A Fine Art Portrait Photography Studio

A Fine Art Portrait Studio
Houston, TX

Tips for Taking Better Extended Family Portraits

November 26, 2021


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I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! I know I had a fantastic time baking pies with my girls and mom and enjoying good food with the whole family. The holidays are often one of the only times people get together with extended family, which makes it the perfect time to get some pics! However, as anyone who’s tried to wrangle a large group for photos knows, it’s not always the easiest thing to do. If you’re wanting to snap a few last-minute family group shots, I’ve got a few tips for taking better extended family portraits!

Tips for Taking Better Extended Family Portraits:

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Lighting for Better Photos

Any professional photographer will tell you–it’s all about light! Make sure the area you’re taking pictures in is as well lit as possible. If shooting outdoors, early morning and late afternoon/early evening sun tend to be the easiest to work with. You don’t want glaring bright light since you’ll either have to face people into it (making them squint) or away from it (which can obscure their faces.) If shooting indoors, see if you can find a window nearby that will let in some natural light.

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Posing Extended Family

There are lots of options when it comes to posing. If you’re grouping in rows, make sure to do no more than three people deep so you can keep everyone in focus. Other ideas include:

Mix up heights to add visual interest.

Tell everybody to make sure they’re touching the person next to them. Yes, you may have some family members who are reluctant, but it will give your shots a much more cozy and connected vibe.

Encourage adults or older siblings/cousins to hold or cuddle younger kiddos. This can often keep everyone more engaged.

Tips for Taking Better Extended Family Portraits

Candid Portraits

Don’t worry if not everyone is looking directly at the camera–just keep shooting! Kids will sometimes look at their parents or each other, and that’s totally fine. As long as they’re interacting with either each other or the camera, you’ll get some fun pictures. You can also take pictures while your family is getting set up or dispersing once you’ve told them photos are done–you may get some more fun and relaxed photos this way.

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Shooting Extended Family Portraits

For large group shots, a good rule of thumb is to focus on the person in the middle. An even better rule? Take way more pictures than you think you need! Odds are that someone will be blinking or making a silly face at some point, so the more photos you have, the greater your chances of getting a good shot.

And of course, one of the top tips for taking better extended family portraits is to have fun with it! It’s about the memories, after all, so don’t stress. Just enjoy the moments!


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