Photographing Your Family’s Favorite Activities

One of the best ways to capture your family at their happiest is photographing their favorite activities. When the people (or person) in the shot are doing something they love the most, it allows photographers to capture the fun in real time.

It also helps to make the images as personal and as natural as possible, without the need for posing. 

Photographing Your Family’s Favorite Activities

Not only is photographing your family’s favorite activities good for the final images, but this photography method also helps to keep children distracted.

Kids are so easily distracted by what’s around them, their family members, and even the photographer. So, getting them to concentrate on something they enjoy helps to reduce the risk of distraction or nerves. 

Whether your family loves splashing in the sea, playing soccer, or beating each other at a game of chess, it’s important to capture these happy moments. Here is our guide on photographing your family’s favorite activities. 

Keep Your Camera Close 

The key to photographing your family’s favorite activities is to always bring a camera with you wherever you go. You never know when the perfect time for a photograph will come, and the last thing you want is to ruin the perfect photo op with a smartphone.

Sure, smartphones can take decent pictures, but cameras capture these moments in a far higher quality. So, make sure to bring a good camera with you wherever you go, just in case the perfect opportunity comes up. 

Work Around Their Schedule 

Whether you’re a hired photographer or if you want to photograph your own family’s(see also: The Benefits Of Hiring A Professional Family Photographer) favorite activities, make sure to work around the schedule of those involved. This includes taking the parent’s jobs into consideration, as well as the kid’s attention span. 

When photographing children, it’s always best to start early. Kids are likely to be at their most active and enthusiastic in the mornings, before their tiredness kicks in and tantrums start to arise.

It’s also good for them, because it means they get to do their favorite activities at the beginning of the day. 

Working with families in the morning is also good for capturing the natural morning light. If the weather is on your side, this will allow for beautiful lighting that cannot be achieved with artificial light. 

Alternatively, you can try to time a photoshoot in the evening after the kids have had a well-timed nap.

The beauty of photographing a family while they are doing their favorite activity is that it generally puts them in a good mood, so you don’t have to worry too much about kids throwing a tantrum. 

Get Everyone Involved 

Photography is accessible for everyone, even kids! So, unless you have hired a photographer for a session, let everyone have a go with the camera. Swapping the camera around means that there will be photographs of everybody. 

Don’t forget to bring a tripod with you to take photographs of everyone, including the designated photographer. Alternatively, simply leave the camera on a self-timer and place it on an elevated surface or makeshift tripod. 

It’s also good to get the kids involved in photography to get them interested in taking photos from a young age. Kids are naturally creative, so they’re likely to capture images at angles and compositions that we wouldn’t think of.

This might also help to spark a new hobby for them, which will only work to bond you as a family. 

Photograph Special Occasions

It’s common knowledge that families tend to be at their happiest when it’s a special occasion. Whether it’s a birthday, Christmas, Eid, or another festive occasion, capturing these moments will make for some beautiful memories in the future. 

During these special occasions, encourage your family to take part in what they love doing – such as playing a board game, a new video game, or even just running around the backyard.

You can also encourage kids to play with new toys, such as riding a new bike or playing with a new doll. 

Photograph Everyday Activities 

On the complete flipside, don’t just limit yourself to photographing special occasions. Families find joy in most everyday activities, such as baking a cake together or snuggling on the sofa watching a movie.

Sometimes, beauty is in the mundane, which is especially true for making a collection of photographed memories of your family. 

This is also the best way to get the most natural photographs. If families are expecting a photoshoot on a special occasion, they’re more likely to be posed and prepared for the photograph. 

But there’s something about capturing the raw innocence of a good belly laugh, creased eyes from smiling, and cake batter all over the kid’s hands. You don’t get more natural than that! 

Tell A Story Through Locations

Photography is all about capturing a moment to tell a story. One of the best ways to tell a story through photography is using the location to your advantage.

Portrait shots are lovely, but there’s something about a wider shot that captures a family at their most natural. 

So, use the environment to your advantage. This can include taking photos of the kids in their bedrooms while they play with their toys, or climbing trees in the backyard, or making use of the long horizon on a beach as your family splashes in the water. 

Not only will this help to tell a story, but using realistic locations will advance your photography skills. Objects in your immediate surroundings will encourage you to use shapes and shadows in creative ways.

Why not climb the tree that your kids love, and take a photograph of them from above? 

Use Natural Light 

Natural light is arguably the best light source if you ask any professional photographer. So, use natural light to your advantage when photographing your family!

The natural light source can include morning sun, an evening sunset, open shade, long shadows, and more. Using these light sources will encourage you to think more creatively with your photography. 

This also means that the type of camera you use will work differently according to the light source. So, make sure to work with your camera to understand what it photographs best in. 

Try Different Levels 

One of the best ways to photograph children is to get down to their eye level. As adults, we forget what it’s like to see the big world from a shorter point of view.

So, bring the camera down with you and capture the world from their perspective. This will be wonderful for helping them to remember memories in the future. 

Not only this, but experimenting with different levels is good for minimizing background clutter or anything that will distract the shot.

Sometimes, it’s not about towering trees and an expansive blue sky – it’s about the beauty in the mundane, even if it’s just a child delighting in a toy box (see also “Capturing Your Child’s Personality Through Photos“). 

Make It Fun 

Above all else, the key to family photography is to just have fun. That’s why it’s so much fun to take photographs of your family while you’re enjoying your favorite activities.

It shouldn’t feel like an organized photoshoot – instead, it’s about capturing moments of happiness that will remain with you forever. 

You’ve also got to keep in mind that kids are easily distracted, and some will even be shy around a camera. This shyness can come across as an unwillingness to participate in the photographs, or they simply won’t take it seriously. 

So, play around with the kids to encourage them to cooperate! You can try singing with them, playing with them and their toys, climbing a tree with them, and pulling silly faces. 

Of course, kids are unpredictable, and there’s a chance that they simply won’t be in the mood for a photography session. Don’t keep your expectations too high, and simply allow them to be children.

There will always be another opportunity for photographs! 


So, there you have it! One of the best ways to capture a family is to photograph them doing their favorite activities.

The key is to keep the photography as natural as possible, and try not to create a strict set of poses or lighting. Play with what you’ve got, get creative, and allow your family to have fun. 

Frequently Asked Question

What Can Children Learn From Looking At Family Photographs? 

Family photographs are essential for children. As adults, we know how fleeting our childhood memories are, and a lot of the time these memories are influenced by photographic evidence.

One day, your kids will look back at these photographs with fond memories, and elicit a feeling of nostalgia. 

Not only this, but taking photographs of your kids and family will help kids to develop a sense of self-awareness and awareness of how other people appear.

It’s less about being aware of their appearance, and more about awareness of their surroundings, how effective a smile can be, and aware of the love they have around them. 

Plus, family photographs are the best way to document growth and development. One day, your kids will look back and see how far they’ve come. 

Laura McNeill
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