Taking the perfect family photo doesn't have to be a hassle or expensive. You can take a professional grade photo yourself, even with your iphone!
8 tips to taking the perfect family photo
Pick the best lighting
Lighting can make or break your photo shoot. If it's too bright outside, you run the risk of over-exposing your photos. A great time to take photos is right before dusk. Even on a sunny day, the lighting is soft and has a nice warm tint.
Use a tripod
The best way to ensure that your photos look professional is to make sure the camera is steady. Tripods are a cheap, easy way to make sure that your photos are clear and have a steady hand. They also help when you want everyone in your photo and don't have anyone to physically take the picture for you.
Stagger the bodies
Make sure that no one next to each other is at the same height. Bring bodies forward, and backward, so have some depth in the photo. Having too many people at the same height can make the photo look awkward and staged.
You want to color coordinate, but no look so intentional. Don't tell everyone to show up wearing khaki pants and a blue shirt. Have a theme, but not necessarily color matching shirts. When in doubt, white and black always looks classy.
Capture the personality
Have fun taking photos! Show some of your family's unique personality in your pictures. Bring your dog, play a game at the beach, do something other than just smile. Show some emotions. You'll like your photos a lot more when they show the real side of your family that shows through photographs.
Take a bunch
The more photos the better. Don't go into your photo shoot with a time restraint, you'll want to get as many pictures as possible so you can have the most to choose from.
If you really want to get fancy you can edit the exposure, brightness and saturation of your photos with some basic editing. There are tons of free tools online and you can even do this with your iphone. One of my favorites is VSCO.com. In the chance that your photos don't come out as perfect as you'd hoped, you have a fair amount of flexibility with editing software.
Frame your photos
When all said and done you need to show off your lovely family photos. The best way to showcase all of your amazing photos is a Digital Photo Frame. You can put your photos on a slideshow and have them playing all at once in your living room. This way, you're not stuck just printing out one photo. It really gives you some leeway, you don't have to pick just one photo. You can have 2, 3, 4 or even 15 favorites to show off.
Follow these tips and you can take the perfect photo for your Christmas card without the hassle or breaking your budget. Taking the perfect family photo doesn't have to be rocket science. Happy picture taking!