Here are several tips that will make your family photo the best it can be.
1. Plan, Plan, Plan – Let everyone know you are going to do this way in advance so your kids can get mentally prepared….or even your spouse!
2. Set up the room – sometimes moving the couch in front of the fire place or in the middle of the room will really add to the depth of the image. Many times you see interviews on 60 minutes where they put 2 chairs opposite each other, but notice they are in the middle of the room…no one will notice. It will help you produce a slightly out of focus background and probably no shadows too! And this means…don’t shoot against the wall.
3. Simple clothes – I generally suggest either everyone wears a different color solid shirt or have everyone wear the same color. Make sure it’s not the same as the walls!
4. Either use natural light, a couple of soft boxes or get a Gary Fong or Rogue flash attachment – these will all make your images look much better…don’t use direct flash!!! And if your camera is relatively new, for natural light, up the ISO.
5. Either get close so you show the faces or pose everyone so the photo is balanced. Look online for great family poses!
This is a good source: http://digital-photography-school.com/posing-guide-21-sample-poses-to-get-you-started-with-photographing-groups-of-people
6. Relax – I always suggest using the family pet…they can really liven up the photo.
7. Take lots of photos – So you get the very best one. Use a remote so you are not running back and forth.
8. Sometimes an imperfect image is the best. It may just be the one of everyone laughing at Dad!
9. Check your camera, batteries, and memory card before starting – Don’t run out in the middle!
10. If you’re still confused…ask the professionals at Creve Coeur Camera for help!