How to take professional looking family portraits with a Digital SLR Camera

If you’ve been looking for a photographer that specialises in family portraits in Brisbane, but are considering giving it a go for yourself, then you’re in luck as in this article, I’ll give you some pointers on how to take professional looking family portraits with a Digital SLR Camera!

Digital SLR Camera

Getting the family together for any occasion can be difficult, jobs, kids, and travel often get in the way of a reunion, that’s why, when you arrange your own family portrait in Brisbane or anywhere else in Australia, you’ll want to make sure you get the best result. After all, it could be another 5 years before the entire family are all under the same roof!

So continue reading this article as I explain the most important elements you should consider to achieve a professional looking family portrait.

  1. Master the art of photo composition – Although there are hundreds of rules regarding photo composition, the easiest and the most recommended for non-professional photographers is the Rule of Thirds. It works like this; you mentally paint two lines crossing the frame horizontally and then another two that cross it vertically so you can easily and quickly divide the frame into thirds. Key elements that are placed strategically on these imaginary lines can help you produce more dynamic images. Just keep in mind that the lead lines and the foreground are the elements that you can use to strengthen the pictures. When it comes to applying this technique in family portraits, the face or the eyes should be placed on one of the lines and not at the intersections.
  2. Don’t forget about the lighting – Whether you’re a professional or a non-professional photographer, to achieve professional looking family portraits in Brisbane, you must know that, as with all types of photography; lighting is the key. If you’re shooting indoors and don’t want to spend too much money on lighting, use the cheapest but most flattering form of light available to you or, purely use the sunlight! The best time to shoot when using sunlight as your source of lighting is early morning and just before the sun sets in the afternoon. However, if you’re shooting around midday and you find that the sun is too intense, use a veil or net curtain as diffuser to achieve softer, more flattering light.
  3. Explore the manual exposure mode – I know a lot of Digital SLR owners that are using the automatic mode. Although this is okay, it will not develop stunning family portraits. You will need to know how to control elements when you’re shooting during a particular time of day and depending on your chosen location, this can only happen if you explore the manual mode. Check the aperture, ISO, etc. and ensure that they complement the available light and the surroundings. Setting up the exposure and taking sample photos to make sure that all elements are perfect may take a while but it is definitely worth it. This prevents certain problems including underexposed images, shift in colour, and other undesirable things that can ruin you’re your efforts in getting everyone together for their family portrait in Brisbane.
  4. Let the kids have fun – Letting your kids behave like kids and allowing them to have fun during the photoshoot can actually give your family portraits more character. Instead of forcing them to smile for each photo, let them run around and do whatever it is that they want. To make the photoshoot enjoyable for them, bring their favourite toys or think of things that will make them feel relaxed. In my experience, it is the kids that give life to each family portrait.
  5. Choose the right lens – When taking your family portrait, you have to know that there are few lens options that you can go for and your choices will depend on the number of people on the shoot and on your setting. If you have a large family, using wide-angle lens (like 18mm) will help you capture wider angle of view and of course, this makes the process of fitting all the people in one shot hassle-free. However, if you want sharper images, I’d suggest using 50mm and lower f-stop ranges. On the other hand, if you want to get different unique angles, the best lens to use is a telephoto.
  6. Get a tripod – Of course, you would want to be included in the portrait and this is possible with the use of the tripod. This is very important especially if you’re using a heavy and rather big Digital SLR camera, as your tripod will support it in the perfect position for however long you wish. Obviously, this can help you take great photos all the time.


Taking family portraits in Brisbane on your own can be an exciting experience for the whole family and you can make it happen by simply following the 6 tips I have listed above. However, if you’d rather enjoy the moment and not be bothered with aperture, lens, ISO, and other photography stuff and if you want to make sure that your family portraits are nothing but perfect, call me and I’d be happy to help you out with this. Here at Little Orange Photography, I offer Gold Coast and Brisbane family portrait services and I can guarantee that you’ll be happy with the result. Check out my portfolio and if you like what you see, book a session now because my schedule quickly gets filled up. Just dial 0449 658 131 and I’ll be happy to take your call.

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