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19 Unique and Fun Family Photoshoot Ideas

12 min read

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Fun family photo ideas for your next photoshoot.

Are you looking for some family photoshoot ideas? As a professional photographer, capturing memories for families is one of the greatest joys of my job. Throughout my photography journey, I have met so many beautiful families along the way. Each family is unique and special, and I love getting to know them and capturing the essence of their relationships and unique dynamic through my lens.

Being a family photographer is undoubtedly a true blessing and an honor. I feel so much joy to be able to freeze this special time in my clients’ lives through family pictures. There’s something just so magical about looking back at a family photo and remembering exactly how each person looked and felt at that moment in time.

Why is Family Photoshoot So Much Fun?

One of the things I love about taking family pictures is that no two are ever the same. Every family has their special personalities, quirks, and dynamics, and it’s always so much fun to get to know each family and capture those special moments and connections in my photos.

A family photoshoot is a great way to capture a family's unique dynamics.

And you know what the best part is? The reaction of the entire family when they see their photos for the first time! The look of joy and pride on a parent’s face when they see them and their children captured in such a special way. And knowing that these families will treasure these photos for years to come really warms my heart. I get to provide them with a lifelong reminder of the love, sweet memories, and connections that they share. 

We all know the importance of capturing the perfect moment and creating images that tell a story. But sometimes, developing new and fun family photo ideas can be challenging. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of unique and captivating family photoshoot ideas that might help inspire you.

Preparing Everyone Before a Photoshoot

Before a family photoshoot, I always make an effort and set time aside to get to know the family I am shooting first. It is extremely important to make an effort to talk to them before actually going out and putting your camera in their faces. 

Family shoot is so much because you can use your fun ideas to tell a family's story.

Ask Questions

Always ask them questions, like what they like to do as a family, what their personalities are like – Are they active? Do they enjoy going outside to soak in some sun whenever possible, or do they prefer to cuddle up on the couch with a favorite movie on the weekend? Once you know them well, you can understand what makes them feel most comfortable and natural.

Building Trust

And while getting to know them, they also get the chance to know you as well! By communicating and building a rapport with them, your subjects will trust you more, thus, feel much more comfortable around you. And nothing beats family photos that are real, relaxed, and happy.

Fun Location Ideas for a Family Photoshoot

Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or just starting out, there are plenty of creative family photoshoot ideas that you can use to capture those special moments. Here are some in-depth suggestions to help you get started, so let’s dive in and get those creative juices flowing!  

1. A Family Picnic

This is one of the best ways to capture the love of a family in a photoshoot. It is super fun shooting outdoors and chasing the sunset together, and nothing is quite as adorable as capturing little ones with their cheeks stuffed full of sandwiches and drooling strawberry juice (cue the “awwws”!).

Take the family out and set up a simple blanket and some favorite yummy snacks. Oh, and don’t forget fun props like bubbles and cute cups!  This is also a great idea for fall family pictures, as you will have lovely autumn colors.

A family picnic is a fun family photoshoot idea because everyone can be together outside to enjoy the day!

Let the family dive right in and just enjoy the day with each other! Take shots of spontaneous moments of joy and laughter as they unfold. And if you are lucky, the little ones might even start chasing butterflies while mummy and daddy do a silly dance together. There are so many opportunities for you to take cute shots.

2. A Family Game Session

Playing games is a great idea. Every family member can bond while having fun, whist having some pretty cool shots!

Forget the family photo poses and capture the moments of bonding and excitement as the whole family plays their favorite board games or shoots the hoops in the backyard. Try to encourage everyone to get involved and have fun like they usually do. And after all, fun family shoots mean having fun!

3. A Movie Session

For families who don’t call themselves an outdoor family but love being couch potatoes and watching movies together in their family home, a movie session family photo shoot may be a unique way of telling their story.

parents and kids watching a movie at home.

Help everyone get cozy, pop some popcorn, and enjoy a funny movie together. If there are kids, this is a good way to get them to sit down and cuddle with their parents.

You can capture them relaxing together as a family and then take part in asking them silly questions about their favorite movies, watch them laugh together, and get a few shots of those special moments! Oh, and don’t forget a group hug shot!

4. Bring the Furry Friends!

Have everyone cuddle up on the couch.

Family photo shoots can be super fun with pets, and pets are definitely part of a family. Seeing their pets dressed up in adorable and coordinating outfits will be a lot of fun! From cute bandanas to hilarious costumes, the sky is your limit.

Just remind the family that they must feel relaxed, comfortable, and happy about their outfits.

Try dressing everyone up with their pet for a family photoshoot with furry friends.

Yes, I know It is not easy to make a puppy look into the camera or do a silly dance, so why not just let the animals be themselves and show off their unique personalities?

It could be asking them to play fetch with their little puppy or have their cat casually photobomb the family photo. A few pictures of them being dressed up are also fun too!

5. A Family Dress-Up Day

For fashionistas and fantasy lovers, there’s no better way to show off style and creativity than with a dress-up day family photoshoot! Consider different themes; for example, everyone will dress up in different rainbow colors or dress up as their favorite Disney characters.

Little ones may want to dress up as a superhero or a princess. Playing dress up will surely excite them, which is the exact mood you want them to be in.

Inspire everyone to be creative and choose outfits that best represent their family. Maybe you can even set up some scenes inspired by their favorite movie or cartoon.

6. Family Portraits Session in a Studio

Many families like to have candid photos. However, some families still want classic and timeless family portraits. This is also a great idea for a large family. A studio would be the perfect option for these families.

Classic and timeless family photos are best to be taken place at a photo studio.

A perk of having a family photoshoot in a photo studio is that it provides a controlled environment, with professional lighting and plain backgrounds that put the focus on the family and nothing else.

It’s a chance to get everyone dressed up and looking their best and to create images that will stand the test of time. Take the time to plan out the family’s outfits and coordinate colors and styles.

A family session in the studio doesn’t only have to be all about a classic pose, and you can add some creativity to make your images a bit more playful and modern.

Try to add some creativity to your shots. You can try different poses and expressions.

You don’t need to try traditional posed shots only. Try to be in touch with your creativity and try poses and different expressions. Having fun and letting the whole family’s personalities shine through is important. 

7. A Nature Walk Photoshoot

For families who love spending time outdoors, an outdoor shoot while taking a nature walk or hike can be the perfect way to bond and create lasting memories.

A fun idea for a family picture is just to go outside for a walk.

There is so much joy and wonder that can be found in nature, and it will most likely be very enjoyable for children and the family. The scenic backdrop is going to help make your shots even more impressive. Don’t forget to dress comfortably and bring some extra clothes and equipment in case of unexpected weather.

8. A Family Bake-Off

For family photos that show a family with a sweet tooth or love to spend time together in the kitchen, a family bake-off can be a fun and delicious family photoshoot idea. Get everyone to mix the ingredients and lick the batter bowl.

Capture the family having fun baking together.

And of course, capturing the family in the moments of chaos and fun as they bake up a storm of smiles and laughter! Remember to get a few photos of the finished treats too, and then you can capture family members sharing the yummy treats as a family while the kids still have flour all over their cheeks (cute!). 

Some Ideas to Keep in Mind for Your Family Photo Sessions

Taking family photos is not just about having fun during the process. You actually want the results to ‘wow’ your clients. This means thinking about variety, lighting, and perspectives.

9. Mix Up & Change Perspectives

Mixing up everyone in your images and using different perspectives will help create variety.

You don’t always have to take shots of all family members together. Try to do some shots of just the kids or just one parent with the kids. This way, you can tell the family’s story from different perspectives and make it more fun.

Try changing perspectives and be creative at your photoshoot.

You can take a shot from daddy’s perspective at his daughter running towards him. Variety is key because you don’t want to deliver the same photos to your client, only with a different perspective of the same backdrop.

10. Encourage Your Subjects to Walk and Move Like They Usually Do

Not everyone will be comfortable in front of the camera, and asking them to stay still will only make your shots turn out awkward and unnatural. Tell everyone to forget that you are there and just be themselves.

Allow everyone to be themselves and move like they usually do. This helps everyone relax.

No one needs to worry about which angle they should be standing in/ It is the photographer’s job to change perspectives while shooting. 

11. Tell Your Subjects They Don’t Need to Look Into the Camera

The most authentic family photos are the ones where everyone is enjoying the moment and not worried about looking at the camera.

Unless it is a classic family portrait session where you want everyone to look camera ready, you will want to tell your subjects that they will appear much more natural if they avoid looking into the camera. You want to make images that show candid moments and authenticity.

12. Choose the Right Time to Get Outside

The golden hour is one of the best times for a photo shoot. This is usually the last hour before sunset. You can expect perfect, soft lighting that will work wonderfully during this hour. And natural light is always great for beautiful family photos.

The golden hour is the best hour to go outside for a family photo shoot.

The warm hue of the sun will make everyone look better and also add a magical touch to your images. Forget about the over-exposure headaches during bright daylight. This time of the day will help you create some memorable shots.

Family Pictures with Toddlers and Small Kids

When it comes to family photoshoots, most of the time, little children will be involved. And one of the questions that I often get asked is ‘How do you keep little children engaged?”. Yes, toddlers can become a little wild, making your job much more challenging if you don’t prepare well. 

It can be challenging to photograph young children, but with some ideas and tools, it can be an easy task.

Young kids often have a very short attention span, and honestly, they will not follow boring rules about taking photos. You may also come across kids who are extremely shy and want to hide behind mummy and daddy, or little ones who won’t stop crying and even run away!

Always communicate with the parents before the photo shoot day, and ask them to give their small kids a little prep talk. Don’t tell them they will have a photo shoot with a stranger. Instead, tell them they will have fun with a new friend (yes, that’s you!).

For very anxious kids, ask them to bring along some comfort items like their most loved teddy bear. 

Here are some more ideas for how to make your family photo shoots with young toddlers fun and successful:

13. Let Them Play

Letting kids be themselves and let them play will make the most candid and cute images.

Playing comes naturally for all children. It’s a great way to capture their genuine expressions and the joy they bring to a family. Encourage them to bring their favorite toys or games, and let them play while you capture the moment.

You’ll be amazed at the cute and candid shots you can get when little ones play and have fun. So go ahead, let them be themselves, and snap away!

14. Use Bubbles

Playing with bubbles is a trick that will never get old at a family photoshoot.

Bubbles will always be the classic and timeless way to entertain young ones. Not only do kids look so cute chasing and popping bubbles, but they also create beautiful, whimsical images that will be treasured for years to come.

You can also have the whole family gather, blow bubbles together, and let those beautiful natural smiles shine through.

15. Make an Interactive Photoshoot

Young kids love interacting with the world around them and are always down for fun! The more fun they feel like they are having, the more likely you will have them listen to some instructions.

Interactive play helps young kids to be engaged.

Try to set up some interactive elements in your family photo shoot. You could use a chalkboard for drawing or a teepee for playing. The possibilities are endless, depending on the location you have chosen.

Ask parents for great ideas of what engages their little ones the most and go from there. One extra thing that always works is to bring a little travel speaker along, blast some of their favorite songs and encourage them to do some silly dance together (with you!).

16. Get Down to Their Level

Getting down to the same level as young kids will make it easier to capture the world as they see it.

Young toddlers have a unique perspective on the world, so get down to their level and capture it as they see it. This can result in some truly unique and beautiful photos that truly capture childhood innocence.

17. Use Props

Using props at a shoot is a great way to keep young kids engaged and happy.

Props can be a great way to capture the imagination of young toddlers. Bring silly hats, scarves, plush toys, and other fun elements into your photo shoot to add fun and creativity. 

18. Make Silly Faces

I know it’s the oldest trick in the book, but it works! A goofy face is easy to put on, but it comes with the best giggles. You can even try to ask them to copy you by sticking out your tongue, crossing your eyes, and even asking them to show you their best silly faces.

Don't be afraid to have a little fun and make some silly faces.

While having fun with young children, always remember to keep safety in mind and be patient with young toddlers. They may not always cooperate, but that’s okay – sometimes, the imperfect moments are the ones that are the most memorable. Let chaos be part of the fun!

19. Be Patient and Take Breaks

When I go out for a family photo shoot with my clients, I always tell them that taking breaks is okay and to let the kids warm up first.

I have come across really stressed-out parents who are worried they won’t have the perfect pictures because their toddlers just cannot be tamed. If the parents are stressed, the kids will bounce off the same energy and become even more difficult to handle.

It is okay to take breaks and let everyone just be. The more relaxed everyone is, the better the photographs will be.

Comfort the parents and let them know that having the kids running off is okay. It is okay that small ones can sometimes be a little crazy. But why is that? Because those moments are real, the little ones are exactly who they are now, right at this moment.

And trust me, the best photos I have ever taken of families are the ones that may seem crazy and uncontrollable. So let them take some breaks, as it is essential that everyone is feeling relaxed and happy!

You’ve Got the Power!

A family photo session is about capturing moments your clients will treasure for a lifetime. As a photographer, you have an incredible opportunity to preserve a family’s personality and make the experience fun and memorable for your clients.

Don’t be afraid to get creative, experiment with different family picture ideas, and most of all, have a lot of fun!

Your clients will feel much more at ease when they see you are also having a great time. The secret of being able to capture natural and authentic shots is the skill of helping your clients relax and be themselves.

You have the power to create amazing images for your client's family photoshoot.

Go ahead and ask questions. Show them that you truly care about their story. Remember, you can create a fun family photoshoot for your clients, so embrace your creativity and enjoy the process. 

I hope these family photography ideas inspire you for your next shoot and will make every family member happy.

Happy shooting!

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Bella Heim is an award-winning photographer from Hong Kong, now based in Switzerland. She is a mother of three, a writer, a travel addict, and a lover of all things beautiful, raw, and authentic. Her work is a celebration of life’s most precious moments – the warmth of a smile, the tenderness of a touch, and the bond between loved ones.
Bella Heim is an award-winning photographer from Hong Kong, now based in Switzerland. She is a mother of three, a writer, a travel addict, and a lover of all things beautiful, raw, and authentic. Her work is a celebration of life’s most precious moments – the warmth of a smile, the tenderness of a touch, and the bond between loved ones.
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