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Tips & Tricks

Tamara Lackey Shares 5 Tips For Better Family Portraits

By Hanssie on December 8th 2014

I started my career photographing families. I sent out an email to 15 friends and offered to photograph their families at the beach one day for free to help me practice my photography skills and to build my portfolio should I decide I actually liked photography enough to start a business doing it. From those 15 emails, I photographed 10 of those families and I built my entire business, eventually branching out into weddings. I learned everything by trial and error – my favorite way to learn. Though, it would’ve been really nice if I had someone who was there to coach me through these first 10 family portrait sessions, giving me advice on things that I could’ve done better.

It’s not every day you get to shoot with an award winning photographer and have them give you pointers on how you shoot. In the following video, photographer Tamara Lackey, goes along on a photo shoot with two executives from Nations Photo Lab as the two men try their hand at children’s portraiture.


Tamara Lackey is well known and respected in the industry and has a photography studio based in North Carolina. She is a Nikon USA Ambassador, a speaker, an author of numerous books about portraiture, hosts her own web show called reDefine Show and has seen her work featured in highly respected publications.


Harvis Kramer (Chief Operating Officer, Nations Photo) and Jonathan Weinstock (Executive Vice President, Nations Photo) are former event photographers and are photographing some family portraits under the tutelage of Tamara.

In the video, Tamara talks about how to ensure all of your subjects are in focus and gives some lighting, posing, interaction and composition tips. This 12.5 minute video is full of great little tips to help you improve on photographing family portraits.


Watch ‘5 Photography Tips with Award Winning Photographer Tamara Lackey’

[Via iso1200Nations Photo, images via screencaps]

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Basit Zargar

    Nice !!

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  2. Peter Nord

    Who wouldn’t want their picture taken by Tamara, who’s always fun and cute too.

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  3. Brandon Dewey

    Great Tips!

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  4. Mac MacDonald

    If only i’d have seen this two weeks ago! :)

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  5. Greg Silver

    Ahhh family portraits…the most stressful type of photography (IMHO)…I think I lost most of my hair taking these types of pics (hahah)

    Some great tips – thanks for sharing – should have watched this video this past fall but will keep in mind for future family portraits.

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