I can’t tell you how many times I’ve flipped through my photo files only to realize that I have shockingly few photos of my sweetheart and me together with our whole family. Perhaps that’s because I’m always the one behind the camera, but it doesn’t make it easier to watch the years go by without some cute snapshots of us. In a single afternoon with your family, you can easily bring your photo files back into balance and to take some cute images of you and your partner together with the kids in a family photoshoot.

Here are some tips to help you turn up the love with your cuties and capture the whole thing in snapshot! Still need help after reading this article? I’ll be teaching a class, Snap Happy: Photo 101 for parents who want to learn to take better photos of their children. The class will be on July 11, 2015 from 1pm to 3 pm at the Breastfeeding Center for Greater Washington. Follow this link to learn more or register! Half of the proceeds will be donated to support the Breastfeeding Center.


Create a color echo

We’re probably all in agreement that too much color coordination can become a bit nauseating. That’s why I encourage my clients to think about how to dress for a group photo shoot and plan a color echo – an accent color that unites everyone’s individual look. It’s also important to avoid any clashing patterns as it creates visual disharmony.



Lean in close

This is a popular tip used in marketing photography that professional photographers use all the time. It’s natural to wrap your arms around one another, but leaning in just an extra inch or two can make a world of difference in communicating the closeness between the you and your children. On a similar note, remember to look at eachother rather than at the camera to achieve a more natural, candid look.

Valentine's day family photoshoot tips - julie kubal photography

Don’t primp too much

In preparation for a family photoshoot – whether it’s homemade or with a professional photographer – people are often tempted to try out a new hair style or makeup product the day of the shoot. Well this last-minute primping is certainly well-intentioned, it’s really not advisable. Frankly, you just don’t know how these new changes will look in photos and it’s best to be your natural self and stick to what you know.

photo of boy with toy by Julie Kubal

Capture the almost-kiss

For portraits of the parents together, or even small children together, this is one of my poses. Lean in cheek-to-cheek, touch noses, or simply linger a few millimeters away from giving a kiss. All of these almost-kiss images are rich with sweetness and intensity, not to mention that they fall just shy of making the children blush when they see the printed portrait.

photograph of family with sisters in Chevy Chase, MD by Julie Kubal

Don’t be afraid of props

Bringing props into the family photoshoot can be a great way to make your gang feel a little more at ease even when they’re standing in the spotlight. It’ll give kids something to occupy their hands and an outlet for any of that uncomfortable energy. Consider grabbing up a bouquet of your favorite flowers, invite the family pet to join, or grab up the items that express a shared interest – books, sports paraphernalia, etc.

photo of toddler boy at Westminster Playground

Continuous shooting

Family photoshoots depend on capturing those unscripted, authentic connections that only become apparent when a family is at ease with each other and not focused on the camera.That is what makes continuous shooting mode so invaluable. Set your camera up on a tripod and select continuous shooting mode, or instruct your photographer to keep his or her finger constantly on the trigger. At the end of the shoot, weed through the images and discover the handful of shots that captured the family at its finest.


Once you’ve got it, Flaunt it!

Family portraits are the LAST kind of photos that should be hidden away in digital archives. Once you’ve received your prints from your professional photographer, or edited them yourself, be sure to show off your work in your home and office.

Creative Ways to Display Photos in the Home - Julie Kubal Photography

Julie Kubal family portraits Washington D.C.


About the Author:

Julie Kubal is a child and family portrait artist and photographer serving Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. She is passionate about creating warm and meaningful artwork through modern portraits and lifestyle photography at a location of your choice!