How to make family photos fun

July 9, 2020

I get it. Sometimes family photos don’t bring up the best memories for us, especially if the words conjure feelings of awkwardly resting your hand on dad’s shoulder, lifting your chin and holding just so until a giant flash nearly blinds you. I consider it my career mission to eradicate the fear of family photos, and instead, teach people how to make family photos fun.

  1. Go with your gut. There are so many great photographers available, and we all offer you something unique. Do a ton of research and find the right photographer for you–the one that makes you FEEL something when you look at their portfolio. That feeling is the first sign that you will love your family photos.
  2. Save time and money. If your memories are important to you, consider your photography session as an investment rather than something you have to do. Budgeting for the session means you’ll be more likely to get the photographer you really connect with, and be happier with the photos… rather than settling for someone based on price and then later, wishing you’d booked the one you really wanted.
  3. Brainstorm some ideas. For me, family photos are less about the photo and more about the family. I approach family photos as a collaboration. This means we will talk about what your family likes to do together–whether that’s on a special day or a regular day–and then we will do whatever is meaningful to your family. If I photograph you doing the things your family remembers doing together, your photo session ends up being a memorable day when you enjoyed being yourselves and a photographer was there.
  4. Make some memories. Once we’ve talked about what activities or locations are meaningful for your family, you can trust that your family photographs will be a good fit for you. No more lamenting having to hold still, or wearing matching outfits. Just you and the people you love, being yourselves.

That’s how you make family photos fun. I’ve included an example of just how fun family photos can be. This is the Smith Family Field Day. I’ve photographed the Smiths on two occasions… once for family, another for their daughter’s wedding. When they asked me to photograph their family again, I knew we could push the envelope a little… they’re not scared to get a little boisterous.

So we devised the Smith Family Field Day, and nary a frown was had. I hope they’ll get to look back at their family photos and remember the great day they had together, that time a photographer happened to tag along with a few ideas up her sleeve. Dave and Lynn and Mark and Tara and Sophie and Addi and Carla and Nadia and Brian and Jessica, thank you for trusting this process. I hope your face hurts when you watch this.

Contact me here to learn more about my family photography sessions.