The weather has been so nice here in California and with the trees blossoming I wanted to take some family photos. Unfortunately I have yet to find a photographer in the Sacramento area that I like. Having a professional photographer is nice because you don’t have to deal with headache of taking and editing your own photos, but most times it’s expensive. Any good photographer is going to charge an upwards of $500 for a one hour session. And with kids you never know if an hour will be enough to get the right photos.

I’ve paid a lot of money for a photographer before and ended up not liking the photos. I figure at least if I take my own photos I have no one to blame but myself. In the end I decided to put my amateur photographer skills to the test and take our photos.

Here are some helpful tips when taking your own family photos. 🙂

 1.) Camera

Kind of a no brainer, but you do need a good camera. It doesn’t necessarily have to a DSLR camera. We used my Sony a6000 for this with an attachment DSLR400V Universal High Power Auto Flash. 

 2.) Indoor or outdoor?

Decide whether or not you want to take photos indoor or outdoor. I personally recommend outdoor because of the natural lighting.

If you’re going outdoor pick a good spot. An old abandoned barn, a flower field, a blossom field etc…

If you’re going indoors use ring lights and light reflectors.

 3.) Props!

Props are such a good way of dressing up a photo. If you can bring as many props as you can. We brought a blanket, picnic baskets, and a little chalkboard. I wish we would have brought a couple of chairs for the kids, but I couldn’t find any last-minute. 

 4.) Self timer and tripod

This is a must because if no one else is taking your photos you’re going to heavily rely on setting up your camera on the tripod and setting it on self timer.

I set my camera on the 10 second self timer continuous shooting 5. This means every 10 seconds it would shoot a series of 5 photos.

 5.) Take lot’s of photos

We took almost 300 photos and got about 10 that I liked that actually turned out good, so don’t expect to get the shots you want right away.

 6.) Have your positions in mind and RUN!

Set everything up and have your family in their positions ready. Once you click that button on the camera run and get into position!

 7.) Editing

An alternative to Photoshop is Light Room it’s an adobe program as well only it’s easier to use and cheaper! Picmonkey is an online website you can also use to edit your photos. I frequently use Picmonkey for quick edits and touch ups.

 Quick tips:

  • Pick a day and time and check the weather the day before and the day of. I’m so glad we did it yesterday because it’s gloomy out today, and it’s forecasted to rain today through the weekend!
  • If you want to shoot in a blossom field decide a day where the weather will be good. The trees only bloom for about 2-3 weeks (give or take!) We actually went to another field we had planned to go to and all the trees had already blossomed, so we had to find another field to go to.
  • Bring some snacks and toys for the kids. It was really difficult to get Nolan’s attention to the camera. Neveah did a lot better because I promised her a treat.
  • Coordinate family outfits. David and Nolan wore blue shirts and mommy and Neveah wore lace beige dresses.

Not too bad for an amateur.

Hey Beautiful! Thank you for reading!


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