5 Secrets for Successful Family Photo Shoots

Bring out the best in your subjects and take memorable family portraits with these tips from author and professional photographer Kirk Tuck! Learn even more essential skills for capturing beautiful family portraits in his online Craftsy class, Professional Family Portraits.

1. Set Up a Studio in Your Home

In a few simple steps you can transform any garage into a studio. When you lift a garage door you will get great ambient light coming in! If the garage is cluttered, bring a gray seamless backdrop. Be sure to consider the color of the walls and ceilings when bouncing flash, too, because colored walls can tint your images.


2. Pose Larger Groups Perfectly

When it comes to arranging and posing groups, odd numbers are best. Form triangles and have the family members slightly face each other to show a connection.


3. Captivate Toddlers and Capture Them

Toddlers are particularly hard to pose and it’s typically difficult to maintain their attention; make the best of the small window you have with them by limiting their distractions. Get down on their level, and use simple items like a lit match or a phone ringtone to capture their attention (and get that wonderment-look).


4. Bring Out the Best in Mature Subjects

Use off-camera flash as your main light and use umbrellas (cheap and easy) to modify the light. Or situate your couple in their living room for stunning environmental portraits.


5. Get the Best Results with Your Digital Editing

No photo is complete until it has been taken into the digital darkroom: Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Use the healing tool to remove scars and soften wrinkles in Photoshop. And, use the sliders in your layers to make believable changes in skin blemishes, like wrinkles.

Sign up for Professional Family Portraits, and learn advanced strategies for family portraiture as Kirk shares his best techniques for lighting, posing and composition to capture high-quality, engaging photos. Kirk will even critique your photos and answer any questions you have. Plus, since you’ll own your class forever, you can learn at your preferred pace and revisit techniques before your next shoot.

What are some of your favorite tips and tricks for photographing your family?

Commercial photographer Kirk Tuck has photographed President Bill Clinton, Academy Award winner Renée Zellweger and more. He’s also authored several books including Photographic Lighting Equipment: A Comprehensive Guide for Digital Photographers and Commercial Photography Handbook: Business Techniques for Professional Digital Photographers.

Like This Article?

Don't Miss The Next One!

Join over 100,000 photographers of all experience levels who receive our free photography tips and articles to stay current: