Family Photography: What you need to know to get amazing pics

What to know to get amazing family photos

(Credit: Ted Dawson Photography)

Family Photography

Have you ever had family photographs taken? We succumbed to this unfortunate rite of passage a few months ago. I mean, it ended up being fine and all. Our photographer (Amy from Visual Hues), was fantastic and we couldn’t have asked for a better day, but getting professional photos taken is awkward! While I liked the composition, I never like the way I look in pictures. My hair was crazy curly, I should’ve bucked up and gotten Botox, and why did I wear that sweater (bought the day before on impulse)? Family photography sure isn’t as easy as it looks. Here’s what you ought to know before your session.

The Family Photo Shoot

Man kissing wife, hugging daughter

(Credit: Amy Brathwaite/VisualHues)

At least we didn’t look like the boobsy twins in jeans and white T’s. I’m not a fan of matchy-matchy, and you know Eve insisted on wearing whatever she pleased. If you’re trying to do it right, however, check out these recommendations for how to coordinate in a way that’s not nauseating.

Man hugging daughter from behind

(Credit: Amy Brathwaite/Visual Hues)

Outdoor vs Indoor Family Photography

If you want outdoor pictures you have to carefully consider which month and time of day to do the shoot – which can be challenging with nap times. Fall is one of the best times of year to get family photography done. The weather is typically stable, the colours are gorgeous and the kids look good with their back to school hair cuts. We had ours taken in early October, so were able to use the snaps for our Christmas cards. Below is the shot we used.

Dog in family photograph

(Credit: Amy Brathwaite/VisualHues)

Naturally, Buddy was the most photogenic of everyone!

girl wearing mom's jacket

(Credit: Amy Brathwaite/VisualHues)

Texture is key. Think nubby sweaters and layers. I love this picture of Eve – not planned, but my navy jacket contrasts nicely against her hair and the golden light.

professional family photo shoot 70s

(Credit: Ted Dawson Photography)

While I’m not a fan of the canned, don’t we look like the perfect family shots, I do love these pics from our session in the 70’s. I desperately want to make fun of my sister’s peach pantsuit, but I’m afraid my pink polyester number doesn’t fare much better.

At the end of the day, getting family photos taken ensures you have appropriate blackmail material for future years. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

Have you ever had professional family photos taken? Do you think it was worth it? Would you do it again?

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About the Author:

I’m a freelance writer with bad hair, a loud mouth and a serious case of wanderlust. Whether it’s luggage, time or just life, I cram as much as possible into small compartments. Warning: Contents may shift during flight. My life is one bumpy ride! Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest.


  1. Shauna 27.01.2014 at 15:20 - Reply

    I love these!!! Visualhues photography is exceptional

    • Jody 28.01.2014 at 14:42 - Reply

      It was your baby shots that inspired me!

  2. Jennifer Conway 27.01.2014 at 15:25 - Reply

    Jody I love this post and absolutely agree that family pics can be the biggest pain in the butt! I admit, I am guilty of trying to do the matchy match stuff and the last picture we had done kind of backfired, so I might let go of my controlling side and let everyone pick their own outfits for the next photo session. P.S. I love the 70s family pictures – made me smile!

    • Jody 28.01.2014 at 14:41 - Reply

      I’m impressed you make the effort to get family photos a regular basis. Well done!

  3. Lori 28.01.2014 at 06:38 - Reply

    Jody – these are amazing! You look fabulous! I know it feels weird now, but in 5 years you’re going to be like, “wow, I looked AMAZING back then! Why am I so bloody old now??” (Repeat every 5 years as needed)

    • Jody 28.01.2014 at 14:40 - Reply

      Thanks, Lori. I hope so…

  4. kim 01.02.2014 at 05:46 - Reply

    We make sure to get a family pic each year around Christmas – both to make sure we have something for the Christmas card, and to make sure there’s a picture of all of us to mark the year. Too often us as parents aren’t in pictures with our kids, and I think it’s important for our kids to have something to look back on and see both how they’ve changed and how we (their parents) have changed.
    Your pics are great! I really love the one you used for your card.

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