7 Fun Ideas for a Homemade Family Photo Shoot

Marianne Stenger
11th December 2017

Planning a family photoshoot each year, or even every six months, is a great way to document all the little changes that occur in your family over time. Family photoshoots in wintertime can be particularly fun, because what could possibly be cuter than fluffy scarves, hats and mittens?

If you’re thinking of tackling the family photo shoot yourself, the first thing you’ll need to do is think of a theme and choose a suitable location. You’ll also need some basic equipment like a tripod as well as a camera with a remote shutter release or at the very least a timer. Once you’ve got these essentials ready, try some of these ideas for a successful homemade family photoshoot.

1. Coordinate your outfits

Any time you have more than one person in the same photo, you will need to put some effort into coordinating your outfits. This will help you avoid certain colours or patterns that clash, and avoid having too much of one colour in your photos, which can end up looking drab and boring. Of course, coordinating your outfits is not the same as matching your outfits, which can actually end up looking a bit cheesy. Just think about a natural colour scheme beforehand and try to keep patterns like stripes or checks to a minimum.

2. Find a great outdoor location

Unless you’re a pro at studio lighting or at least have a good understanding of manual mode and off-camera flash, you’ll have a much easier time getting good photos outdoors with natural daylight. So think about locations in your area that will make a fun backdrop for your photos, without being too distracting. This might be a park or forest, a landmark or historic neighbourhood or even just your own back garden. Look for a location that doesn’t get overly busy, though, as you don’t want people constantly walking in and out of your family photo.

3. Plan some basic poses

Before you get started, it can help to research a few basic family photo shoot poses and think about what might work for the type of photo you’re looking to create. Of course, natural photos are nicer than overly posed ones, but you still need to have a basic idea of who will stand or sit where and what you’d like everyone to be doing. If you think about these things beforehand, you'll be able to get everyone in position more quickly and direct the photo shoot efficiently from the start.

4. Get the important shots out of the way first

Kids will quickly get tired of posing, so try to get your must-have shots out of the way early on. Once the important photos have been taken, you can have some fun with it and experiment with some adventurous poses like jumping or running. For example, you probably want at least one good photo of the whole family standing or sitting together, as well as one photo of just the kids or one of just mum and kids. Think about what you want your “must-have” shots to look like and then try to get these out of the way early on.

5. Consider using some props

Although they’re not strictly necessary, it’s always fun to bring a few props along to give everyone something to do and keep things on track. There are countless ideas for photo shoots with props on Pinterest, and these include everything from letters and sign boards to picture frames, funny glasses or Santa hats. Even if you’re not big on props, adding little things like a cosy blanket to sit on, a picnic basket, or a bunch of flowers can bring the photo together and help everyone relax.

6. Try a few different angles and perspectives

You won’t know what looks best until you try taking the picture from a few different angles and perspectives, so don’t be afraid to experiment with height, depth and distance. The best is to start shooting with the tripod at eye level, and then you can mix things up and get shots from down low, up high, from behind, further away, zoomed in or whatever other ideas might come to mind while you’re shooting.

7. Make it a fun experience

Above all, try to have fun with your family photoshoots, because the more relaxed everyone is, the better your photos will turn out. Of course planning is important and will help everything run more smoothly, but the reality is that you even if you start your photo shoot with a specific idea in mind; things don’t always go exactly according to plan, especially when young kids or animals are involved. Encourage silly jokes, laugh a lot and try not to take things too seriously. Often it’s the photos where everyone is cracking up with laughter that you’ll love the most anyway.

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