Mooresville Family Photographer | How to Take Great Family Photos

So your finally set a time to take your family to the beach, mountains, ski trip, or whatever is on your dream list for your family vacation!! Congrats!! You deserve a huge gold star for getting your family away from the hustle and bustle of life to focus on your tribe and reconnect as a family unit!  

Kids at the beach

As you start to pack and gather all the items you need to pack you come across that great camera you bought a few years! You had such great intentions about taking this great photos of your family and kids but later realized that its just hard to pass up the iPhone when it comes to taking photos. Lets be honest your phone is always with you and so easy to share any photos you take with family, friends, and social media.

So back to the camera, you pause and wonder if you should bother packing it and if you will go through the effort to actually use it. Sound familiar? Most likely you leave it at home because that huge beach hat is way more important than a camera. It is much more important to look fabulous in photos than to have a fancy camera! 

cherry trees in bloom

So now that you are packed and have the necessities and know you will look too good not to have photos of you and your family, you wonder how some people get such great photos on their phones. Or your one of those people that occasionally take that AMAZING photo on your phone that you want to make 50 prints of an send out as a Christmas card in June! If only you knew how to do that on a regular bases. The following list will tell you how to do just that. 

5 Tips to Take Better Family Photo

  1. What to wear at your next photo session? The days of everyone wearing the same color shirt is here no more! The best thing is to make the colors compliment each other and limit 1-2 people to patterns on their clothes, have everyone else in a solid. Also, a pop of color in a small child's outfit or a scarf is always a great touch. 

  2. How to pick the best light for your family photos? If possible find full shade! (not broken up by branches and leaves) Your best bet is to take photos in the early/mid morning or a few hours before sunset. The sun is lower which creates more options for shade. Watch for the lines your shadow makes, and make sure everyone is in the shade. You don't want to put your kids next to a tree where your son is in the shade and your daughter is not.

  3. How to deal with a bright sunny day? I know it sounds crazy that a bright, clear blue, full sunny day is not the best time to take photos! It is not that those day are not wonderful, it is just not always going to transfer to amazing photos! So what do you do if #2 is not an option? I know it is not always easy to find great shaded spots, especially when your out on an adventure with your family. So this next tip is if you have to be out in the sun, make sure the sun is at the back of your subjects. The reason for this is not many people like photos of themselves squinting and the sun can cause bright white spots on your skin. There is a risk of getting a sun flare across your lens, but just holding your hand out like a shade over your camera should take care of that! 

  4. How to find the best location to take your photos? When deciding on where to stand, keep it simple. Those pictures at the beach are always nice because the focus is on the family, there is nothing crazy distracting going on in the background. You would be surprised how great a white wall looks as a backdrop! 

  5. How to look more flattering in your photos? Always take the photos from a hight that is slightly above your clients eye level. And for those that are vertical challenged, try and make sure you are at least at eye level. This creates a great sliming effect. There are times to get “artsy” and take from different angles but this is a good rule of thumb for everyday photos. 

The littlest one in her easter bonnet

Best of luck, I hope these tips help you and your family take amazing photos this summer! Please don't be a stranger, share your favorite photos from your family vacations with these 5 tips in action!!


Katy Short is a family photographer but does any and all things from engagements, to weddings, to newborns and family portraits with young and grown kids. She loves God, her Mr. Fix-it husband, three daughters, anything with chocolate. She is grew up in southern Louisiana but loves that she gets to call Mooresville, NC home and she secretly hopes to be able to move back so her daughter’s can experience all the unique things that make Louisiana special.