Welcome! If you have clicked over from my post Professional Photographers’ Secrets For Amazing Family Pictures, you are in the right place! This is the fourth post in the four-part series that will teach you all the posing tips and tricks you need to get great family pictures! (To see all four posts, click here).
Everyone wants a great family picture for their yearly Christmas card. However, not everyone can afford to have them professionally taken every year. Sometimes you just need to take them yourself, but that can be tricky! As a Certified Professional Photographer who has taken my own family pictures many times, I’ve got some tips and tricks for you!
Tips for Taking Your Own Family Pictures
- Use a tripod and the camera timer. Obviously, if you’re going to be in the picture yourself, you can’t be holding the camera! Invest in a tripod, or see if you can borrow one from a friend. If you can’t find a tripod, you’ll need to find a spot with a wall or some other structure where you can safely set your camera. Almost all cameras have a timer function where you can press the shutter and then the camera will take the picture in 3 seconds or ten seconds, depending on what you choose and the options for your particular camera.
2. Get a friend. Once you set the timer on your camera, you will have to book it to get in place before the picture is taken. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done this! I practically run a 5K going back and forth to push the button! (And I’ve done it multiple times in heels, too!) If you look closely at the picture below, you’ll see that my foot isn’t in my shoe, because I ran in bare feet and then tried to hurry and get it back in the shoe before the picture was taken! Don’t be like me! Just get a friend to come push the button for you! I’m a little bit of a control freak, so I manually set the aperture and shutter speed myself so that anyone else literally just has to press the button.
3. Use continuous shooting mode. Most cameras have a mode that takes a string of pictures one after another if the shutter button is held down. You’ll need a friend to do this (so they can hold the button down). If you have small children who are wiggly and prone to look anywhere but the camera, I suggest you just get a lot of shots with the hope that one of them will turn out! (We are so lucky we live in the digital age! This wouldn’t have been possible in the days of film!)
4. Use a camera remote. If you can’t get a friend to help and you don’t want to run back and forth, a camera remote is the perfect solution! It’s just a little hand-held wireless remote that you can easily hide in your hand while you push the button for the camera to take your picture. Make sure that you get the right one for your particular camera. Also be aware of the range of the remote. Depending on which lens I’m using on my camera (and how far away my camera needs to be in order to get my whole family in the frame), my remote my not be able to communicate with my camera. Then I end up running back and forth again 🙂
5. Embrace the less-than-perfect moments. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, you just can’t get the “perfect” family picture. That’s o.k! Sometimes those are the best! Here’s a picture of a client I took where “real life” was on display. They used this for their Christmas card, and everybody loved it!
In this picture, two brothers are doing a fist bump rather than looking at the camera. The mom loved this picture, because it showed the tender relationship between a boy and his little brother.
Hopefully these tips will help you out on your next family photo shoot! Make sure you read the other posts in this series so you can knock your next shoot out of the park! You can find links to all four posts here.
In the meantime, don’t forget to pick up your cheatsheet to have handy for your next photoshoot!