10 creative family photo ideas

Creative Family Photo Ideas for Your Next Shoot

Kids grow up so fast and before you know it, they’re leaving the nest. Family portraits allow you to freeze time and document not only your children’s growth but your evolution together as a family. The sweet memories and seemingly mundane moments you capture will allow you to share the beautiful story of your family’s journey. Whether you preserve the photos in a beautiful photo book or photo album, just having them in your personal archive to look back on is an important first step.

We’ve put together 10 creative family photo ideas to help you create family portraits that you will be proud to display in a beautiful MILK keepsake.

Father and child eat breakfast

1. Make the most of the indoors

Home is where your family will feel most at ease and the simple act of being comfortable will instantly make your photos natural and relaxed. Do as you usually would at home; chill on the couch, read stories in bed, cook a meal together or play some board games. Photographing any of these simple activities in the comfort of your home helps to honestly document your family and produce some truly authentic photography. One practical tip would be to take photos near windows as natural lighting is the friend of good photography.

2. Enjoy nature

As well as offering a picturesque backdrop, getting out in nature gives you the opportunity to play. Action shots let your children's personalities shine through and this always makes for great family photos. Find a body of water to splash in, a forest floor to inspect or a field to run in, and let your children take the lead. Following their whims will produce some great photos but fair warning, it may get tiring (and messy). Allowing freedom also means that your children’s tolerance for photo taking will be higher. Rather than forcing them to stay still and pose perfectly, you’ve got them out in a new environment, playing and having fun. It’s a win-win!

Young family posing against Provision Shop mural in Singapore

3. Explore locally for creative backdrops

Urban areas offer tons of creative backgrounds for photographs. Explore cities in search of interesting architecture to snap pictures in front of. Find colorful walls and murals to pose against. Of course, the subjects (a.k.a your family!) are the main event but getting creative with your background can create some truly beautiful images. Note: familiar landmarks make for great backgrounds. Do you have special places you go to regularly? A favorite playground? A local ice cream shop? If it has personal significance to your family, take photos there. It may not have any visual merit but it's the sentimental value that you'll appreciate as you look back on the photos in your family album.

4. Coordinate your outfits

We recommend wearing neutral clothes as bright colors can detract from the scene. If you're taking pics for certain occasions, wear matching on-theme costumes. As your children reach the dreaded teenage years, it can get harder to get them to dress in matching outfits and cheesy holiday-themed clothes. Sometimes it's easier to let them wear what they feel most comfortable in, remembering that when your children are comfortable and more at ease, the photos will naturally be better.

Baby on shoulders of man

5. Think about your poses

Yes, candid photography usually produces the most memorable moments and snapshots but that doesn’t mean you can’t think about poses, or naturally work some great poses into your day. Lift your kids in the air to create a classic action shot (while being careful of course). Swinging arm in arm is also a great pose with young children. For tender moments, a simple kiss on the forehead or cuddle is another beautiful shot for your collection. Finally, you can’t go wrong with a big group hug. Tip: Ask your kids for ideas in the moment; the sillier, the better.

6. Showcase the generations

It’s not often that the entire family gets together but when a special occasion arises and you find yourself reunited, why not put some time aside for photos? Make sure you get everyone in the picture and showcase the breadth of your extended family. While you have everyone together, a good idea is to isolate each generation and get separate pictures of all of the kids together, the adults, and the grandparents.

Young girl reading on couch

7. Spotlight each member of the family

Capture the personality of each individual of your family. Take photos focusing on each member; it can be in play or simply as they lounge during some downtime. If the opportunity never arises, pull them aside to snap a solo pic. Having individual spreads that spotlight each member of the family will make your photo book that much better. Add text to the page to add richness to their profile and include any and all details.

8. Include the pets

Your pets are a part of the family too! Make sure you include them in your next family photo shoot. A positive part of including your pets is that playing with them will naturally produce some cute pics, and what's more photogenic than your cat or dog? Beware, they will likely steal the show!

Children and dog in field

9. Try to go with the flow

If you’ve hired a photographer, it might feel like you have to maximize every second of their time, but nothing ruins a shoot like forcing moments and emotions. Try to keep a steady pace. Any good photographer should be able to maintain the flow but if it goes awry, don't be afraid to take a break. Tip: Go off book; if you see a location or prop that you feel will enhance the shoot, then by all means change tack and go for it.

10. Get started

If you’re still not sure what to do for your family photo shoot, we recommend jumping in the deep end. Pick up your camera or smartphone and start snapping. It’s easy to delay things if we feel like we’re not the best at it but one great way to learn is by doing, and that’s no different with photography. The more you snap, the more memories you can add to your collection. Just make sure you stay on top of them all; delete duplicates and blurry images as you go as your photo folder can get out of hand quickly. For tips, discover our helpful photo organization blog.

Capture photos you'll be proud to display with these 10 creative family photo ideas. As your family grows so too will your family photo collection. Make sure you preserve them in beautiful family photo albums. Create a heirloom collection that will perfectly capture the spirit of your family and that will endure for generations to come.

Discover our top customer inspiration for family photo ideas.

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