Take beautiful family photographs with these 6 steps

You don’t need a professional photographer to capture precious family moments. With planning, and creativity, you can take your own great family photographs.

Our children grow so fast, and many of us want to capture those fleeting moments with precious family photographs. However, you don’t need to pay through the nose for a professional photo session. With our help, you can capture beautiful family photos that are unique and personal to you.

Find a good location

When it comes to taking great family photographs, it’s important to find the right location for the photo shoot. Choose somewhere that fits your style and interests as a family; it should also be somewhere fairly quiet where you won’t have people constantly walking in shot.  Possible locations include beaches, woodland, mountains and local parks – the world is your oyster! It’s always a good idea to visit the location before the day of your shoot so you can plan out your shots and get a feel for the place in advance.

Get the lighting right

Good lighting is key to taking a great photograph, so be sure to take this into consideration when planning your shoot. As a general rule of thumb, morning and dusk offer the best lighting conditions, and it’s usually best to avoid mid-afternoon as the light is too harsh – but it’s best to scope out your location beforehand so that you can find the best time of day to shoot. If you’re shooting inside, choose a venue that has great natural light or be prepared to use some additional lighting.

Use the right equipment

The cameras on smart phones have made huge strides in recent years and they’re fantastic for taking snapshots on the go. However, if you’re looking for a professional finish for your family photos, you’ll need something a little more hi-tech. A good DSLR camera should help you get the results you’re looking for, as long as you take the time to learn to use it to its full potential. We always find that canon cameras are a good option for professional and novices alike. But this doesn’t mean that you have to spend a fortune; take a look at specialised websites which sell used canon camera models and accessories for much cheaper than buying new. You don’t need a whole heap of accessories but, if you plan to be in the photos yourself, don’t forget to pick up a tripod and a wireless remote.

Be flexible

You may have an idea in your head of exactly what you want to achieve, but this may not be totally possible on the day – particularly when there are children or pets involved – so be prepared to be flexible and adapt to the circumstances. You may not get the perfect shot you were expecting, but those unplanned shots where people are laughing with each other rather than posing and looking at the camera often turn out to be the best photographs.

Don’t be afraid to experiment

On a similar note to the above, don’t be afraid to experiment. Take the shots you know you want to get and then, if you have the time (and your subjects allow it!), have a play around with different poses and compositions. If you usually prefer to take formal and posed photos, try taking some more natural, candid shots – and vice versa. Try shooting from different angles and with different lighting conditions, or get people to try poses they wouldn’t normally do. Let your imagination run wild and your creative juices flow and you could end up with some unexpected yet outstanding, shots.

Preparation is everything

As with many things in life, good preparation is vital when it comes to taking family photographs. Writing a list of the shots you want to get will help to keep you on track on the day, and will minimise the risk of you coming away disappointed. Also think about what accessories and props you may need to achieve the best results. Last but certainly not least, keep your family members informed of the plans and make sure they know what you need from them.  And when kids are involved, bribery is always a good idea – so be sure to pack snacks, drinks and a couple of toys in case they get bored.

With a little forward planning, some technical know-how, and a big helping of creativity, you can produce some fantastic family photographs that you will treasure forever.