Sunday, October 12, 2014

5 Tips for Taking Your Own Family Photos

  Much to the dismay of my children I try to get a family photo once a year. I tell myself that someday they will appreciate all the photos I insist on taking...I hope. This year we took our family photo at the same time we did our back to school photo shoot. On a Sunday afternoon in August we loaded our minivan with a few props, our DSLR camera, a tripod, my phone, and a few extra clothes.

  1. Be prepared. I spent a lot of time getting ready for our photo shoot. Most of that time was spent on Pinterest looking for poses and color palettes. When I found a pin that I liked (and that would work for our family) not only did I pin it but I also took a screen shot of the pose with my phone. We referred to the screen shots on my phone for every pose. That is easier for me than trying to get into Pinterest and find 'that one pose' that I liked. I also got props ready, clothes ready, and made sure we had a clean memory card and a full battery. Doing all of these things ahead of time helped to get the photo shoot done quickly so the kiddos were less likely to be impatient.
  2. Take lots of photos. Don't count on all the photos to turn out, even if  they look good on the preview screen. Take a few photos of each pose. 
  3. Go to more than one location. We went to two locations (I wanted to go to a 3rd but the kids lost interest and I knew a 3rd location would be a waste of time). I like to chose one location that has more of a 'nature' feel to it and one location that has a building or more of an industrial feel to it. Make sure to pay attention to the lighting. I recommend going late in the day for the best lighting.
  4. Let the kids make some of the choices. I let my kids have a say in the whole ordeal. BUT when I gave them a choice I had to make sure that I was going to be okay with either of their choices. For example, I gave my boys a choice of 2 shirts they could wear but I knew that I would be okay with either of the shirts they chose. I also let them choose where we went. I let them choose which of the two locations they would like to go to first.
  5. Have Fun! I can usually get a good photo from my kids if I let them take a silly one. It depends on the mood as to whether we get the good photo before or after the silly one. Make sure everyone is well rested and fed before you go. 
We had LOTS of photos that didn't turn out...sometimes someone was blinking.
 Sometimes the timer went off before we were ready...(Aka, my oldest didn't want to take any more pictures. This was not his best day).
 Some of the photos were good but just not exactly how I wanted them to turn out.
 in this one Cole needed to sit up higher. He was a little hidden by my shoulder. Austin needed to put his foot back. See, nothing major, just a little off.
 I thought this pose was a little awkward. If I do this one again, I would put the little man on Daddy's back, not mine.
 I really like this one! I'm thinking of framing this one for our bedroom. What do you think?

All in all, I love how our photos turned out. It was a LOT of work but I would do it again. It's much cheaper than hiring a photographer. If you haven't seen the framed canvas project that I did with our photo you can see it HERE.
Do you get family photos taken each Fall? Do you hire a photographer or take them yourself?


  1. great ideas and lovely photos! I love your last one especially. you should definitely frame it!!

    1. Thanks, Leanne! I think I will frame it. I need to find the perfect frame first ;)