5 Family Portrait Photography Tips

Compose creatively

Look for creative ways to pose the people in your group. Try to keep everyone's eyes from being at the same height and create a sense of depth by placing some family members in front of or behind others. Be creative -- have the smallest person in the family stand on a stack of books behind the tallest; try putting one person in a chair. Or you could place the tallest person in the middle to form a triangle effect. The trick is to create visual interest and avoid the appearance of a line-up. Remember the rule of thirds and place points of interest in the imaginary lines along the top third and the bottom third of the frame.

Whatever position you choose, ask everyone to come closer together or put their arms around one another or touch whenever possible. As a photographer, you can make a photo feel more intimate simply by zooming in tighter on your subject's faces.

Add personality and pizzazz to your photos by changing your perspective: Get below your subjects and shoot up at them, or climb up on a ladder and shoot down. Remember, composition makes the difference between an ordinary photo and an extraordinary one.

Related Articles


  • Bavister, Steve; Frost, Lee; Lawton, Rod; Czarnecki. The New Photography Manual. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. 2007.
  • General-imaging.com. "10 Simple Tips for Taking the Perfect Shot." (Accessed Dec. 20, 2010)http://www.general-imaging.com/us/photo-tips.aspx?id=509
  • PopPhoto.com. "How-to: Take Great Family Photos." (Accessed Dec. 20, 2010)http://www.popphoto.com/content/how-take-great-family-photos?pnid=61013.
  • Revell, Jeff. Nikon D5000: From Snapshots to Great Shots. California: Peachpit Press. 2010.


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