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Family photography tips: 6 ways to get great shots

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family photography tips

With a few family photography tips, absolutely anyone can nail a frame-worthy family image! Thanks to advances in photography technology, it’s easier than ever to take stunning, professional-looking family photos to capture those special moments now, and for years to come. To help you take that perfect portrait of your loved ones, we’ve teamed up with the photography experts at Ted’s Cameras for some family photography tips that will have you taking photos you’ll treasure forever.


We all know that rounding up your loved ones for family photo can be a little challenging, but these family photography tips will have you capturing candid moments and formal events with equal ease. From the best family photo poses, the best camera settings to use, good times shoot, all the way through to essential photography equipment, read on to learn how to take a great family photo every time.

Family photography tips: 6 ways to make your photos shine

1. Keep it light

Capturing that spontaneous smile or an impulsive hug only happens when you keep the mood lighthearted and fun, particularly if you’re taking a family photo with kids. You could consider playing music, using bright lights, or their favourite toys to keep small kids entertained between shots. No matter what age your subjects are, a casual approach can prevent the mood from becoming too serious, and can help your subjects relax and smile naturally. In the long run, this can prevent your finished photos from looking stiff and forced, and result in warm, gorgeous photos instead.

2. Step outside

Make the most of Australia’s beautiful climate and stunning scenery by taking outdoor family photos in your favourite park, reserve, or even your backyard! The fresh air will help your family relax and pose freely, while sunshine will allow you to indulge in some natural light photography. A breathtaking backdrop like a glittering harbour, rolling green hills or an expanse of white snowfield can elevate an image to the kind of image you want to return to again and again for its sheer beauty, but a simple background like a park with flowers in full bloom is just as impressive and easy to access!

Top Tip: Try taking photos during Golden Hour, or the period just after sunrise or before sunset. This will eliminate harsh shadows caused by the overhead sun.

family phoptography outside

Golden hour when the light is most pleasing, producing long gentle shadows and soft light

3. Use a tripod

How many family photos are you in? So often, mum is the one behind the camera and recording the special moments, only to look back after a year or two and realise you’ve missed out on being part of the family’s history.  Professionals solve this problem, and issues like camera shake, with the humble tripod. A tripod will steady the shot so it’s clear and crisp, and also ensure that you, the photographer, can be in every shot. Simply set up your tripod, get your family in the right position, and fire the shutter remotely or using a self timer. It’s a snap!

Top Tip: Your camera’s self-timer gives you a few seconds to get in position after pressing the shutter, but a handheld remote is a better bet for a steady shot.

family photography tips

The humble tripod can be your ticket to a steady, pro shot!

4. Experiment with different angles

Who says family photos all have to be taken front-on and at eye level? Mix up your levels and try taking photos from your child’s point of view as they play with a friend, or from above the Christmas tree as a star is placed on top. You could achieve this easily by mounting your camera on a tripod to get a shot from up high, or setting it low in the grass for a kid-friendly angle – the only limitation is your imagination! As you experiment with different photo composition techniques, including different angles, you’ll capture unique, showstopping images that really shine.

Family photos

Experiment with different POVs for showstopping shots5

5. Review your photos on the spot

You’ve perfected your photo composition, adjusted the exposure triangle perfectly, and all your shots are in focus. Your work is done, right? Not quite. Before you pack up your shoot, use the LCD screen on your camera to quickly review your shots to make sure that you’re happy with them. If not, take a few more before calling it a day – it’s better to do this now than to have to regather your family again later.

Top Tip: Taking a family photo with kids who can’t sit still? Capture their fast movements by using a shutter speed between 1/125-sec and 1/500-sec.

Family photography

Taking a photo with kids who can’t sit still? Capture fast movements with the right shutter speed

6. Use the right camera equipment

While taking family photos with an iPhone or other smartphone is fine for casual shots or holiday pics, a mirrorless or DSLR camera is your best choice for planned family photoshoots. Their range of settings and brilliant image quality simply can’t be beaten when it comes to taking high quality images you’ll cherish for years to come.

Top Tip: A wide angle lens will help you fit everyone in the frame if you have a large family, while a telephoto lens is perfect if you have fewer family members and want a closer shot.

A mirrorless or DSLR camera is best for planned family photoshoots, with brilliant image quality

And that’s how you take beautiful family photos you’ll cherish forever!

When it comes to taking great family photos that capture your family perfectly, a little preparation goes a long way. From the best camera settings to photo composition techniques, follow our photography tips to snap studio-quality pics in your own home or backyard.

Ready to take stunning portraits that capture your family in all its glory? Visit Ted’s Cameras to shop online for mirrorless and DSLR cameras now, or check out their blog for more photography tips and tricks.

Ted's Cameras

About Ted’s Cameras

For 50 years and counting, Ted’s Cameras has been the leading Australian hub for photographers searching for expert advice and the best in camera equipment.


More skills and ideas for family fun you could photograph:

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