As a portrait photographer, you can set yourself apart by being able to capture unique and creative images. With family portraiture, this is especially true. While there are lots of tried and true poses and lighting setups used to snap these family classics, coming up with new ways to shoot them can help you expand your portfolio and attract new clients. Showing a little diversity is a great way to appeal to a broader audience.

Before you book your next family photo shoot, take a look at some of these inspiring portraits. Think about which ones you like, and which you don’t. Try to build upon them to turn them into something unique of your own. Most importantly, shoot them in your style.

1. Bring in the props!

Props can make excellent storytelling tools, plus they are easy to acquire. Ask the family to bring along some of their most cherished family items.

Pregnant/Family Session

2. Leading Lines

Use a leading line when composing your photos to help draw the viewers eye to the subject.

Happy Family

3. Natural Framing

Look for shooting positions where you can utilize the natural framing effect often created by trees and tall grasses.

Family Time

4. Clean, simple background

Don’t give viewers a reason to be distracted, keep the background clean and simple.

Allison Family Portraits

5. Photojournalism Style

Experiment with different styles of shooting and incorporate your own personal style.

Family Portrait

6. Lifestyle Shots

Take snaps that portray the family’s lifestyle as a way to build emotion.


7. Shoot From Unexpected Perspectives

When you have a unique idea, get creative and experiment with it!

family portrait #wirsounterwegs

8. Use Dramatic Lighting

Shoot during golden hours to create drama and mood in a photo.

Ultimate Photography Bundle

Family Sunset

9. Creative Cropping

Frame some of the images in a way that puts focus on a single family member.


10. Capture Authentic Interactions

Interactions make portraits more interesting, capturing natural dialog between family members is a great idea!

family - 0642

11. Take A Step Back & Look At The Big Picture

It’s a tendency to be up close and personal when shooting portraits, but don’t forget to take a step back every once in a while, too.

Family Man

12. Capture Personality

Interact with the subjects. As they warm up to you, they will really start to let their personalities show.

The McKim Family

13. Tell Their Story In A Picture

If your family has an interesting story, capture it in a single frame or two.


14. Use Colors In The Background

Use a shallow depth of field to blur out busy backgrounds and turn them into beautiful, colorful backdrops. Advise your clients to were contrasting clothing to help them stand out.

Family Portraits

15. Share The Love

Capture what families do best, love.

Sanju's Family

16. Don’t Forget The Dog

Man’s best friend is an important part of the family too!

My Childhood Friend

17. Or Candid Moments With The Family Cat

Capture memories, big and small.

Ivy and Sweetiepie

18. Shots Of Just The Siblings

Not all of the shots have to include all the family members, try different combinations.


19. Encourage Silliness

Don’t hold your subjects from having fun, encourage them to get silly and ham it up for the camera.

Landscape Lightroom Presets

Family travel

20. Detail Shots

Quite often, beauty is found in the details. Don’t miss out on capturing these powerful micro moments.

mom & son - 72/365 jours

Do you have a go to shot you like to use on your family photo shoots? Share it with us in the comments below!

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