Family Portrait Photography Dos and Dont’s

family portrait photographyWhat are the things that shouldn’t be done in family portrait photography? In a session where a lot of people is involved, as a photographer, you’re expected to know what to do and take the best family picture of their history. It’ll be passed down for generations and their hopes are pretty high.

Refrain from doing these things and hopefully, your clients will come back again later with their younger generations.

Plan the photography well

The first thing you need to remember is to plan the photography really well. You’ll be having a lot of people tagging along and by then, you should have an idea of what kind of pose you want or where the pictures will be taken. Preparation has to be detailed as according to the information you got.

When you prepare, think about, not just the amount of people but also the age and their possible height. How many kids will be involved? How many families will come? Is it a big or small family? While you think about all this, it’s also a good thing to discuss with one or a couple of the family members about where and what kind of clothing they’d like to wear.


Matching color is one of the best options to go with. Most families don’t have fancy attires or that kind of hobby, to begin with. But, don’t shut the possibility completely. Always ask if they have something in mind that they really want to see in their pictures, because that’s what family portrait photography is about, at least for

Remind them the kind of clothing that shouldn’t be worn according to the venue, season or theme. They don’t have to go flat black or white; it can be rainbow if they want it to be. They’ll always appreciate your advice, while you should still respect what they want.

Be very careful before clicking the shutter

With a family, you’ve got a lot of organizing and directing to do. That includes the settings on your own camera. As mentioned before, planning the photography well is important and that also means the short-term preparation.

Loosen up the family members and chill with them a bit before the session. While you’re at it, set your camera to a suitable one because the family doesn’t have forever to wait you set it again and pose for too long in the same position.

Don’t rush when you’re about to shoot. Take your time to scan the group and notice what can be changed about it. What’s most important is that with a lot of people, there’s always a possibility that someone’s eyes (half) closed. Take numerous pictures, just in case.

Let them enjoy it!

Some family can be pretty… strict. In simple, getting ‘dirty’ or bathed in ‘sand’ isn’t the typical family portrait photography they’d imagined, but you know better. Being a family isn’t about standing formal and smile next to each other. It’s about loving and being happy with them.

When moms start to try to make kids stop being kids, gently tell them that after the session, you’d like to take some ‘fun time’ pictures. It’s not every day that they get to go out together and dressed nicely like this. And you also don’t want to stray from your main purpose: to capture unforgettable family time.