Tips for great family photos

Tips for great family photos

A couple weeks ago we had a family portrait taken. This session was a big departure from all my previous portrait sessions.

I have lots of baby photos of my two boys, I have photos of my kids growing up together. When I got divorced, I removed our family-of-four-photos from the wall and replaced them with new pictures of our family of three.

It was just me and my boys, until now.

I’m engaged and getting married to a wonderful man. I’m so lucky he has an equally wonderful daughter. As much as our kids adore each other, we’d never taken a portrait together. I wanted to rectify that and take a few pictures we could put on the wall in the home we will one day share together.

Unfortunately, despite our best laid plans, the session wasn’t as easy as I hoped it would be. My boys didn’t fight and they weren’t mean to each other. In fact, we had the opposite problem. They were positively joyful. They ran around, rolling in the grass in their pristine outfits. They were too excited to listen, and wouldn’t pose properly for the photographer.

Our photographer was a good sport and continued to snap away throughout their hijinks, but my fiancé and I were pretty upset. All we wanted was a few good photos. We wanted the kids to sit still, put their arms around each other and smile nicely. Instead, they photo bombed our couple’s photo and at one point, my kids took off their shirts and swung them above their heads like a propellor.

I was disappointed to say the least and had no hope of getting even one decent photo.

As it turns out, I was completely wrong. Somehow, our photographer managed to capture our kids at their happiest. Even the shirtless photos are full of fun and energy. Their personalities shine through and we look like a big happy family. Still, the experience was pretty exhausting for us parents.

I’d love some tips on how to have a family photo session run smoothly. The weather is so beautiful right now it’s a perfect time to capture your kids outdoors. Can anyone offer tips for how to get your kids to smile nicely for the camera?


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  • elaine1222

    Erin, sounds to me like you guys had the perfect photo day. Having the kids' photos taken while they are at their happiest, in a relaxed and fun environment is a great tip! Thanks! I'll probably bring out the bubbles blowers the next time we take photos :)

    • erinlsilver

      Great idea!