Secrets to Great Family Portraits

The holiday season is right around the corner, and it won’t be complete without custom holiday cards for your loved ones. And what better backdrop for your family photos than the splendid colors of autumn leaves!

Make the most of the fall season with these tips for capturing excellent family portraits:

Use a tripod whenever you can

We know exactly what you’re thinking: tripods cramp your style; they’re heavy and cumbersome, and you prefer photography that’s free-flowing. Yes, shooting with a handheld camera is better for a documentary, but family portraits come out best when tripods are used.

Tripods automatically force you to pause and check the settings, exposure, and composition before clicking a picture; you may skip these details when you have the camera up to your eye at all times.

Plus, this way, you can make eye contact with the family being photographed, get the kids’ attention, and get better expressions from the family when you interact with them.

Let the kids be kids

Parents often tell their kids to “behave well and smile” before a photoshoot. This puts pressure on the kids to “perform,” and as a result, the photos end up with disappointed faces and frowns that are forcefully being turned into smiles.

So when photographing kids, the rule of thumb is to let them enjoy and have fun. However, you need to prepare beforehand; keep props with you and ask the mom to bring along the kids’ favorite toys.

You can even keep bubbles and hand puppets handy so you can get the babies to be comfortable in your presence. Make funny noises and play peek-a-boo behind the camera; in a nutshell, be as silly as you can! And once the little ones are having being themselves, get ready to capture the moment!

Family Potraits

Lighting is the key!

Lights can make or break portraits! Photography is all about “drawing with light,” therefore, you need to make sure the light gets into the subject’s eyes. Here’s what you need to do to set your portraits up for good light:

  • Late evenings—about an hour before the sun sets is the ideal time for portraits. The pictures won’t have harsh overhead light at his time; instead it’s usually directional and diffused along the horizon.
  • If shooting at dusk isn’t an option, get some shade for the family. Ensure that the background isn’t lit because bright backgrounds tend to draw focus away from the people being photographed. Areas of shade like large trees or large buildings can make great backdrops in this case!

If you’re looking a licensed Dallas family photographer, get in touch with me 972-832-259. I love to shoot unique family portraits that perfectly capture the essence and personality of the family! I also offer affordable wedding photography Dallas and newborn photography services.


Documenting my own children's lives and they're organic way of being day after day, did I truly understand how PRICELESS photographs were. How much I wanted to spend every waking moment documenting their everyday life, before it too, became a faded memory. Soon after that it became an obsession to capture your very own life, and the life you love! :)


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