How to Take Outdoor Family Portraits

Outdoor Family Photography

So you’re interested in photographing your family, friends or children outside but not sure how to get it right. We’ve put together some quickfire tips on how to get it right. Outdoor family portraits offer a more natural and interesting backdrop to your photos. And more importantly, by bringing everybody together outside, you can turn it into a family event. So next time you’re having a BBQ, picnic, or beach day, bring along a camera and shoot away.

5 tips to taking great outdoor family portraits

  1. Get the location right

    If you are photographing a big group, you need lots of space. So choose a location that can accommodate everyone. If there are kids around, you need to make sure they have space to play or run around in. A more spacious location gives you flexibility when it comes to choosing a backdrop. Ideas for locations include a forest, a beach, a scenic mountain spot, the botanical gardens, or a waterfall. Yes, even a waterfall. Learn how to photograph a waterfall.

  2. Bring entertainment

    This is especially important with young kids. They get bored easily. So if you have children or babies with you, make sure they can be kept busy during setup and between the photographs. For the rest of the family, consider packing some snacks and refreshments. During the shoot, you can wave a toy or shake a bell to keep the young children’s attention on the flash.

  3. Start immediately

    Get the planned photographs out the way from the get-go. Kids have a habit of getting dirty, regardless of the venue. So before they spill food over their shirt, or step in a puddle, take the family photo.

  4. Pack the necessary equipment

    If you want the family to be sitting together, on a grass patch or on the beach sand, you need a large towel or blanket. You should also plan according to the weather. If it’s cold, make sure everyone brings along a jacket or coat. You will need several lenses, spare batteries, and a tripod.

  5. Choose the right camera settings

    The light changes quickly outside, so be mindful of motion blur. This means you need to adjust your ISO. It is important to set your shutter speed to 1/250 seconds or higher when shooting outdoors. If the light is very bright, try using a wide aperture. If you’re comfortable with a camera, you could shoot in RAW format for further editing afterwards.

  6. Be patient and have fun

    Family members may get nervous in front of the lens. And with young kids an babies, they are difficult to control. Just stay calm and make it a fun activity. Get everybody relaxed and together. Be encouraging and don’t worry too much about how professional it looks.

Family posing for photograph
Family posing for photograph

We hope you found these tips useful. Outdoor photography is fun, but shooting family portraits can be challenging. Take the time out to research the location, weather, and the correct camera settings beforehand. But most importantly, enjoy your time with your family.

About the author: Jaden Chan is a professional photographer for Babygraphy, a newborn photography service based in Singapore. He specializes in capturing the intimate moments for families and their child over the different stages of life. You can follow them on Facebook for all the latest updates.

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Blog Comments

Cherishing good moments with family is great, I’m hoping to take more family pictures this 2020. And yes, right on the motion blur, especially with toddlers and young children who are so naughty and can’t stay still for a photo for longer than a few seconds! It will come in handy. That would be the best takeaway I would need to keep in mind the next family outing.

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