25 Family Photo Ideas For All Seasons

Professional photographers are increasingly taking families out of the studio and into the outside world, providing the opportunity to capture the love, joy and affection between families in a more natural setting. With this shift, a vast array of family photo ideas becomes possible.

The bonus of using a studio is photographers can manipulate the family portrait photography setting to suit any occasion you please and, on those windy or rainy days, the whole family can pretend it’s sunny with the simple addition of photography props – a flower in little Anna’s hair or a hat on Tommy’s head.

However, the advantages of photographing outside certainly outweigh the disadvantages and you don’t even have to hire a professional photographer to achieve your desired result. With a DSLR camera, you can take perfectly good portrait photography – inside or outside – using a borrowed friend or a self-setting timer.

With a spirit of creativity, you can even welcome any kind of weather, making your family photo shoot one that is both unique and fun – something all families deserve! Here are 25 family photography ideas to cover all seasons:

Summer

1. Day At The Beach

You don’t have to be a super model to capture a beautiful beach photo of the family. Just be yourselves with lots of big smiles and you’ll love the result. Include lots of fun props – buckets, spades, towels, balls to add colour and life.

2. Cool Sunglasses

A close up of the family all wearing sunglasses is an oldie, but a goodie because it’s natural and fun rather than prim and proper. This shot is all about big smiles. Take it to the next level and have everyone pull a funny face.

Family Photo Ideas - Summer Sunglasses

3. Swimming Pool

Nothing says fun in the sun like a refreshing summer swim, so get your laughing gear on and bust out the games. An action photo of your littlest being torpedoed into the air will win over a fake smile any day.

4. Bright Colours

Sometimes it’s just enough to wear happy, bright clothes. Get the whole family decked out in fluoro or bright primary colours. One of the key portrait photography tips to learn is to wear matching outfits. This is an effective way to create a visual sense of belonging; a strong sense of family.

5. Balloons

Balloons can provide colour if colour is missing from your family’s outfits. Deck the family out in fresh, new outfits – whites and stripes – and use a big bunch of balloons as your backdrop. Creative props can add something special to a family photo and balloons require a minimal investment.

Family Photo Ideas - Summer Balloons

6. Jumping

Oh what a feeling! There’s no need to limit a shot like this for advertising catalogues, but you’ll likely need to find a professional photographer to make this one happen. This shot is definitely for the fit summer-loving family. It’s possibly not the shot you’d invite Grandma to join in on.

7. Bare Feet

Summer is about celebrating bare feet in all their glory, so do something cute with the family and have everyone lie down for a family foot photo! This is a great one to do when the kids are small and a lovely reminder, in future years, of how little they once were.

Family Photo Ideas - Summer Feet Beach

Autumn

8. Holding A Leaf

While not every city is blessed enough to enjoy a true Autumn, this beautiful season often invites people into the great outdoors. Visit a local park, forest or gardens and have everyone hold up a giant leaf. It’s nature’s wonder prop and beats fake flowers!

9. Lying In Leaves

It’s time to get up close with nature. Find a deciduous tree and enjoy some family time playing in the leaves. The stylised nature of a photo like this may require a professional photographer to get it looking just right, but in terms of baby photography ideas, it’s a great way to get out of the studio and get something different from the norm.

10. Backdrop Of Leaves

The colour palette of Autumn is a wonderful thing, so why settle for a black screen when you can have browns, oranges, reds and yellows as your photo backdrop?

Family Photo Ideas - Autumn Leafy Background

11. Piggy Back

There are few photos better than a child riding on Mum or Dad’s back or shoulders. Genuine smiles galore.

12. Bird’s Eye

This shot’s only naff when it appears in property development brochures. When it’s of your own family, it’s a whole heap of fun and makes a great photo art print. Lie on the ground in a circle or a row and have someone above you take a photo looking down.

Family Photo Ideas - Autumn Lying In Leaves

13. Hugging a Tree

Newspaper photographers love this one. The subject either stands beside a tree, peeks out from around a tree or leans on a tree. I say you have nothing to lose hugging the tree, particularly if it’s a really big one! Alternatively, position the family around the base of a tree’s large root system. Gorgeous.

Winter

14. Beanies

Right now someone, somewhere in the world is wearing a beanie. Beanies can look hip, refined or, as far as baby photography props go, the cutest way to photograph an infant ever realised.

Family Photo Ideas - Beanie Baby

15. Snow Fight

If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere it snows, you’re lucky enough to experience the exhilaration of a snow fight. But it’s time to get serious and capture this for posterity. Not for the faint hearted, I’d definitely leave this shot up to a professional.

16. Building A Snowman

Capture this family classic on camera and print it to canvas, once and for all. Every wholesome family movie includes a scene of a family building a snowman. Your family doesn’t have to miss out on all the glory!

Family Photo Ideas - Build A Snowman

17. Skiing

Not for the faint hearted photographer! Tough to photograph, but why buy an action ski shot for your office wall when it can be you and the family doing a synchronised jump (or fall as the case may be!).

18. Falling Snow

Capture rosy red cheeks and everything nourishing with this perfect Winter happy snap. Couples can rediscover their youth and kids can, well, live theirs in full knowledge that – when the magic is over – those delighted faces can be seen over and over.

19. All Rugged Up

There are few things cuter than a bub wrapped up in layers of winter warmth. Add to that a whole family rugged up and it’s a portrait photo that simply must don your wall all year round, simply for the ‘awwws’ it will inspire from visitors.

20. By A Fireplace

While all the chilly ideas above are great for older families, if looking for Winter newborn family photo ideas, the cold can be a tough place for a baby who’s still discovering what it’s like to exist in the world. A baby on sheepskin by a fire is a bundle of joy worth treasuring forever. Click!

Family Photo Ideas - Newborn Fireplace

Spring

21. Bunch Of Flowers

Flowers, the classic photo studio prop, are in abundance outside so bundle up the family for a photo shoot in the country or the local park or gardens. Let the kids make flower headpieces or lie down among the beauty of blossoms.

Family Photo Ideas - Spring Flowers

22. Sitting Pretty

The great outdoors features so many places to sit and, with Spring one of the most beautiful months on the calendar, nothing says ‘We are free and happy and loving life!’ than a photo of the family resting on a log or a bench seat. And surely that’s what family portraits are all about … ?

23. Cycling

One for a professional photographer to direct, an action shot of the family cycling can make a great photo inclusion as part of a photo collage. Cycling photography can create a sense of whimsy often lacking in still photography.

24. Flying A Kite

Another one for a professional photographer to direct. Go on, force those brilliant portrait photographers out of the comfort of their studio and give them a real challenge! Life isn’t always about four walls – it’s about running and laughter and … kites. Life must sometimes be about kites.

Family Photo Ideas - Kite Flying

25. Picnic Pose

While every family picnic features a photo, this is about taking the time to dress for the occasion, work out a pose and smile, even if an ant is biting you on the bottom. Because they’re the sacrifices you make for the perfect family photo!

The most important thing to keep in mind with the modern family photo shoot is that you do not need to capture the entire family in every shot every time. Photo collages are a wonderful way to gather photos of your whole family together in the one print without all family members being in all the shots.

That is, you can take a hero shot of the whole family then photos of individual family members together. For example, siblings together, parents together, Mum with kids, Dad with kids, kids with pets – the options are endless. That’s the beauty of collage and you can build your own online using our easy-to-use collage maker.

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Eli is Canvas Factory's resident blogger and social media buff. She has a passion for art, craft, design, fashion and photography. She loves to explore the joys and challenges of family life, relationships, motherhood and pet ownership. Eli finds it's more funny to poke fun at herself than others. She's travelled extensively and considers herself a citizen of the world.

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