23 Creative Family Photoshoot Ideas [Full Guide]

By Ramina Magid – Newborn Photography Studio in Los Angeles, CA

family photoshoot ideas

23 Creative Family Photoshoot Ideas [Full Guide]

Today, we’re diving into some incredibly creative family photoshoot ideas that will not only fill your photo albums with beautiful photos but also offer a fun experience for every family member involved.

Whether you’re orchestrating a large family gathering or planning a more intimate family session, the aim is always to create beautiful family photos that tell your story, these ideas are designed to make your next family photoshoot unforgettable! As a family and newborn photographer, I’ve had the privilege of capturing these moments and have seen firsthand how a great family photo can become a family heirloom.

Choosing the right family photo poses, deciding what to wear for family pictures, and finding the perfect location ideas are all crucial steps in planning your next family photo shoot. Whether it’s an outdoor family session in the golden light of summer or a cozy indoor gathering during family Christmas, each setting offers a canvas for capturing your family’s unique bond. From cute family antics to classic family portraits, this guide is filled with family photo shoot ideas that will help you make the most of your time in front of the lens. Let’s dive into some creative, fun photo ideas perfect for families looking to add some memorable family photos to their collection.

A Picnic in the Park Makes For Cute Family Photos!

Imagine a beautiful day outside, the sun is shining, and there’s a slight breeze in the air. You’ve found the perfect spot in the park, laid out a colorful blanket, and arranged a basket filled with your family’s favorite snacks. This setting is not just perfect for a family day out but also for capturing those candid moments that showcase your family’s unique personalities.

For family portrait poses, think about arranging your group in a semi-circle on the blanket, with some sitting, others lying on their stomachs, all facing toward the camera. The natural light will make your photos pop, and the relaxed setting will help get everyone comfortable. Remember, the best colors for family pictures outside are often those that complement the natural setting—think pastels in spring or rich oranges and browns for a fall family photoshoot.

Beach Day - The Perfect Outdoor Family Photoshoot Idea!

There’s nothing quite like the joy of a day at the beach, making it one of the best family portrait ideas for those who love the sun and the sea. Start with some classic poses by the water’s edge, letting the ocean serve as a stunning backdrop. Then, don’t be afraid to let loose—capture the family building sandcastles, chasing waves, or simply walking along the shore. These activities not only provide fun family photo ideas but also allow for some great candid shots. Outfit ideas for a beach shoot might include coordinating colors that mimic the beach’s natural palette, such as blues, whites, and sandy beiges.

Urban Exploration 

For a more dynamic family portrait session, take your family to explore the heart of the city. Urban landscapes offer a multitude of backgrounds for creative family photoshoot ideas. Graffiti walls can add a splash of color and an edgy vibe to your family portraits, while historic buildings provide a classic and timeless look. Pose your family on a bustling street corner, or find a quiet alley that adds character to your shots. This setting is perfect for capturing the essence of a modern, adventurous family. When exploring urban environments, consider wearing outfits that contrast with the urban textures for a pop of visual interest.

Backyard Camping 

Backyard camping is a unique family photo idea that brings the adventure of camping right to your doorstep. Set up a tent, hang some fairy lights, and create a cozy outdoor space that serves as the perfect backdrop for your family photoshoot. This idea is great for capturing both posed shots and candid moments, as you can take photos of the family setting up the tent, roasting marshmallows, or sharing stories under the stars. It’s a wonderful way to document the simple joys of family life and the great outdoors without leaving home. Plus, it’s a fun way for kids and adults alike to engage in the photoshoot, making it more memorable for everyone involved.

Home Sweet Home

There’s no place like home for a family photoshoot that truly captures the heart of your family’s everyday life. Think about those candid moments that happen in your family home: baking cookies in the kitchen, reading stories in the living room, or even a pillow fight in the kids’ bedroom. These are the memories you’ll cherish forever, and capturing them in photos turns ordinary moments into extraordinary treasures.

For posed shots, gather everyone on the couch with a favorite family game or snuggled up with a book to show your family’s hobbies and interests. When considering colors, look around your home for inspiration. Soft, neutral tones can give a calm, cozy feel, while pops of brighter colors can capture the energy and fun of your family life. The natural light streaming through windows can add a beautiful, soft glow to your photos, making early mornings or late afternoons the best times for that perfect shot.

Seasonal Splendor

Celebrating the change of seasons with a themed family photoshoot is a fantastic way to document the year. Each season offers its own unique beauty and a host of fun activities that can lend themselves to creative photos. In the fall, think of the rich, warm colors of the leaves as a stunning backdrop for family portraits. Winter brings the magic of snow, perfect for playful shots of snowball fights or cozy pictures wrapped in blankets.

Spring offers a burst of color with blooming flowers, ideal for fresh and vibrant family photos. And summer? It’s all about those sunny beach days, picnics, and outdoor adventures we talked about above. The key to nailing seasonal beauty in your photos is to embrace the colors and textures each season brings. Coordinate your family’s outfits with the season’s palette to create a harmonious and visually appealing image.

Storybook Fantasy

Imagine stepping into the pages of your favorite storybook for a family photoshoot that’s as enchanting as the tales themselves. Dressing up as characters from beloved stories can turn an ordinary photo session into an extraordinary adventure. Whether you’re exploring the Hundred Acre Wood or visiting Cinderella’s castle, the key is to fully embrace the theme with your costumes, props, and setting. The color palette of your shoot can be inspired by the illustrations of your chosen book.

Think rich, deep colors for a fairy tale set in a forest, or bright and airy tones for a story that takes place by the sea. This idea not only makes for beautiful, unique family photos but also a fun experience that will have everyone involved in the magic of storytelling.

Cultural Heritage

Celebrating your family’s cultural heritage through a photoshoot is a beautiful way to honor your roots and share your traditions with future generations. Dressing in traditional clothing and incorporating cultural elements can create a deeply meaningful and visually stunning portrait session. Whether it’s the vibrant colors of African fabrics, the intricate patterns of South Asian attire, or the classic elegance of European folk costumes, each piece tells a story of history, tradition, and identity.

Favorite Family Hangout

Every family has that one spot where countless memories are made, be it the cozy corner of a local ice cream shop or the sprawling green of the community park. Capturing your family in these beloved spaces can add a layer of personal storytelling to your photos that’s simply unmatched. Imagine the giggles and sticky smiles at the ice cream shop, or the relaxed, joyful expressions in the park—these settings naturally bring out the genuine happiness of your family. 

When shooting in these locations, try to go at a time when it’s less crowded to make the most of the space. For camera settings, if you’re outside, take advantage of the natural light; keep your ISO low, shutter speed fast enough to freeze motion, especially with kids around, and play with the aperture to get that beautiful background blur that makes your family the clear focus of the shot.

Baking Together 

There’s something utterly heartwarming about the sight of flour-covered noses and the teamwork involved in baking a batch of cookies or a family cake. This photoshoot idea is all about capturing the process, the mess, and the love that goes into baking together. It’s a chance to get those candid shots that show laughter, concentration, and maybe a little bit of friendly rivalry.

For these indoor shots, lighting is key. If natural light is available, position your family near the window. You might need to increase the ISO to keep your photos bright without introducing blur. Don’t worry about making everything look perfect, the charm is in the authenticity of the moment. 

Vintage Vibes

There’s something incredibly nostalgic and heartwarming about a photoshoot that transports your family back to a different era. Choosing vintage vibes means diving into the fashion, props, and settings that evoke memories of decades past. Whether you’re aiming for the roaring ’20s, the groovy ’60s, or the rad ’80s, selecting the right outfits and accessories is key to making your photoshoot authentic.

The color palette should complement the era, with sepia tones for an early 20th-century feel or bright, bold colors for a ’60s or ’80s theme. Finding a location that matches the time period can add an extra layer of authenticity, but even simple backdrops in your home can be transformed with the right props and clothing. This photoshoot idea is not just about taking photos; it’s about creating a moment where your family can step back in time and experience the fun and fashion of a bygone era together.

Holiday Photo Session - A Perfect Family Tradition

The holidays bring out some of the most cherished traditions and memories for families. Capturing these moments through a family photoshoot can preserve the magic and warmth of these times for years to come. Imagine the entire family gathered around, decorating the Christmas tree, with the soft glow of the lights illuminating everyone’s faces, or setting up for an Easter bunny themed shoot with pastel colors dominating the scene—soft pinks, light blues, gentle yellows, and mint greens create a playful, joyful backdrop that’s perfect for the occasion.

These photos not only celebrate the season but also capture the unique ways your family comes together to share in the joy. For holiday shoots, incorporating elements like ornaments, wreaths, or Easter eggs can add a festive touch, while the color palette should complement the holiday’s traditional colors, enhancing the overall warmth and spirit of the season in your photos.

I offer private mentoring for photographers, feel free to contact me as well as see this article I put together as a beginner’s guide to newborn photoshoots (tips for infant photographers) and this article on perfecting your newborn photography (tips and techniques). 

Color Coordination

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to elevate your family photoshoot is through color coordination. Picking a color scheme and coordinating outfits can transform a family portrait from ordinary to visually striking. It’s not about wearing the exact same color but rather selecting a palette that complements each family member. This could be autumnal tones for a fall shoot, cool blues and whites for a beach setting, or vibrant colors for a summer picnic.

The right colors can enhance the photo’s aesthetic, create harmony, and help your family stand out against the backdrop. When choosing colors, consider the shoot location and season to ensure your palette enhances the natural beauty around you.

Sporty Outdoor Family Photo 

For families that thrive on activity and sports, showcasing your favorite physical pastimes can add a dynamic and personal touch to your family photoshoot. Whether it’s capturing the action of a soccer game, the concentration of a family bike ride, or the relaxed fun of a backyard baseball match, these shots tell the story of your family’s shared interests and energy.

You don’t need to stick to the actual field or track, candid shots of preparation, celebration, or relaxation after the game can also capture the essence of your family’s sporty spirit. The color palette here will often be dictated by the sport itself—bright team colors, the green of a soccer field, or the neutral tones of biking trails. These photos not only celebrate your family’s active lifestyle but also immortalize the fun and teamwork that sports bring into your lives.

Pets Included for the Best Family Picture

Pets are undeniably part of the family, and including them in your family photoshoot brings a whole new level of warmth and personality to your portraits. Whether it’s a lazy cat, an energetic dog, or even a serene goldfish, each pet adds a unique element to your family’s story.

For these shots, patience is key. Work with your pet’s schedule—when they’re usually most calm or playful—and bring treats to keep them engaged. Camera-wise, a faster shutter speed will help capture those quick movements, especially with playful pets. Aperture priority mode can be helpful here, allowing you to keep focus on your family and your furry members sharp against a softly blurred background.

Silhouette Shots 

Silhouette photos, mostly popular with maternity photography, could also work for beautiful family portraits- your family’s outline set against the vibrant colors of sunrise or sunset, for example, can make for beautiful photos. These shots are all about timing and positioning.

Plan to shoot during the golden hour—the first hour after sunrise or the last hour before sunset—when the sky is painted in magnificent colors. To achieve that perfect silhouette effect, place your family between the camera and the light source (the sun), and adjust your camera settings to expose for the sky, leaving your family in shadow. This often means dialing down the exposure compensation a bit. The result? A stunning, memorable family portrait that’s all about shapes and the beautiful bond you share.

Generational Portraits

There’s something profoundly beautiful about capturing the breadth of a family’s generations in a single photo. It’s a visual representation of your family’s legacy, showing the past, present, and future all at once. These portraits can be traditional, with each generation standing or sitting in a line to visually represent the lineage. Alternatively, for a more dynamic photo, arrange family members in a semi-circle or have the youngest members in front with the older generations behind, creating a sense of depth and connection.

When planning outfits, coordinating colors or styles can visually unify the group, while still allowing individual personalities to shine. For these sessions, ensure there’s enough light to keep every face visible, especially if you’re shooting indoors. Using a tripod and a timer or remote shutter release can also be handy, especially if the photographer needs to jump into the frame. This type of portrait is not just a family photo- it’s a treasure, a piece of your family’s history captured forever.

Reflections and Mirrors

Playing with reflections and mirrors adds a whimsical and artistic touch to family photos, turning simple moments into magical ones. Imagine capturing your family’s reflection in a calm lake, a large mirror, or even through the windows of a favorite building. These reflections can create symmetrical compositions that are pleasing to the eye and add depth to your photographs. When setting up these shots, look for surfaces that provide a clear, undistorted reflection. If you’re using water, early morning or late afternoon is best when the water is likely to be calmest.

With mirrors or windows, angle yourself to avoid catching your own reflection, unless, of course, that’s part of the story you’re telling. Camera settings can vary, but generally, you’ll want to ensure both your family and their reflection are in sharp focus, so consider using a narrower aperture (higher f-stop number). The result? A photo that’s twice as captivating and tells a story from an intriguing perspective.

A Family Photo Idea for Adventure Seekers!

Documenting a family adventure, whether it’s a day spent hiking through the forest, a fishing trip at the crack of dawn, or a weekend camping expedition, captures the spirit of exploration and togetherness that defines so many families. These outings provide endless opportunities for candid shots that reflect your family’s adventurous side, from the preparation stages and the journey itself to the triumphant or serene moments along the way.

The key to these shots is to be ready; adventures are unpredictable, and you’ll want to capture the spontaneous moments that happen along the way. Keep your camera settings flexible, often opting for a faster shutter speed to freeze action and an ISO that adapts to changing light conditions. Don’t forget to capture the small details—the boots covered in mud, the hands holding a freshly caught fish, the shared looks of awe at a stunning view. These photos tell the story of not just where you went, but what you discovered together as a family.

DIY Fun

Diving into a family DIY project not only promises a fun day filled with laughter and creativity but also offers a unique opportunity for a truly personalized photoshoot. The beauty of DIY activities is that they can be tailored to suit any family’s interests and skill levels, and the process itself, along with the final product, makes for meaningful photos.

Painting Pottery: Grab some plain ceramics and let everyone paint their piece. Capture the concentration on faces and the colorful mess on hands and the table. It’s a vibrant shoot idea that ends with personalized dishes for everyone.

Building a Birdhouse: This project can get the whole family involved in woodworking, painting, and decorating. Document the progress from planks of wood to the final, decorated birdhouse hanging in your garden.

Garden Planting: Whether it’s starting a vegetable patch or planting flowers, photos of dirt-covered hands and joyful planting can capture a family’s growth and care for their environment.

Crafting Jewelry: Simple beadwork or friendship bracelets offer a chance to shoot close-ups of hands at work and the shared moments of choosing beads or helping each other tie off a piece.

Musical Moments

For families where music is a shared passion, incorporating instruments or a sing-along into your photoshoot can capture the harmony and connection that music brings to your lives. Imagine a scene where everyone is holding their instrument of choice, from guitars to violins or even makeshift drum kits, engaged in an impromptu family jam session.

If singing is more your style, gather around the piano or simply stand together, microphones in hand, belting out your favorite tunes. The emotion and energy in these shots are palpable, showcasing not just your musical talents but the joy you share in these moments. Lighting should be dynamic, perhaps mimicking a stage setting, to highlight the drama and emotion of the performance.

Group Hug

There’s nothing quite like the warmth and love conveyed in a photo of a family group hug. It’s a simple yet powerful pose that speaks volumes about the family bond. This shot is less about the perfect setting or backdrop and more about the genuine closeness and affection between family members.

Have everyone gather in close, arms around each other, heads together or looking towards the camera. The smiles, laughter, or even the serene expressions of contentment make for a deeply emotional portrait. 

Jump for Joy

For a burst of energy and fun, a family ‘jump for joy’ photo is unbeatable. This action shot captures the essence of joy and the spirit of togetherness in a dynamic way. Timing is key—you’ll want to use a fast shutter speed to freeze the action, and it might take a few tries to get everyone in th12e air at the same time.

Try counting down to synchronize your jump, and don’t worry if it takes several attempts, the outtakes can be just as precious and amusing as the final shot. This idea is fantastic for outdoor settings where you have plenty of space, and the natural light adds a beautiful glow to your joyful leap. It’s a fun challenge that results in a photo filled with laughter, motion, and the unmistakable feeling of happiness that comes from just being together.

The Secret to Natural Smiles

The secret to capturing natural smiles lies in creating a relaxed and fun atmosphere. It’s about making the photoshoot an enjoyable experience for the whole family, rather than a chore. Start with some light-hearted games or jokes that can help ease any stiffness or nerves. For kids, playing a round of “Simon Says” or asking them to show their silliest faces before snapping the “real” photo can lead to genuine smiles and laughter.

What to Wear for Family Pictures

Alright, let’s talk outfits for those oh-so-special family pictures. You know, the ones that will grace your walls, holiday cards, and probably a few social media posts too. We want you and your crew looking fabulous, but feeling comfy and like yourselves, right? Here are some tips and ideas that will help you choose the perfect ensembles for your next family photo shoot, ensuring everyone looks their best and feels comfortable.

Mix and Mingle Outfits, Not Matchy-Matchy: Remember, we’re going for coordinated, not cloned. Think of a color scheme that makes your heart sing—maybe it’s those soft pastels or earthy tones—and let each family member express themselves within that palette. It’s like creating a beautiful harmony where everyone gets to sing their own tune.

Also, you can see my full article on what to wear for family portraits here and what moms should wear for a newborn photoshoot here

Location, Location, Location: Your backdrop’s vibe is the guest star of your photo shoot. If you’re at the beach, those breezy blues and sandy neutrals can play off the scenery beautifully. Planning an urban adventure? Bold and bright might be your best bet. It’s all about complementing your setting, making your family the shining stars.

Layers and Textures Are Your Best Friends: Adding a little flair with scarves, a funky belt, or a snazzy hat not only ups the style factor but gives you quick changes without a full outfit swap. It’s like having a little wardrobe magic up your sleeve!

Comfort Over Couture: Let’s be real, if you or the kiddos are tugging at your clothes or itching away, those smiles won’t be shining bright. Choose outfits that feel good on your skin and allow you to move freely. After all, a genuine laugh always outshines a stiff pose.

Say “No” to the Logo: Big logos or super busy patterns can steal the spotlight from your beautiful faces. Stick to solids or gentle patterns that say, “Hey, look at us,” not, “Hey, look at my shirt.”

Prep Like a Pro: A few days before your shoot, do a family fashion show with all the outfits laid out. This little runway rehearsal ensures everything looks just right together and gives you time to tweak as needed. Plus, it’s a whole lot of fun.

Accessorize with Intention: A statement necklace or a cool pair of kicks can add that perfect pinch of personality to your photos. Just remember, the goal is to accentuate, not overwhelm. And if you’re thinking of props, choose ones that mean something special to your family, adding a sprinkle of your unique story to the mix.

Ramina Magid Newborn and Family Photography Los Angeles

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, my studio in Beverly Hills specializes in family photography and newborn photography, I am fully licensed, insured, and trained on newborn safety and would be honored to be considered for capturing your family’s special moments. 

See my reviews here and contact me today to schedule your shoot and begin the journey of capturing your family’s precious story in the most beautiful way possible at my Beverly Hills studio located at 1010 S Robertson Blvd Suite E, Los Angeles, CA 90035.

Conclusion

As we wrap up this guide filled with ideas for your next family photo shoot, remember that the most successful photo sessions are those that truly reflect the spirit and love of your family. Whether it’s through candid moments of laughter, carefully chosen family photo outfits, or unique family photo themes, each snapshot is a chapter in your family’s ongoing story. Outdoor family photos capture the beauty of nature as a backdrop to your family’s adventures, while indoor sessions can tell a story of cozy, intimate moments shared at home.

Remember, great photos are not just about perfect poses or stunning locations; they’re about capturing the genuine emotions and connections that make your family unique. So, let the family be themselves, try different family photo poses, and don’t be afraid to experiment with various family photo shoot ideas. Whether you’re a large family looking for dynamic shots or a smaller unit hoping to capture some cute family moments, there’s an abundance of ideas to try for your next shoot.

Ultimately, the goal is to create memorable family photos that you’ll look back on fondly for years to come. With these tips and ideas, you’re well on your way to creating a beautiful collection of family photographs that capture the essence of your loved ones. So, grab your camera, gather your tribe, and get ready to make some magic. After all, when it comes to family photography, it’s all about celebrating the love, laughter, and unique personalities that make your family one of a kind. 

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Ramina Magid Photography is a family, maternity, and newborn photography studio located in Los Angeles, CA, minutes away from Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and West LA. Ramina is a Los Angeles newborn photographer, baby photographer, and family photographer. Serving Los Angeles and surrounding cities including Burbank, Brentwood, Pasadena, La Canada, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Pacific Palisades, Santa Clarita, Van Nuys, West Hollywood, San Marino, Calabasas, San Bernardino, Malibu, Altadena, Covina, Alhambra, Granada Hills, Marina Del Rey, Manhattan Beach, Rancho Palos Verdes, and all other communities in Southern California.