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How to Take a Family Photo Like a Pro

Photo Credit: The Art of Making a Baby

When money is tight, it’s hard to make the splurge on something pricey like a family photographer.

But during the precious years while your children are young, it’s so important to capture those moments and gather everyone together! If you can’t afford to hire someone this year or maybe even just can’t find the right person to take the photos for you, you may have decided to skip or put off doing the yearly family photo. With a little planning and some simple gear, you can take the photo yourself!

Of course, you won’t get the photojournalistic angles and the luxurious editing that comes with a paid photographer. But you can get a great looking frameable photo of your whole family while breaking only a minimal sweat!

Photo Credit: The Art of Making a Baby


  • Tripod – A very simple, inexpensive tripod will work just fine! There are many that will work well for you that can be found for under $25 on Amazon.
  • Self Timer – Learn to work the self timer function on your camera and set it to a 10 second timer. This gives you time to push the button and run to pose for the photo (IF your camera doesn’t have the option to use a remote).
  • Remote – Seek out a wireless remote that is compatible with your camera. These are very inexpensive and worth getting! This saves you from the previous step, which is running to pose.
  • Camera – Use any camera that you own! A point and shoot will work just fine if you do not own an SLR. Make sure your settings are right for the environment by taking some test shots. Turn that flash off!


Coordinate but don’t match.

Choose patterns and colors that work well together but aren’t so bold that they overwhelm. Instead of thinking “we all need to wear blue!” try out shades of dark and light blue with pops of mustard yellow scattered throughout.

To get some ideas, read Family Photo Outfits for Under $200.

Don’t forget the accessories!

They add personality. A flower in the hair for the girls and a little bow tie for the boys make things feel more fun and special!

Photo Credit: The Art of Making a Baby


  • Find a cool wall (brick, wood, painted) as a backdrop.
  • Head to an open area such as a field. Utilize your local landscape!
  • Somewhere personal like a front porch on the steps, or front yard in front of the house.
  • Indoors in front of a fireplace, on the sofa, or standing in front of a wall or curtains for a simple backdrop. Only if there is a lot of natural light. Be sure to pose facing toward the light, so all faces are softly well-lit.

Keep lighting in mind.

The golden hour (one to two hours before sunset) provides beautiful warm light that isn’t harsh like the noon sun. An overcast day is also great for photos because the clouds filter the light so nobody is squinting!

Photo Credit: The Art of Making a Baby


Get inspired

Find inspiration and print a few photos out to take with you for the photo shoot to use as a posing guide.

Be natural

No need to stand stiffly and say “cheese!” for every photo. (it’s OK if the baby isn’t looking, if people are laughing, or two people are looking at each other)

Keep posing

Try a few poses until it feels right. Photographers often take many pictures in order to get “the shot”.

Check out this great Posing Guide for a comprehensive visual list of ideas!


Use a free editing source like picmonkey.com and get familiar with how to use it by reading their Beginner Editing Tips article.

  • Simple editing to brighten and sharpen the photo are all that is needed.
  • Crop in closer if you captured unwanted background due to tripod placement.
  • Try it out in black and white!
For more Do It Yourself ideas, check out our MAKE category!

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Megan V.

Megan is a fashion industry drop-out turned stay-at-home-mom to a baby girl named Luna. Her days are filled with creative endeavors such as embroidery, calligraphy and photography in between changing diapers and nursing sessions. She has a passion for all things handmade, eco-friendly, unique and modern. You can peek more into her life and projects at her blog, Lilac Saloon, and follow her on Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram!

Comments (2)

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    Thanks for this very informative post.I enjoyed reading it. I just goggled to see if i can find a remote for my camera – i see a family portrait in my near future. Thanks!!


    • Avatar

      Megan V.


      You are welcome! Good luck with the family portrait – and have fun with it!


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