The annual family photo shoot, an event that many family members dread while others get excited about. Many families today are moving away from the more traditional at a studio, stuffier setting. Instead, they are opting to get outside, or use their home, or other creative places to immortalize the family and implement their own Family Pictures Ideas.

Family picture sessions have evolved greatly over the last several years, with families and photographers getting more creative and innovative. Families are stretching the boundaries of their imaginations, and it’s paying off. We are seeing less traditional Christmas cards with all too familiar and boring posing – and more images of families doing, well, familial things.

Being together, laughing, playing has become more of the norm in family photography. And it is refreshing. Here are some great tips for family picture ideas that are a little more outside the box – or the studio in this case.

The Outfit Makes the Family – What to Wear

Almost gone are the days that mom is insisting everyone in the picture is wearing their Sunday best. Dressing dapper isn’t gone completely but is definitely changing. So, what do you wear to make your family really stand out?

  • Matching outfits and colors – Giving a mix of classic and modern, wearing outfits that complement one another exudes a sense of togetherness. Some popular looks are:
    • white button-down shirts and blue jeans – sometimes sans shoes. This is a pretty great beach look.
    • Matching tops in color – Pick a specific color that you feel suits your family best, and let everyone choose a top that is that color, maybe with different styles. The similar color helps keeps the eye on the prize – the family!
  • Mixing colors with a similar style – Let everyone wear a different color but with the same style. Everyone’s individuality can shine with their favorite hue, while still bringing in the togetherness feeling.
  • Anything goes – If the family is really all about individuality, let everyone choose their look on their own. Sometimes, with tweens and teens, this is a great option to get them a tiny bit more excited for the family pictures.
  • Fancy and fun – Let everyone imagine they are going to a special soiree and go super dapper. Letting imaginations run wild, this is a great one for mostly adult shoots, maybe with a little little – who doesn’t love a baby in a bow tie?
  • Theme it up – Does the family have a favorite series in pop culture: Marvel or DC, Star Wars, or Harry Potter? It’s fun to do a session where everyone gets to feel like they can portray some of their favorite characters – even the grown-ups!

Location, Location, Location – Where to Shoot the Perfect Family Pictures

Studios are a great controlled environment. However, your typical studio setting is also clinical, dull, and no fun for children (who, let’s face it, are the stars of every family photo). Keeping this in mind, maybe getting out of the studio and taking your shoot to the streets, the beach, the woods, or the family home can make the subjects more relaxed and the pictures look even better.

  • The Great Outdoors – One of the very best parts of shooting outside is the beauty of natural light. Capturing sweet moments with a family on a nice day – not too much sun and no rain – makes the photographer’s job a million times easier. Plus, you can go anywhere – places carry significance for families, so pick a place outside that means something to them.
    • The beach provides fun in the sun, awesome water shots, and sweet breezes.
    • A meadow or field of flowers provides a backdrop that can never be recreated in the studio.
    • Urban streets are just cool. Buildings with cool and unique architecture or painted murals on walls are great spots.
  • In the cozy of the family home – Picture a gorgeous Christmas tree, a sweet family decked out in their ugly sweaters or their matching jammies, steaming cups of hot cocoa. These are the kind of images people love to see of the families they love the most: natural, comfortable, candid.
    • A large family home often works well if there is a large family. The home setting is less invasive in public spaces and items like stairs can be utilized beautifully.
    • Holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions often are great to shoot at home, as the photographer can control the environment a little better.

Strike a Pose – Posing for Families Today

One of the best things that have come out of stepping away from the studio and into real life is throwing out stiff posing guides. While posing is still important, it’s also evolved and there are some great ideas to play with today.

  • Shadow play – If you are shooting on a sunny day, make some magic with the family’s shadows on the ground. These can make for some cool black and white pictures.
  • Split ’em up – Of course, full family pictures is the important element, equally important is showing the different love family members have for each other.
    • Sibling/friends – Have siblings do something fun together and let these shots be candid. If they are adults, have them act like kids again.
    • Parents started it all – Parents giving each other a significant look, snuggle or smooch while the kids are looking directly at the camera, looking grossed out, or covering each other’s eyes makes for a fun and sweet photo. Don’t forget to take pictures of the parents themselves, sharing beautiful moments of bonding – these images will be so important to the families as the kids grow and leave the nest.
  • Candid and close – Capture the moments that will be most meaningful to the family as it grows: the laughs, the looks that only they understand. Get the family hugging it out, and sharing those moments of intimacy. Looking at each other in the eye is vastly more important than looking directly into the camera, fake smiles plastered to their faces.
Volker Rastel

About the author: Hey, I'm Volker from pictrabox! An enthusiastic photographer, traveller and blogger. I would like to support you to take, edit and manage unique photos. I also report about my travels and the most unique places in the world.