How to take the perfect family photo

How to take the perfect family photo

Thinking about putting up a newly framed family photo somewhere in your home or just reckon it could be a fun idea to have a proper photoshoot with everyone involved? Whatever the reason, we’re here to help you take the perfect family photo.

Whether you’re a natural in front of the camera or prefer to shy away from photos, we’re going to talk through everything from how to prepare for a family photo shoot, what to wear, and family photo ideas.

How do you prepare for a family photo shoot?

If we’re being honest, taking the perfect family photo isn’t an easy job. It requires some planning ahead and things to bear in mind. To make sure you’ve got everything covered and are fully prepared, follow our tips below.

Set a date and make sure everyone knows

An important part of a family photo shoot is finding a time and date that works for everyone, and making sure everyone has it down in their calendar. The last thing you want is for someone to forget or have forgotten to tell someone if it’s involving people outside of your direct household.

Factor in some extra time for everyone to get ready as well, especially if everyone is sorting out their own makeup, hair, and outfits. And if you’ve got a certain family member who’s notoriously late to everything, it might be worth telling them to arrive an hour earlier.

Be mindful of the time

If there are children involved, particularly young ones, you’ll probably want to be mindful of the time of day when you take your pictures. Later on in the afternoon might work best as they won’t be running around too much and bursting with energy. Although you also probably won’t want to do it too late when they’re tired and ready for bed.

Have some snacks and other bits at the ready

If you’re wanting to spend time getting the right shot that the whole family is happy with, this could take a bit of time. That’s why it’s worth having some food, drinks, and entertainment for the kids at the ready to keep everyone energised and in good spirits.

Pick out some photo spots in advance

To make everything as seamless as possible, it’s always a good idea to scout out some locations beforehand. This way you’re not going to be running around on the day trying to see which spots have good lighting and look best on camera. Don’t be afraid to look further afield too or think about setting up your own backdrop.

Don’t forget to have fun

Leave behind the stereotypical ‘say cheese’ and instead just have a good time. A forced smile is going to be obvious whereas genuine smiles and laughter will show through the camera and only enhance any photos. Getting the family together for a photo shoot should be fun!

What to wear for a family photo shoot

Figuring out what to wear for a family photo shoot really comes down to personal preference. However, it can change up your family photo which is why we’ve gone through some of our ideas and why you might want to go for them.

Relaxed and casual

If you don’t want to look too fancy and are going for a more homely vibe then try some relaxed and casual clothing in muted colours like jeans, t-shirts, day dresses, etc. This can work particularly well in spring and summer if you’re planning on doing your photos outdoors.

To match or not to match

To match or not to match, that is the question. It’s a decision you’ll likely have to make when it comes to taking photos as a family. Do you all dress in similar clothing or perhaps just have the young ones do so? All that matters is that everyone feels comfortable in what they’re wearing. You could even just have everyone wear somewhat similar clothing but not exactly the same as a happy compromise.

Top tip: Even if you’re not planning on wearing matching clothes at all, having everyone follow the same colour scheme will photograph well.

Let everyone’s personality shine through

Not only is it important for people’s clothes to fit comfortably, but when taking a family photo people have to feel comfortable too. That’s why it’s important that everybody be able to let their personality show through their clothing and accessories. Have the family pick out a few of their all-time favourite outfits and go from there.

Check the weather forecast beforehand

If you’re hoping to get some family photos outside, then it’s important to have a quick check of the weather forecast to make sure that not only is the weather suitable but that you know what you can get away with wearing. There’s nothing wrong with a little breeze but you don’t want anyone to be standing around shivering.

Family photo ideas

Onto the truly exciting part – deciding what your photo shoot is actually going to be like! For those who need a little bit of inspiration, here are a few of our family photo ideas.

1. Something for a special occasion

Is your family big into Christmas, Halloween, or maybe even Valentine’s Day? Whatever the special occasion that you’re all mad about, it makes for a great photo shoot opportunity. Go shopping for some clothes and props that fit the theme and you’ve got a picture worthy of featuring in one of our personalised photo cards to send to other friends and family on the big day.

2. A formal event

What better excuse to make everyone get dressed up to the nines than for a family photo? We’re talking suit and tie, cocktail dresses, or whatever you’ve already got in your wardrobe that you’d wear to a fancy event. To really top it off, you could even choose to have your photos in black and white to give it that timeless look.

3. Out of focus

Perhaps you don’t want to be the main focus of the photo shoot because you want to highlight something else like a new addition to the family or an engagement. A great way to do this is with an out-of-focus family photo where everybody is a bit blurred in the background and your main focal point is front and centre.

4. Take it outdoors

Get the gang outside and find some lovely scenery to take some family snaps with. From frolicking through fields to having a picnic in a gorgeous park, the natural outdoor lighting will only add to the picture, and this is the perfect family photo idea for when you don’t want to miss out on the sunny weather outside.

5. Turn the clock back

Another fun family picture idea could be to have everyone dress like you’re from a certain decade. Think neon colours and leg warmers for the 80s, poodle skirts and James Dean-style hair for the 50s, or whatever else you can put together. You could even dress people from the decades they were born in to really show how fashion trends and times have changed.

Now you’re a pro and know exactly how to take family photos, why not expand your knowledge and check out our post on pet photoshoot tips and picture ideas for couples? In fact, we’ve got all sorts for you to read over on the thortful blog ranging from special occasion articles and gift guides to lifestyle pieces and more.