Tyler Mitchell Photography

Freelance Photographer

Ten Best Tips for the Perfect Family Portrait

Ten Best Tips for Perfect Family Portrait Photography

Family Portrait Photography Tips

You can pose for thousands of camera pictures, but nothing compares to the significance of the “king” of all pictures – the family portrait. As a matter of fact, shooting the perfect family portrait can be the most difficult photo session one could ever undergo. It is so difficult to shoot and indeed requires a really meticulous preparation. This goes to show that as the head of the family, you must make sure to prepare each and every one of your family members for this very memorable photo op. Your family portrait opportunities in Brisbane are endless with the option of amazing city scapes or beach backgrounds.

Here are the 10 best tips for the perfect family portrait:

Find the right photographer

Sure, you can just put your camera on a tripod and have everyone in the family pose in front of it; but if you want a professionally taken family portrait, then hiring the right photographer to do the job for you is the best option. As a professional photographer iPortrait Photography Brisbane can masterfully direct your photo session, ensuring a fine quality printout.

In choosing the right photographer, there are several questions you need to ask yourself:

  • How much are you willing to spend for the portrait?
  • Do you want your photo session outdoors or do you prefer to have it in a studio?
  • What is the purpose of wanting to take the family picture?

Once you have considered these factors, you can now browse over the photographers within your area in social media websites, or ask a friend or a relative for a referral.

Family Photographers in Brisbane

Identify your budget

While it may be easy to hire a photographer, like anything else, you have to consider the different quality levels that come with the corresponding professional fees. A few hundred dollars can help you find a great photographer. However, if you opt for a high-end finished portrait, then be ready with at least a thousand dollars. This amount can assure you of a superb photographer who will take great care of you from the start of a phone call to the agreed delivery date of the printed photo.

If you can’t afford this budget range, you may go for lower-priced photographers, but you may as well prepare for the downsides of it because they might be:

  • Inexperienced
  • Still learning
  • Lacking in or have limited knowledge of various poses and the proper application of lighting techniques
  • Offering a limited product range including the print types, sizing, and finishing, among others.

Choose the location of your photo shoot

Now that you already have the kind of photographer you need, the next step is for you to identify where you want to shoot your family photo. Consider what your family likes to do together so you can easily come up with the perfect location. Some concepts you can consider are:

  • Camping
  • While on a boat floating on the lake
  • While dining in a restaurant


Now, if outdoor shoots are not your thing, you can have your photo taken inside your family living room or in the photographer’s studio.

Dress Up

Going to your photo shoot dressed properly according to the theme or location you have chosen must also be taken into consideration. In fact, this is the biggest move you have to prepare everyone for.

Some tips on choosing your wardrobe are:

  • Keep it simple
  • Avoid logos and patterns


Make sure your clothing compliments the foreground, the background, posing, and other visual factors while making sure it never diverts the attention of lookers away from your face.

Family Portraits

Practice your pose

Not everyone is comfortable in front of the camera, so one way to shake off awkwardness is to practice each one’s pose. You can lead your family and practice the following:

  • The right posture
  • The positioning
  • The facial expression required

Show vivid facial expressions

This leads to the sixth tip in coming up with the perfect family portrait, which is showing vivid facial expressions. If the theme and location of your family portrait calls for a happy face, be genuine about it. Some tips to make sure that you display the right facial expressions during the photo session are:

  • Practice various facial expressions in front of a mirror
  • Take a photo of various facial expressions on your cell phone or camera and look at the outcome

Use props

Using props works best when you have younger family members. Some of the props you can use are:

  • Balloons
  • Hats
  • Costumes

Gather your family members

The last stage of preparation for a family portrait is to actually gather everyone so the photographer can easily arrange you. Make sure that:

  • The whole family is complete
  • • Everyone is properly dressed
  • • The props are all in
  • • Everyone is in a happy mood
  • Be ready for the actual portrait session

Now that all the necessary preparation has been completed, your family is 100% ready to pose for the camera. At this point, some things you can do include:

  • Taking a deep breath
  • Trusting in your photographer’s expertise
  • Being comfortable with the lighting
  • Enjoying the moment

Display the family portrait

Your Brisbane photo session went great and it was such an enjoyable and memorable occasion. The photographer has delivered the final output and you are so delighted with the outcome. It indeed is the perfect family portrait! Your next and last assignment is to find the right location in your home to display your family portrait and give each one of your family members a smaller size copy of it for keeps.

How To Take Stunning Facial Portraits

The Best Ten Lessons I Learnt For Great Portrait Photography

Taking portraits can be quite difficult especially when dealing with facial photographs. Technology has made it a bit easier – smartphones now come with a secondary camera. The secondary camera may allow you to see yourself but that is not a guarantee that the portrait will be exactly what you are looking for. This is even harder when you are using a camera. There are several adjustments that you might have to make in order to create the finest of facial photographs.

Here are 10 tips to taking stunning facial portraits of yourself or another individual (if you are the cameraman).

 1. Toy around with eye contact

Eye Contact - Portrait Photography Tips Step One

Eyes can speak volumes. You might be having the biggest smile on your face but the look in your eyes suggests something totally different. One way to create amazing facial portraits is to play around with eye contact. Do not stare blankly at the camera. Have your subject shift their attention to something that is outside the field of view of your camera. This makes the photograph more intriguing as anyone viewing it will wonder what they are looking at. However, this only works if there is some emotion being shown.

Ways to show emotions with eyes:

  • Squint a little bit- if the subject is looking up, encourage them to squint a little bit- not too much as this might bring a sensation of pain
  • Smile with the eyes- not many people are able to smile with the eyes but encourage the subject to try it out
  • The makeup used should work to emphasize the emotion being shown. In other words the makeup should match the mood of the photo.

2. Facial expressions

Facial Expressions - Portrait Photography Tips Step Two

Some people have it hard expressing some facial expressions. Smiling and grinning are two quite different things, just like frowning and crying. In worst case scenarios, the face is totally expressionless. Let the facial expression convey the message that is desired. You should neither overdo the expressions nor should you suppress them too much.

3. Experiment with different light conditions

Light Conditions - Portrait Photography Tips Step Three

Light can help to create an element of randomness. Light emanating from the side of the subject will accentuate the mood of the photo; backlighting and silhouetting your subject can be powerful. Try out different light conditions till you come up with the perfect shot you are looking for.

4. Mix up your framing

Camera Framing - Portrait Photography Tips Step Four

Cameras come with landscape and portrait modes. In portrait mode, the camera is held vertically. However, just because the vertical framing is called ��portrait’ mode, that does not mean you should always have to use it when taking portraits. When doing a shoot, mix up the framing and this will add variety to your portraits.

5. Hold camera at an angle

Camera Angles - Portrait Photography Tips Step Five

Horizontal and vertical frames will become boring if you used them too much. Shooting images straight is important in portraits but holding the camera at a more diagonal angle will add some fun into your images. Hold the camera at an angle, not slightly but deliberately. When done slightly, it comes off as more of a mistake than a framing style.

6. Try out wide angle shots more often

Wide Angle - Camera Angles - Portrait Photography Tips Step Six

In portrait photography, some slight distortion might just be good for the image. This can be created using wide focal lengths. Use of a wide angle lens on your camera will enlarge parts of the face that are on the edge of the frame. In most cases this is a case of distortion but there are a few events when taking a wide angle shot will enhance proportionality.

7. Take candid shots

Happy Candid Photography - Portrait Photography Tips Step Seven

This is just another way of saying- take natural photographs. Posed photographs can be very unexciting and there are people who simply cannot look nice in a posed environment. To take stunning portraits of your subject, target them while at work or doing something that they love.

There are several instances why candid shots are the best:

  • Posing can be unnerving
  • Some people try to copy what they saw in a fashion magazine- trying to become another person
  • The subject does not have to know you are taking the picture, you can do a paparazzi shot
  • Works for all sorts of subjects including toddlers

 8. Focus on a particular aspect of the face

Facial Focus - Portrait Photography Tips Step Eight

There are so many aspects you can focus upon when taking a facial portrait. It is highly recommended that you focus of the best aspect of the face. This will serve to neutralize any flaws that may be in existence.

9. Take multiple shots

Multiple Shots - Portrait Photography Tips Step Nine

This is the best way to get a stunning shot. You will have multiple photographs to choose from. It is an awesome way to capture a nice portrait of a child or any other subject changing position in quick succession.

10. Add a prop or two

Using Props - Portrait Photography Tips Step Ten

Actually you should only go for one prop. This will help enhance the photograph by creating another point of interest in the photo. When you introduce a prop you run the risk of shifting all attention away from the subject. However, this will only happen if it does not serve to emphasize the photo.

Bottom Line

Generally, taking a portrait – whether self or of another individual – is really difficult. There are so many factors at play and you have to find the perfect combination. Taking heed to the above listed tips will make this task much easier for you.

Photo Credits – I would like to thank the following contributors for various photo’s in this post:

– You Beauty
– Nikon Nights
– STVP Stanford University
– Elements of Cinema
– Digital Camera World