Tips For Taking Beautiful Outdoor Family Photos

Are you ready to take your family photos to the next level? Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or just wishing to take some memorable photos of your own family, capturing them outdoors can be a challenge.

Tips For Taking Beautiful Outdoor Family Photos

But with a little planning and some helpful tips, you can create stunning images that you’ll treasure for years to come.

At some point, we’ve all experienced the frustration of trying to get the perfect family photo. Maybe the lighting was off, or the kids were fidgety, or everyone was blinking at the wrong time.

But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll share our favorite tips and techniques for taking gorgeous outdoor family photos (see also: Simple Family Photo Poses And Tips For The Photographer)that you’ll be proud to display.

From choosing the right location and coordinating outfits to posing your family and editing your shots, we’ll cover all the bases.

We’ll also discuss equipment and gear, as well as displaying and sharing your photos. So, grab your camera and let’s get started!

Posing Your Family For Pictures

Planning your outdoor family photo shoot can be both exciting and overwhelming.

There are so many things to consider, from choosing the perfect location to coordinating everyone’s outfits.

However, with a little preparation, you can make the most of your time outdoors and capture some amazing family memories.

Here are some tips to help you plan your photo shoot:

Choosing The Right Location

The first step in planning your outdoor family photo shoot is choosing the right location.

Consider what type of scenery you’re looking for: do you want a beach, a forest, a park, or a cityscape? Think about what would be meaningful to your family and choose accordingly.

Perhaps a place you’ve visited before or a location that has sentimental value? Either way, keep in mind the time of year and weather conditions, as some locations may be better suited for certain seasons.

Deciding On The Best Time Of Day

Of course, the time of day you choose to take your family photos can greatly impact the outcome of your shoot.

The best times of day for outdoor photography are typically early morning or late afternoon, when the light is soft and warm.

Moreover, you should avoid taking photos in the middle of the day when the sun is high in the sky, as this can create harsh shadows and bright spots.

Coordinating Outfits And Props

Coordinating your family’s outfits and props can add an extra touch of creativity and personality to your photos, so you can choose colors and styles that complement each other, but don’t match too closely.

Consider bringing along props that are meaningful to your family, such as a blanket, a favorite book, or a musical instrument.

Preparing For Inclement Weather

No matter how much you plan, there’s always a chance that the weather won’t cooperate on the day of your shoot.

Make sure you have a backup plan in case of rain or other inclement weather but be prepared to reschedule your shoot or take photos indoors or under cover too.

And, to avoid preparing for nothing, check the forecast ahead of time and bring along appropriate clothing and gear, such as umbrellas or rain jackets.

Lighting Techniques For Outdoor Photography

Tips For Taking Beautiful Outdoor Family Photos

It doesn’t take an expert photographer to know that lighting is one of the most important aspects of outdoor family photography.

Indeed, the right lighting can make your photos look stunning, while poor lighting can make them appear dull and lifeless.

That is why we have some tips and techniques for using lighting to your advantage in outdoor family photography:

Utilizing Natural Light

One of the best lighting sources for outdoor photography is natural light as during the early morning and late afternoon, the sun is lower in the sky and produces soft, warm light that is ideal for portraits.

So, you should look for open shade or position your subjects with their backs to the sun to create a beautiful backlight effect.

You can also experiment with the direction of the light by having your subjects face toward or away from the sun.

Incorporating Flash And Reflectors

While natural light is often preferred for outdoor photography, sometimes it’s necessary to supplement with additional lighting.

If the light is too harsh or your subjects are in shadow, you should think about using a flash to fill in the light.

You could also use a reflector to bounce light onto your subjects and soften shadows, and don’t be afraid to experiment with the placement and strength of your flash and reflector to achieve the desired effect!

Shooting During The Golden Hour

The golden hour, or the hour just before sunset and after sunrise, is often considered the best time for outdoor photography.

That is because the light during this time is soft, warm, and golden, creating a magical and dreamy effect, so make sure to plan your shoot around this time, if possible, as it can make a huge difference in the quality of your photos.

Avoiding Harsh Shadows And Bright Spots

Finally, one of the challenges of outdoor photography is dealing with harsh shadows and bright spots caused by the sun.

To avoid this, try to position your subjects in open shade or use a diffuser to soften the light. If you must shoot in bright sunlight, consider using a polarizing filter to reduce glare and reflections.

By using these lighting techniques, you can create stunning outdoor family photos that capture the beauty and warmth of natural light(see also: How To Pose Your Family For Natural Looking Photos).

And, like we said, don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things; you never know what kind of amazing photos you might end up with!

How To Capture Candid Moments

Tips For Taking Beautiful Outdoor Family Photos

While posed photos are important, candid shots can really capture the essence of your family’s dynamic and relationships, so here are some tips and techniques for capturing such moments during your outdoor family (see also: Tips For Capturing Authentic Family Moments)photo shoot:

Encourage Natural Interactions

One of the best ways to capture candid moments is to encourage your family to interact with each other naturally.

This can be anything from playing games, telling jokes, or simply engaging in conversation. Try to capture these moments as they happen, rather than staging them.

Use A Long Lens

Using a long lens can help you capture candid moments from a distance, without disrupting the moment or drawing attention to yourself.

This is especially useful for capturing children playing or running around, as you can keep a safe distance while still getting a great shot.

Be Patient And Observant

Capturing candid moments takes patience and observation, so you’ll need to be constantly watching and waiting for those spontaneous moments to happen.

It can also be helpful to take multiple shots in quick succession, as the perfect moment might happen in the blink of an eye.

Experiment With Perspective

Changing up your perspective can also help you capture candid moments, so try shooting from different angles and heights to add variety and interest to your photos.

You can also experiment with different lenses, such as a wide-angle lens for a more immersive feel or a macro lens for close-up shots.

Embrace Imperfection

Remember that candid moments are not always perfect; in fact, imperfection is often what makes them so special.

That is why you should let loose and not be afraid to capture moments that may seem messy or chaotic, as they can often tell a story and evoke emotion!

Tips For Photographing Children Outdoors

Tips For Taking Beautiful Outdoor Family Photos

Photographing children outdoors can be both fun and challenging as they are full of energy and can be difficult to capture in a still frame.

However, with the right tips and techniques, you can create beautiful and memorable photos, so here are some of our suggestions to achieve that:

Choose A Safe Location

When photographing children outdoors, safety should always be your top priority.

Choose a location that is safe and free from potential hazards. Be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your children at all times.

Let Children Be Children

One of the best things about photographing children is their natural energy and curiosity, so let them be themselves and capture their unique personalities.

Encourage them to play and explore, and be ready to capture those candid moments.

Use Fast Shutter Speeds

Children are constantly in motion, so using a fast shutter speed is essential for capturing sharp, clear images.

We recommend using shutter speed of 1/500 or higher, which is ideal for photographing active children outdoors.

Engage Them In Conversation

Engaging children in conversation can help them relax and feel more comfortable in front of the camera. Ask them questions, tell jokes, or play games to help them feel at ease.

Be Prepared

When photographing children outdoors, it’s important to be prepared for anything.

So, when we say ‘be prepared’ we mean you need to pack wisely and bring extra batteries, memory cards, and any other equipment you might need, for which we’ll talk about in a bit.

You may also want to bring props or toys to help keep children engaged and focused, so plan ahead to make your job easier!

Experiment With Angles And Perspectives

Experimenting with different angles and perspectives can add variety and interest to your photos. Get down on the ground and shoot from their eye level or try shooting from above for a different perspective.

Have Fun

Most importantly, have fun!

Photographing children outdoors can be a joyous and playful experience so, once again, remember to let loose and have fun with your subjects.

After all, the more relaxed and comfortable they feel, the more authentic and natural your photos will be!

Equipment And Gear For Outdoor Family Photography

Tips For Taking Beautiful Outdoor Family Photos

Surely, having the right equipment and gear can make a big difference in the quality of your outdoor family photos, and even though you don’t need the most expensive gear, having a few key pieces can help you capture beautiful and professional-looking photos.

So, here is our input:

Camera And Lenses

Having a good quality camera and lenses is important for capturing high-quality photos and a DSLR or mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses will give you the most flexibility and control over your photos.

In addition to that, we would also suggest you look for a mid-range zoom lens (such as a 24-70mm) and a telephoto lens (such as a 70-200mm) as those really are great options for outdoor family photography.


A good tripod will help you keep your camera steady and reduce camera shake, but it can also help you compose your shots more precisely or enable you to take longer exposures without blur.

Lighting Equipment

While natural light is ideal for outdoor photography, having some lighting equipment can be helpful in certain situations.

Therefore, you should get a portable flash or speedlight to help you fill in shadows and add light to your subjects and a reflector for bouncing light and filling in shadows.

Camera Bag

Having a good quality camera bag will keep your gear organized, protected, and easily accessible, so try to get a bag that is comfortable to wear and has compartments for your camera, lenses, and other accessories.

Extra Batteries And Memory Cards

As we have already mentioned, having extra batteries and memory cards is always a good idea when shooting outdoors, so bring enough to last the duration of your shoot and consider bringing a battery charger as well.

Weather Protection

When shooting outdoors, you’ll want to protect your camera and gear from the elements. Consider bringing a rain cover for your camera, and a waterproof bag to protect your gear in case of unexpected rain.

The Bottom Line

Family photos are more than just pictures; they’re memories that last a lifetime and allow us to relive special moments with the ones we cherish most.

By taking the time to plan, choosing the right location and time of day, and using lighting and posing techniques, you can capture images that will be treasured for years to come.

So, get everything ready, and don’t forget to have fun and let your family’s unique personalities shine through!

Laura McNeill
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