Candid family portraits are guaranteed meaningful photos for a client. Sure, clients are typically satisfied with simple posed photos with good lighting, everyone smiling, and nobody blinking, but what if we take it an extra step forward? In the video and article below, I have 6 tips for you so you can capture creative family portraits for candid photos!

6 Tips To Capture Creative Family Portraits Video

Tip 1: Incorporate Action

Engage the whole family in fun little activities to get natural reactions and go from typical posed photos to candid family portraits.


  • Have the kids play a game of tag
  • Have a posing contest
  • Run a small distance together
  • Try a jumping shot
  • Throw children into the air (and catch them, of course!)



Tip 2: Go With The Flow

Always have your camera up and ready for anything that may happen. Be prepared to capture the unexpected. As strange as it may sound, some of our clients’ favorite candid family portraits include those in which their kids are having a meltdown. We try to avoid meltdowns, of course, but they do happen, and the parents appreciate having a record of even these authentic moments.


  • Water splashing the family
  • Children melting down



Tip 3: Get Every Possible Combination

Be sure to capture the family in all possible group variations. Start with the largest group and remove or add family members as you go. Use cues like “Strike a pose!” and even demonstrate some unique poses yourself to encourage more creative family portraits.


  • Everyone in
  • Grandparents and Kids
  • Parents and Kids
  • Mom and Kids
  • Dad and Kids
  • Mom and Dad




Tip 4: Capture Candid In-Between Moments

As I mentioned up top, candid family portraits make for the best images with genuine expressions. Simply direct their attention to one another, and capture their natural exchanges and interactions.



Tip 5: Have a Mini Couple Session

Let the kids take a break and get some shots of just the parents. Treat this like an engagement session and shoot both traditional and lifestyle poses.




Tip 6: Don’t Be Afraid to Get Silly

Get creative with your candid family portraits and throw in some funny faces to help get the family in a lighter mood. Allow the family to goof off and play together, then capture the fun reactions and candid moments.




Family portrait season often peaks in the fall, but in reality, it is always upon us! It is warming up outside here in California, and chances are your clients are looking to grab  creative family portraits for one occasion or another. Although Christmas cards are the most popular reason to gather the family in front of the camera, they’re not the only game in town.

Whether you’re posing one person, a couple, a small family or a family of 27, you need to know exactly what to do and how to do it. If you’d like to dive deeper into your posing repertoire, check out our Complete Posing Workshop. In the meantime, we hope you found these 6 tips to capture creative family portraits helpful. Do you have any more tips? Let us know in the comments!