I often get asked by friends, family, and clients how they can take better everyday photos of their family.  While many of them have hired me for Family Portraits or In Home Sessions, there are just times that I can't be there to capture those remarkable moments.  So here are a few tips to help you capture more authentic family photos.

1. Find the Light
A saying among photographers because we all know that light is the most important factor in any photograph.  Light sets mood (or destroys it).  It sets the tone of the photograph.  It can make it powerful or blah.  That being said you don't have to go out and buy fancy lights.  The key to "finding the light" is paying attention.  Is the light on your subject harsh?  Step into the shade.  Are their weird lines on their face?  Try somewhere else.  If you're inside and don't have great light in your home try to find open windows or an area that does get good light.  It's a learned art but anyone can do it.

2.Take a lot of photos
I don't believe in accuracy by volume but in this case until you learn what you are looking for--taking more can be better.  It allows you to capture the in between moments that are sometimes the best!  A certain look, a laugh, or a happy accident of the light.  Gone are the days of being worried about film cost.  Click away!  Gradually you'll get faster at capturing moments and you can lay off the shutter some.

3. Be Ready
Be ready for the shot!  While you may not be a pro there are a couple small steps that can improve your photography and family photos.  GET. TO. KNOW. YOUR. CAMERA.  If you don't know how to use your tool you can't do the job.  Practice on inanimate objects.  Get familiar with your settings so you are ready. Practice.  Practice.  Practice. Make sure your camera is accessible.  While we all hate to have an expensive piece of equipment out and about it also can't be used if it's put away.  Have it accessible so you can grab it when the light is right and you SEE that photo you want to take.

4. Listen to your Gut
A lot of times I'll get a feeling before we go somewhere, even just to the grocery store sometimes where my gut says, "Just grab your camera."  It is the times that I ignore this feeling that inevitably I WISH I HAD IT!  It's not going to hurt you to have your camera with you sometimes.  Worse case scenario you don't use it.  Best case you get to capture something unique and awesome!

5. Get Creative
Have fun!  Get creative with your composition!  Play with the light!  And don't take yourself too seriously.  Some of my favorite photos came from me rolling on the ground or hiding behind the bushes.  Try something new!  A great starter tip to keep in mind is try shooting your subject from every angle.  360 degrees.  See how a different perspective from just straight on will look! 

6. Don't Forget About Yourself
Take it from someone who knows--don't leave yourself out of the picture!  I am horrible about this in my own family photos.  But remember you are part of this family too!  Jump in there!  Don't have a tripod?  That's okay!  Sometimes you can get new and different photos from just setting the camera up and setting the timer.  You can also purchase a tripod and remote for pretty cheap if you really want to add yourself in more and more.    I love a challenge!  Challenge yourself to include yourself in the photos every day for a week!  You'll be amazed at what you come up with.  And again, above all, have fun with it.

Want more tips or have questions?  Feel free to hit me up and I'll try to help the best I can.