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Family Photography. How to Make an Unforgettable Photoshoot: Our 12 Tips.

Updated: Dec 9, 2023


The first step towards great photos is choosing the right professional family photographer at the right moment of your life, in the right place, under favourable circumstances. While modern smartphones or even amateur cameras can take decent photos, an experienced family photographer, with professional advice and specialised photographic equipment, offers far more opportunities to capture the best moments of your family's life in the highest quality and from the most pleasing angles. Understand two simple things: a photo taken by an amateur family photographer with a non-professional camera will, in most cases, leave your expectations as an unfulfilled dream. So why wait? Do everything right away and do it correctly. If your goal is to obtain high-quality and worthy family photos that will delight your eyes and bring pleasant memories throughout your life, achieve it in the only right and shortest way – hire the service of an experienced professional family photographer. Yes, it costs money, as does everything in our life. But what can be more precious than your family? How can you put a price on memories of pleasant moments and joyful times spent with your loved ones?


Isn't it wonderful when you have the opportunity to capture on camera not just family traditions, holiday episodes, significant moments at Christmas or birthdays, but also any other moment of life? A true, unposed, yet beautiful shot from everyday life can sometimes reflect such a deep essence and uniqueness of an individual personality, an entire family, or a particular moment, which is impossible to achieve even through long and purposeful preparation. If you have free time, just hire a professional photographer and go to the park, beach, forest, or for a walk accompanied by his camera. The family photographer, in turn, will do all the magic for you. Many years later, looking at these random photos of your smiling parents, or children playing with a new football or riding bikes, your pregnant wife, or a cheerful, smiling grandfather, friend, or joking sister or brother, will make you smile sincerely. Such ordinary moments of our life create the most natural family photographs. Looking at these memory-filled photos will take you back to happy times and envelop you with pleasant memories of the past.


We usually start shooting early in the morning. But sometimes it's better to shoot in the evening. The time of shooting sometimes depends on the subject of the shooting. It's better to photograph children in the morning — when they are well-rested and have had a good breakfast. Throughout the day, children get tired, start arguing over toys, and the friendly atmosphere can disappear like smoke. Therefore, try to take official or group shots with children at the beginning of the day, so that everyone can relax later, and you get wonderful natural shots without forced smiles for the camera. To have more chances to take good photos, adjust to the children's schedule. As for adults, a photoshoot can be planned for the evening hours, when you are relaxed and have the opportunity to capture the best moment for a photograph, which we, professional photographers, call the golden hour. This is a short period of about 15-30 minutes immediately after dawn and before sunset. If in the morning you may look sleepy or somewhat excited, in the evening you will appear more calm and relaxed. Portraits with posing are best done at the beginning of the day when both adults and children are not so tired, but natural shots can be taken at any moment. In a photo taken in the morning or evening soft light, you, your wife, husband, parents, children, or friends will look more picturesque, natural, romantic, and cozy.

4. THE WHOLE FAMILY SHOULD BE IN THE FRAME If you don't have a professional family photographer with you, there's a situation where one person from your family is always out of the frame — as they have to take the photo. Definitely understand the importance of having all family members in family photographs, as these shots will be significant for you and your parents or children as they grow up. Also, to make a complete family portrait, it's necessary to arrange family members thoughtfully and judiciously, so it corresponds to the importance and logic of the moment, degree of closeness, age, kinship, etc. Children are natural sources of creativity, and we can learn a lot from their unexpected compositions. Involving children in the creative process will make photography fun and organic, and they may come up with great ideas that you never thought of. Besides, you can instill in them an interest in photography, which can become their hobby, which you will enjoy together during their childhood and teenage years. Or they might even turn it into a profession! That's how we became photographers, it's true. Don't be shy to implement your own ideas and creative thoughts, share them with your photographer before the family photoshoot, and if they arise during the shooting, try to bring them to life. Always ask the photographer to realize your idea, even if it comes up unexpectedly. Be bold and frank so you never miss unique opportunities for photographing wonderful moments. You might be surprised, but interesting photographs can be taken during ordinary activities, such as a simple walk in the park or on the beach, a sports game, or even a casual, fun conversation.


The days when cameras were used only for special occasions and holidays are long gone. Today, we can take significantly more everyday shots. Photography has become much more accessible and cheaper, including professional photography. Don't wait for a moment or event. Just hire a photographer and photograph how your family simply has breakfast in a cafe, sunbathes on the beach, or strolls in the park at the end of a long day. Capture the joyful looks of children when they jump into your arms, savor delicious ice cream, are engrossed in an interesting game or a new toy. Catch the loving look of your beloved or the caring maternal expression of your wife. A professional family photographer can remain unnoticed for a long time, using a special lens with a long focal length to capture truly touching and relaxed images worthy not only of a family album but also of the pages of famous magazines. You will be proud of them not only from your own viewing but also from the feedback of your friends, posting the best photos on your social networks.


Surely each of us has our favourite places to visit. Where it's interesting and pleasant for us, where we feel cozy and calm. We are no exception. In our portfolio, we have a whole range of unforgettable and unique places for family photoshoots in the Cairns region. Whether it's a beach, a tropical forest, a cozy park, or some historical or famous place - it's all in our assortment. Family photography in an exotic or famous place only adds a certain flavor and meaning to its content. An ideal portrait is, of course, wonderful, but if elements of the environment get into the frame, the shot can turn out even better. Sometimes an interesting composition can be artificially created even at home, for example, photographing your child in the bedroom with their toys. Or simply make the image more large-scale, creating a vertical shot to emphasize the height of trees in a nearby park or forest where children play or adults walk. To make the shots unique, a professional family photographer will try to creatively approach the surrounding environment, find interesting shapes and shadows, reflections, and framing elements. But realising interesting ideas and approaches is of course more interesting and better in interesting places.


To capture the essence of a person in a photo, it's not necessary to photograph their face. By choosing an unusual angle and a good point of view, you can create a truly interesting image. For example, we can photograph the tiny hand of your child or show in the photo how your little one persistently tries to put shoes on the wrong foot. And how wonderful your beloved will look when we capture the moment when a fresh ocean breeze blows her dress or a strand of hair. We always experiment with camera settings. We use a long exposure to capture movements in the smallest details. We can also depict you in motion, using a blur effect. We work with natural light, which is ideal and most organic for family photography, but if necessary, we use professional lighting equipment or combine artificial and natural lighting. We have also developed our own signature color style, which we offer to our clients under the name "stylised". We also recommend black-and-white images - they seem timeless and, quite possibly, will be interesting to future generations. Black-and-white photography often shows the essence of the event and focuses your attention not on the circumstances but on the idea and importance of the moment.


In our opinion, beauty lies in simplicity, and it's not worth focusing on clothing when the subject of the shooting is a person. Of course, clothing is an important element of family photography and has significant, but not the main importance. As for family photography, the simplicity of clothing should be complemented by its uniformity, i.e., combination or similarity. Avoid branded and fashionable clothing, don't try to replace your personality with a bright brand or colorful colors. Classic or simple, comfortable everyday clothing in subdued dark or light tones suits best. The main thing is that everyone should be dressed in monochromatic clothing, or clothing with a harmoniously combined color scheme. For example, family members can be dressed in light or dark clothing, or monochromatic colored unsaturated with muted tones and natural-colored clothing. Preference should be given to soft and neutral colors: black, gray, white, beige, blue, light green, or pink. A combination of colors and tones is possible, but they must match each other and look harmonious. For example, men dressed in dark, and women in light, or the top light, bottom dark in women and vice versa in men, you can also combine similarly between adults and children. Avoid brightly colored and toned clothing with drawings, patterns, a combination of different colors, etc. Instead, we advise using auxiliary clothing and accessories of the same color and shape, such as ties, scarves, handkerchiefs, bracelets, hats, handbags, umbrellas, etc. Remember one thing: a family photographer pays attention to you, and the most interesting moments of your personality, not your clothing. Otherwise, it would look quite strange if the main and most interesting element of your photograph was not you, but your clothing, which of course has a right to exist, but that's already a different genre of photography, combined with the fashion industry, models, or just clothing or individual items.


Want to see the world differently? Would you like your family photos to be interesting and attract attention? It's simple. Just get down to the eye level of children to see the world from their point of view. During a family photoshoot, we often photograph people from a small height, or even from the level of the floor or lying on the ground. This approach also helps minimise possible clutter in the background and remove from the frame everything that can distract attention. Instead of showing the entire contents of the toy cabinet, chaotically scattered on the floor, strangers, buildings, etc., the background can often be filled with the sky, trees, or walls. And we can also look into the eyes of a child from the height of their gaze to be on the same level, face to face, and feel and see the world through the eyes of a child.


If you have the desire and opportunity, we can print your selected best photographs on unique archival paper in a large size. Such a portrait will be able to preserve colors and the originality of the paint even after 100 years. If desired, we can make your photo not only large but also in a frame, under glass, or without. You can use such a portrait in various ways: fix it on the wall of your home as a daily reminder of pleasant moments and memories; give it to your family members as a keepsake of a meeting or unforgettable moments; keep your favorite print in your home archive for many years, to one day take it out and enjoy the moment of the past.

11. ENJOY THE PROCESS In our practice, we always try to make any of our photo sessions, especially family ones, bring you personal joy. No matter how professional actors or actresses you are, if you are not in a good mood, have a sense of humor, or are worried about something, it will definitely be reflected in your photograph. This is something that cannot be controlled. It's like the beating of your heart or body temperature. Therefore, mood is important. Prepare yourself and others for the family photo session. It's just photography, not a performance on the stage of a professional theater, not filming in a movie, not a performance at a stadium, it's not an exam or something like that to make you tense. Calm down and everything will be fine. Not much is needed for a successful photoshoot: just be yourself, relax, don't worry, smile and behave naturally, don't pose too openly, joke, tell something interesting and funny, be attentive and polite to others. Also, don't force your children to do certain actions. Don't expect too much from them, especially when they are tired, and try to attract them to the shooting process with affection and interest. Play games, sing songs, climb trees. If these are adults, then joke, remember funny and funny moments of your life, smile at each other, behave as if there is no photographer near you.


Remember, photographing your family or just a close person is a process where you can capture pleasant and important moments of your life. Be yourself as you are in everyday life. We hope that our tips will encourage you to use the services of a family photographer more often not only on holidays or some significant events but also at any convenient moment for you, to make memorable shots that will become a priceless treasure for you for many years. You are more than welcome to book your family photo shoot with Shamrock Space Studio.


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