How to Take Better Family Photos

Sarah Winborn Photography

Improvements in technology mean that we have cameras at our fingertips ay all times, occasion or not. Whether you rely on a phone, carry a compact camera or own a sturdier DSLR, it is possible to vastly improve your family photographs with a few simple techniques. Berlin based family photographer Sarah Winborn shares her top tips.

Sarah Winborn Photography

Sarah Winborn Photography

Get down to your child’s level

Instead of standing at full height and taking the photograph looking down at your child, try kneeling down to their level and taking the shot. This simple change in angle will make a world of difference and will help you to step into his or her world through your lens.

Be aware of the light

Having an understanding of light and how it plays on people’s faces, as well as the environment around them, is crucial. The great thing about digital cameras is that we can see the results almost instantaneously, making the learning curve incredibly fast. Ask someone to stand next to a window inside your home and take a selection of pictures of their face whilst changing the angle slightly each time.

If you don’t have a child who will stand still, you can photograph your own face. You will soon see that some of the pictures look far better than others. This is because light hits the face in different ways depending on the angle. Sometimes it’s flattering and other times, far from it. Once you’ve worked out which angles work best, you can use this knowledge for photographing other family members.

Document real family life

Of course it’s lovely to have pictures of your children smiling at the camera, but don’t be afraid to capture some of the real, everyday moments in your household. It’s these moments that I most enjoy photographing and they are an essential part of documentary photo sessions. I truly believe that these will be the memories you will want to look back on, many years from now. Simple things like cooking together, reading a story at bedtime, breakfast time, and bathtime are the little moments in family life that deserve to be preserved.

Get to know your camera

If your camera has some manual modes, play with them until you understand the basics of how they work. Depth of field is a fabulous tool and fun to play with, while learning about shutter speed will help when taking photos in lower light – especially useful in the winter. If you want to photograph your children jumping, sliding or doing sports, check if your camera has a multi-shot setting, which allows you to take a number of photographs in a row without removing your finger from the trigger button. This increases the chances of you getting the right shot, despite the movement.

Keep your camera nearby

Having your camera on hand is key to getting great family photos. Some of my favourite pictures of my own children come from spotting a great opportunity and managing to grab the camera in time to capture it.


Sarah Winborn Photography

View Sarah’s portfolio, or follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

Have you taken a brilliant photograph of your children? Have any tips for our readers? Leave them in the comments below and post your picture on instagram and share with us @mrfoxmag


  • These are some great tips and I try to follow these. Always have your camera handy, as photographs emerge at the most surprising times, and it is incredibly disappointing when you miss an opportunity. I only discovered my camera year ago, more than two years after my husband bought it, ready for the birth of our first child. I only use it in manual mode, as it allows me to experiment with so many different settings, achieving all sorts of interesting effects. Some photos come out badly, but some are truly magic.

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