One image that will be treasured for many years is the family portrait. It doesn’t make sense to take a sloppy, awkward photograph. There are many ways to create a beautiful and creative shot.

Position Pleasantly

You can be creative in how you arrange people in a family portrait. It will depend on how many people are involved and how much space is available. However, a family of 2 can make a nice head-to-head circle. Hold hands with everyone and use either a standard or wide-angle lens. The range of lenses is from 17mm to 50mm. Use a ladder or stand above them. Use a medium DOF (depth-of-field) to focus on the middle of the image. Ideally, f/9 to F/16.

Combine them

When dealing with large families, encourage people to stand together in groups. The center should have taller, younger people, while the middle should have older people and the children in the front. Remember to place taller people at both ends of the photo. You don’t need to have a strict’short-to-tall’ order for casual effects. This seems artificial. To lighten shadows and freeze faces, use an external flash and to maintain sharpness.

Express Relationships

Mother, father and daughter

It is a great idea to display emotion and closeness when taking family portraits. Allow your subjects to hug and hold each other. It is possible to make generational differences clear by having a grandmother, followed by a daughter, and then a granddaughter. These shots can be taken with fast shutter speeds and natural light to capture big smiles as they occur. Asking people to smile creates an unnatural effect.

You should dress right

Portrait of Caucasian family of four posing on beach looking at viewer smiling

It’s a great opportunity to show your best when taking family portraits. For a unique effect, try getting everyone to wear the same shade or the same style of clothes. For a more interesting effect, ask everyone to wear clothes that are compatible with each other. Or you can mix and match for a more diverse look. For example, you can ask everyone to wear formal attire. Reds can be too harsh. You can also mix and match colors to create a casual look.

The entire frame can be used

Mother and daughter face to face looking at each other

Close-ups can be a powerful way to express emotion. Two people can be close to one another, such as a spouse and husband, siblings, or parents and children. Get them to communicate as much as they can. Crop with a standard or macro lens. The moment will come. It could be a smile, a look or something else. Once that happens, take the photo. Flash to freeze the moment. Use a shallow depth to blur the background.

Use Acute Angles

Family with child on a background of the sky

Try different angles. These photos can be conversation starters and are very interesting. One great way to do this is to stand on the ground with your subjects looking up at you. Flash will be required to illuminate the faces of your subjects against a bright background. Make sure you don’t shoot up the noses of your subjects by getting them to tilt their heads.


Although there are many exposure settings available for family portraits, you should always aim to create a sharp and balanced image. Use flash when necessary, and shutter speeds below 1/125s. If you’re dealing with a large group, use a deeper depth-of-field (f/11-f/22) to ensure that everyone is focused. To blur the background, you can use a shallow depth-of-field (f/2 to f/5.6) if you are dealing with less than three people.

Recommended Equipment

Family photos take longer to capture and are more difficult to photograph. People are usually willing to spend the extra time to make them perfect. For fitting people in, use wide-angle lenses. If necessary, use a tripod with a separate flash. You can use multiple reflectors to bounce light in large groups. However, you might need to have a stand or helper when using them outside.


When it comes to family portraits, be creative. Modern family portraits are taken outdoors in natural light with natural poses and stances. Do not overdress your family, and keep it happy and warm. Be mindful of how many people you are going to be photographing. You can take people from a larger group and photograph them in pairs if you feel the need. This can create a mix of family photos that can be arranged in a montage.