Technology, Tips & Trends

Photographer’s How To: Capture The Family Photo With Ease + Giveaway

This post on family photography tips is brought to you by your fellow photo lovers at Shutterfly. They encourage you to capture your memories and share your amazing pictures the way you want with their New Custom Path photo books.

We had a wonderful time getting to know Los Angeles based photographer Tara Rochelle this weekend and I’ve lost count as to how many compliments we received from our PLUSH photos. She is a true artist.  Tara has a talent for making the colors dance off each and every photo. So while Tara snapped away at our exhibit and dessert display, we wanted to take a moment to showcase her beautiful family work too. And what better way than to get professional photography advice in the process to help us all take smarter family photos! I don’t know about you but I am not the best family photographer and unfortunately in my household, the capturing of moments on film weighs on me. So I gladly welcome experts such as Tara and am pleased to share some of her useful pointers…

Photo Tips For Great Family Photos:

1. Be yourself and let each persons uniqueness shine through. Of course, you’re going to want some pictures of everyone smiling and looking at the camera /photographer but some of the best pictures are the ones where the true personality shines through. Maybe you have one wild & crazy kid that is always giggling, or one that is shy and likes to be a little more serious. That’s okay. Years from now you’ll look back at those truly authentic moments and remember that time in their lives rather than seeing the ever forced “cheese”.

2. Don’t be afraid to dress up the looks with fun clothes and accessories. Bring on the colors and textures!! Add some hats, scarves, groovy boots and mix it up. Would you really all go out to dinner wearing white shirts and khakis? Let each person be themselves and show off their own style. Not only will they look comfortable, they’ll BE comfortable.

3. Find a unique location. We see it everywhere: photos on the beach, photos at the park, etc. Try something a little different this time. Maybe a beautiful field near your home, an old rustic barn, a cool historical building. Look for places with character or out of the ordinary (And make sure you have permission if the area doesn’t belong to you!).

4. Let the photographer do their thing. As parents, we often want to direct or instruct our kids (our husbands) on what to do and how to do it. But when having your family portrait taken, trust in the photographer and let them do their job. They might love the silly face they’re getting from your son or want to show the detail of your little angels pout. If you have to, step away for a little while (but still within sight) and let the photographer interact one on one with your kids. Children often feel as though they need to “perform” while Mom & Dad are around and will behave completely different once they’re away from you for a minute or two.

5. This is a big one…REWARD after the shoot! Don’t bribe everyone before the session has even happened. Don’t tell them “You have to smile or you won’t get this”,  “You have to listen or we’re not going out to lunch” and so forth. Instead, talk about how much fun you’re going to have and how excited you are to be all dressed up for your pictures. Tell the kids about the big playdate you’re going to have with family pictures! You have fun, they have fun and everyone wins.

Now what to do with all your amazing family photos? Sometimes it’s just not in the budget to purchase professional photo books. After all, the money went to the photographer’s time and talent which is well worth it if you ask us. Shutterfly’s convenient new Custom Path photo books however can help you get the customized book you need to best showcase your family photos. It’s fun to do and I love the fact that you can personalize it with creative embellishments to fit your style and story.

GIVEAWAY ALERT! The first 5 readers to comment below on how you plan to capture your family in photos (using Tara’s tips!) win a free 20-page 8×8 photo book with hard cover. Taxes, shipping and handling charge will apply. Offer does not include premium licensed photo books, leather, or padded covers. Good Luck!


  1. 1

    We have a family session coming up in August and I’m letting the photographer do whatever she pleases!

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    I love the tip on not trying to control too much; my best photo sessions have come out of what initially appears to be child meltdown-disaster!

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    I will try to find a different, yet personalized location. I just ran into my senior pictures with the canned locations and outfits – bizarre!

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    I’m going to have all of us pick out our own outfits – no more boring, same color family pics!

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    these tips are great for families! as a photographer myself i try to encourage the families to relax and trust in myself whom they’ve hired. it’s so important to be yourself, if you’re not it’ll come through in your photos

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    I will capture my family at the beach, in comfy clothes, having fun in our natural environment!

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    I love that last family pose. Two small groups slightly separate but yet still connected through touch.

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