DIY Family Photo Shoot

diy family photo shoot

If you're like me, you haven't had any family portraits taken recently, and now that the holidays are here your favorite photographer is all booked up and you really wanted a great picture to use for your Christmas card, but you're not desperate enough to navigate your way to the mall portrait studio. Sound familiar? Well, if you find yourself in this predicament, don't sweat because I'm here to help!

If you're a DIYer at heart, have a camera, and can round up the family for thirty minutes in the backyard (or a room with natural lighting) then you're all set. Here's what you need to do...

diy family photo shoot

Set up a back drop. We just used a natural colored bed sheet with a thicker blanket behind to block the sun from shining through. You can definitely choose something more exciting. I probably would've used the bright blue blanket if it had been longer. We just hung the sheet from the top of our deck with rocks to hold it down. You could also try duct tape on an outer wall, or hook up a funky shower curtain on some nails.

diy family photo shoot

Next you'll need a tripod. If you don't have one, no worries, just find something tall and sturdy you can set the camera on while you get the shot.

diy family photo shoot

Now pick out some props to liven things up a little. We kept it simple with these bright old school chairs we bought a while back. You can definitely get creative here, and there are tons of portrait ideas online, especially on Pinterest (anyone else addicted?).

diy family photo shoot

Round everyone up and get started! Take some test shots first (like this one) to make sure your camera's where you want it. If not, adjust the zoom, etc. and your tripod/sturdy tall thing before you dash over for the timer.

diy family photo shoot

And you're finally ready for some great family photos! Set the timer, shout at everybody to smile, run and sit in place, and pray that it comes out. Can you believe we actually got this one on the first try? It's pretty hard getting everyone to look at the camera at the same time (especially with six people) so you'll likely have to try a few times.


diy family photo shoot

We took a few more just to have fun. My husband has a great sense of humor, doesn't he?

diy family photo shoot

Be sure to take some horizontal ones too (if you're using your tripod)...

diy family photo shoot

...you can always crop them down.

diy family photo shoot

And here's our awkward family photo of the bunch. Poor Amelia, it looks like we don't like her!

diy family photo shoot

That's better!

diy family photo shoot

After getting photos of everyone together, be sure to get group shots. Here are our little angels, and a little imp named Liam.

diy family photo shoot

diy family photo shoot

Then some girly shots. Amelia was actually saying cheese. Adorable.

diy family photo shoot

And daddy with our monkeys.

diy family photo shoot

And some of mommy and daddy, too!

diy family photo shoot

Stay tuned for how I edit my photos to take them from drab (like this one) to fab (the previous one).

diy family photo shoot

Happy family picture taking everyone! I'd love to see how yours turn out, stop by and share yours in the Maker Mama Flickr group!
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