Saturday, December 17, 2011

15 Things I Learned at My First Family Photo Shoot

I did my first family photo session today. I learned a lot!

1. ZOOM IN! For some reason I forgot to zoom in and really wish I had. I am super happy with the “far away” shots, but am sad that I didn’t get more close-ups. Next time I will shoot at as many focal lengths as possible.

2. TAKE YOUR TIME! I rushed and rushed and in hindsight, just needed to slow down. Breathe. Relax. Take your time setting up your shots.

3. I really enjoyed doing this! I have always thought I love taking nature photos, but it was great taking shots of a family.

4. SLOW DOWN! This is directly related to #2. I should have slowed down to check the shots I’d already taken. For instance, if I wouldn’t have been in a hyper-speed mode, I would have realized that I needed my other lens for this picture.


5. Take advantage of the time between poses. They can be the best and most touching shots.

6. Sometimes the best shots are shots that you didn’t plan out at all, but the ones where the people put themselves in their own “poses”.

7. Make sure the kids have fun. If the kids aren’t having fun, no one is having fun.

8. Be sure to capture the essence of the children in between planned out poses.

9. Shoot, shoot, shoot! I took over 300 shots in about 30 minutes and I’m so glad I did. This picture captures this family so well! The mom laughs like this a lot. The older son has this somewhat serious quality to him. The younger son is quite the little comedian and the dad stands and smiles like this a lot. If I hadn’t been shooting away, I wouldn’t have caught this “real” moment.

10. Have some fun with it!

11. Try poses even if you think they’re kind of dorky. They might turn out great like this shot!

12. Ignore the rules. This too-sunny shot is perfect, even though it’s technically not perfect.

13. Be sure to capture some special moments between all family members.

14. Getting a picture of just mom and dad is important too.

15. Make sure to take individual shots of all of the kids.

Thank you so much Joly family for giving me the honor of photography your family!



  1. Congrats on your first photo shoot! You have some great tips to share here. Thank you!


  2. Sarah, these are SO great!!!! I LOVE them all. You have such a gift for photography. I would love for you to do a shoot of our family some time!

  3. Your family photos are so beautiful! The scenery was perfect and you all look so happy :)

  4. Great job! Love the shots holding hands!!

  5. Thanks Sarah! We enjoyed doing it and there are some great shots - can't wait to see what's on the disk!

  6. WOW - you look like a seasoned PRO! I find myself feeling so rushed. I like BOTH your tips to slow down and pay a little more attention. I often slam my hand into my head once I get back to post-process and say..."what was I think?!?!?"

  7. What fun, and such great stuff. Are you turning this into a job now?


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