Why it's FUN to Create Ideas for Family Portraits

Creating family photo ideas should be fun for everyone. Taking pictures is about having fun being who you are - or even someone you wish you can be. You are the star of your photo shoot and you should feel comfortable doing what makes you happy. Whether that means taking it back a few years and playing at the carnival again, riding a carousel, running with balloons tied to your wrist, eating a giant ice-cream cone, playing in the water, sliding down slides, or walking the city streets side by side with the one you love... The options are endless, and never the less, FUN! Incorporate my tips into your themes, and your family photo shoot will be a day to remember..

To Match or Not to Match..

One of the first things that pop into my head when thinking about family photo ideas is WHAT TO WEAR.  Your attire is by far one of the most important when it comes to getting your picture taken.  It takes some serious self control for me not to go buy everyone new coordinating outfits.  I’ll use any reason to go shopping ?  However, it definitely isn’t necessary.  A lot of people believe they need to all match, such as wearing the same colored shirts.  This isn’t at all the truth.  While sometimes it is preferred, such as the family photo wore below, but I would recommend thinking outside the box.

Find a color pallet that works best for your family and work off that.  The family in the photo above chose to wear pastels.  Even though everyone wore different colored shirts it still flowed very well.  The mothered incorporated her husbands peach shirt by wearing a scarf as a peach accent.  I love that idea!  You can also see they kept the bottoms all denim.  Whether it be shorts, pants, capris, or skirts.  I would say mix it up a bit.  These are your forever photos and you want to capture your individual style, but still not sticking out like a sore thumb.


Location, Location, Location..

Who wouldn’t want to hop on a plane and travel somewhere exotic, tropical, or historic for the ultimate family photos?!  Picking a location is another key factor when thinking about your family photo ideas. Good thing is, you can take fabulous pictures and not travel over oceans to do so.  The Phoenix Valley has several locations to choose from.  There are historic districts, lakes, national parks, grand resorts, oversized parks, city and country themes – the options are really endless.  Since I spend most of my time on the West Side, one of my favorite places to shoot is Sahuaro Ranch Park in Glendale, AZ.

When your choosing your location, you want a place with character and an array of scenery. It’s important to select a place that keeps your kids engaged so we can capture natural smiles. Sahuaro Ranch Park has just that.  Historic buildings, cute detailed wooden bridges, greenery, old fashion lamp post, free to roam peacocks, and historic farming equipment.  Choosing your family photo location is all dependent on the type of photos you’re looking for.


Sibling Love & Family Photo Ideas


Photographing your children together can sometimes be more of a challenge than we like.  If your kids are anything like my two girls, the sibling love moments don’t last as long.  When choosing your family photo ideas, try to make one of them all about the kiddos.  How are you going to get through your hour long family photo session without bickering and snickering.  It’s easier said than done but something I believe I can help with.

Try to think of clever ways to motivate your children throughout. Sometimes, allowing them to scope out the area allows me to capture the precious moments of them exploring. We know siblings love each other – so now we can prove that they’re able to get along!

One With Your Surroundings


Another one of my great family photo ideas involves taking advantage of the natural props and settings surrounding you. This picture is from a family reunion in Scottsdale, Arizona. The family got together and enjoyed themselves as they invited me along.

It’s always ok to bring your own props. In most case, you know what will accent your photography session the most. But, don’t forget to take advantage of your surroundings! I’ve choreographed multiple shoots that encompass the environments of the area. I once used tractors and old barns for a family that was from the midwest. We had a blast reincarnating the events of the parent’s childhood memories while highlighting their future generations.

Snap on the Fly

picture of children on stairs in glendale arizona saguaro ranch park

It’s ok to use traditional poses, but it’s a lot more fun to be creative. Here, we were hoping to get them all looking out into the distance, but even when things don’t go as planned it;s still unique!  Instead of putting everyone in an assembly line, or tall in front big in back, mix it up.  Having fun with your family photos is what its all about.  Don’t bore your children, keep them entertained and challenge them to take the best pictures of the day.

Color Me Rad


What cheers you up more than a rainbow?!  Colorful pictures!  Faux backdrops are great, but if you have the chance to use real colors and textures in your photography scene, do it! In the above picture, my husband and son both are wearing blue shirts – which tie in great with the red barn door behind them.  The chipping of the white paint is naturally chic and the red brick texture, green trim, red wood, and the reflection is perfect.

Be the Original You!


I tend to avoid telling clients to pose a certain way. A majority of the people I’ve worked with in the past are very creative. Think of fun-filled ways to capture your time together as a family. Go with the flow and be original so that you can share something unique instead of the same ole poses that most families do. When you have a great background like the one featured above, there’s not many ideas that can go wrong – simply think outside the box a little!

Thank you so much for the read and I hope that I have helped ease the decision making process for your next family photo shoot.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any photography questions you may have.  Feel free to check out my other blogs that may be helpful for you 🙂 As always – Capturing Smiles, Styles, and Everything Worthwhile..