There are lots of tips flying around out there on taking good family photos, but I wanted to give you some gems that you might not stumble across as often.
1. Locations, locations, locations (yes, plural)
I’m blessed to live in a neighborhood that has a farm, tons of conservancy land with wildflower fields, tree-lined paths, and some amazing rustic buildings and fences. Not only does the variety of locations bring diversity to the photos, everyone also gets a nice break while walking from place to place.
Instead of telling people to smile, where you get the forced “cheese” grin and no light in the eyes, I tell people to take a deep breath and relax. I would much rather have a “no-smile” photo, than one with strained lips, eyes, and foreheads. After everyone is relaxed, and I get a few great shots that way, I inevitably do something to make a fool of myself (like a goofy dance celebrating the photo we just took), which brings out the real smiles. The camera comes back up to my face just then.
3. Watch out for that crazy sun!
Here’s an example, two hours before sunset, where I was shooting with the sun to my right instead of behind them: