floor and snap them from overhead or gather the family into a tight huddle and photograph them from below.
Use burst mode
In the age of digital photography, why take just one photo? Whether you’re using a DSLR, point-and-shoot, or your smartphone camera, keep your finger on the shutter button for rapid-fire snaps of each pose. The more photos, the better chances of finding a shot where no one’s blinking, sneezing, or looking away.
Get in the picture
Too often the photographer of the family is missing from the actual photos. Set the self-timer on your camera or use a remote Bluetooth shutter and join the rest of the group in front of the camera.
When you’ve wrapped up your photo shoot, the hardest job will be choosing which of your fantastic shots you're going to get printed. Need some ideas? Put your 40 best in a Buzz Book! Or, make a grid gallery wall with Framed Prints. Still curious? Read more about the best wall decor for each room in your house on our blog!