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5 Tips for Taking Great Family Photos

I know I’ve said it before, but it has been a long and busy few weeks for us here. Seriously terrible colds all around for a few weeks in December, plus Christmas and post holiday travels...no wonder I’m always tired. We really did have a nice time with family, and Kyle used all the time off to digitize all of his family’s home videos and upload them to YouTube. He is always so productive, even when he’s sick! Thank goodness for that, because I do enjoy my share of breaks and rest.

Back in November, we had a professional photographer (and also a great friend), Mark Vernago of Mark Vernago Photography, capture some images of our family since we hadn’t updated our family photos since before our son was born...a year ago. Poor little guy, he’s been excluded for so long!

Family photos can be stressful, especially when you have little ones who have a limited tolerance for photo shoots.


Here are my tips, with some input from our photographer, for taking awesome family photos you’ll love to use in your home:

  1. Dress everyone in neutral colors and minimize patterns. Keep it simple, timeless, and fairly neutral if you can. The focus should be on your beautiful faces, not the crazy outfit you’re wearing. Also, when you look back on the pictures 20 years from now, you don’t want to think about how dated your clothes were, you want to think of the fond memories you have from that time!

  2. Use a photographer you and your kids are comfortable with. Good luck getting them to smile or even look at someone they don’t want to speak to or are afraid of. Having someone who can adapt to the unpredictability of little ones can also make a huge impact on the quality of your photos - someone who’s great at catching candid shots and making everyone have fun is ideal.

  3. Don’t overthink it - be yourself. You want your photos to reflect how your family members are in real life, so be comfortable, be yourself, and let your personality shine through.

  4. Make it fun and fast. Laughing is a must, keep the event light-hearted. If you’ve got little ones like we do, efficiency will help get those money shots in before all of the emotional breakdowns happen (because they’re going to happen).

  5. Be prepared for those candid, in-between pose moments. This is a pro tip from Mark! He says some of the best shots are when you’re between poses, just being yourself and in the moment. We got some of our favorite photos from the “in-betweens!”

Use the slider arrows below to view more shots (both candid and posed!) from our family photo session. If you're looking for a photographer who excels in everything above and you're a Baltimore local, check out Mark Vernago Photography!



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