How to be a Great Family Photographer


It’s wonderful to share your pics! Adding a photo makes your invitations, gifts or T-shirts that much more personal. Except for when a photo has a few flaws. Like, oh man, red eyes! Or the fact that your aunt always smiles so awkwardly in the photos.

To help you take the best possible photos, here are some tips:

- Reduce Red Eye.
Most cameras have a function that prevents red eye. Check your manual and don’t forget to use it!

- Think Happy Thoughts.
The best piece of advice I’ve heard about loved ones who smile strangely in photos (which they never do otherwise!) is to suggest that they imagine they are smiling at someone they love as the photo is taken. Hopefully this simple trick will relax the person, and their smile will warm up.

- You’ve got a Photo of the Family – and the Neighborhood, too!
This one has an easy solution:  zoom in. A good photo can be just from the waist up, or head and shoulders  – and that means the faces of your loved ones will be center-stage. 

And if you haven’t done that, well, when you load your photos to your Vistaprint product, you can always crop the photo (a window that says “crop and rotate” will automatically pop up).

- Stand to Attention.
People often “lean in” for a pic – it’s cute when intentional (like the image below), but usually it looks awkward.  Or, if someone thinks that because they are taller than everyone else, they need to bend their knees, and that has the same results. If you spot someone doing that, take a moment to ask everyone to stand up straight and reassure them that you will make sure no one has a chopped off head. 


Other quick tips:
- Try not to cut off any appendages half way. Get either all or none of fingers, hands, and feet.

- Check that there are no strange intruders, like random branches, wires or other things in the photo.

- Don’t let the horizon line (if you can see it) be in the center of the picture. Most images look more interesting and dynamic when things are not perfectly balanced.

- If the photo opportunity is planned, go for coordinating outfits. As cheesy as it sounds, just making sure your outfits look good together (they don’t have to be perfectly matched, but try keeping the tones the same) helps the focus be on the people and not your brother’s bright orange hoodie.


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About the author
Kirstey is a graphic designer on the Vistaprint creative team. She is inspired by color, and by other people’s creativity. In her spare time, she loves to garden, walk her dogs and surf.

3 Replies to How to be a Great Family Photographer

  1. I’ve found one way to get nice “upper body” group/family photos is by having everyone at the same height ears touching. Yes, contrary to the advice above, it does involve some knee bending.

  2. Kirstey says:

    Great tip, Ron! I hadn’t considered that – I’m assuming though, that none of the bent knees make it into the shot, though, right?

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