How To Take Family Portraits Outside With A Tripod

How to take family portraits outside with a tripod
How to take family portraits outside with a tripod

Q. How to take family portraits outside with a tripod?

I’ve been taking family portraits for years. And, truth be told, I love it! But whenever I take photos of my children or grandchildren outdoors, a few specific challenges arise.

This can be a great opportunity to teach your kids about the environment around them and how to take care of it.

It also gives us an opportunity to show off our locations that are normally just reserved for families with bigger budgets and more time on their hands.

But let’s say you want to try this out too—or maybe you’re hoping someone else (a friend? Your spouse?) will join in on the fun…

Choosing a location

To be sure, it’s important to choose a location that is well-lit and interesting.

If you’re photographing your family outdoors while they’re running around, try to find a spot where there are no shadows on the ground (this will help eliminate any areas where the subject can look like they have an angry face).

Also, consider what kind of background you want for your pictures — do you want one with lots of greenery?

Flowers? Trees? A water feature?

Or maybe something like a brick wall or rock formations will work best for this particular photo shoot.

Finally, think about safety before taking any photos outdoors: beware of animals and insects! Don’t forget about poison ivy too!

Setting up your tripod

Once you’ve chosen a location and figured out how far away from your subject you want to be, set up the tripod on a flat surface.

It’s best if this area is level and free of obstructions (like trees), so check with any local authorities before heading out into the woods.

Once settled in place, make sure it’s stable by testing its legs with both hands for wobble or shakiness.

If there are any parts that feel loose or flimsy, tighten them up until they feel secure—you’ll want to avoid having one side suddenly collapse under pressure during an important shot!

Setting up the shot

Once you’ve decided on the general area where you’ll be taking your family portraits, it’s time to start setting up.

The first thing to do is choose which focal length lens will suit the space best: wide angle (for large spaces), medium (for average spaces), or telephoto (for small ones).

A wide-angle lens will give an expansive view of everything around you; a telephoto will allow for more intimate shots with minimal distortion; and a medium one works well in most situations.

Once you’ve chosen which type of camera gear would work best for the shot—and what kind of lighting conditions are present—it’s time to get into position!

If possible, place yourself so that everyone can see each other comfortably without having to crane their necks too much (or worry about blocking someone else’s view).

How to take family portraits outside with a tripod
How to take family portraits outside with a tripod

Telling them how to pose

For the most part, your kids aren’t going to pose for you. But if you want them to look at the camera and each other (which is really nice), it helps if there’s something fun about what they’re doing together that makes them feel like they’re posing for a family portrait.

You could have them dancing around or playing tag in the yard—whatever works!

If you want more direction on how to tell your kids where exactly they should be standing when taking this type of picture (and what kind of expressions might work best), check out our guide here: How To Pose Kids For Family Portraits

It’s important to shoot from a consistent, even position.

It’s important to shoot from a consistent, even position.

A tripod is essential for any photographer who wants to take photos of people in motion—whether it’s with family or friends and family, or just some random strangers you happen upon outside.

A remote shutter release can help you achieve this consistency by allowing you to set the exact time for each shot without having to worry about holding your camera still while pressing down on the button at precisely the right time.

Once again though, this will only work if there are no other distractions around (like kids) so make sure that everyone stays quiet!


Hopefully, this guide has helped you get the most out of your family photographs.

If you’re still feeling uncertain about how to pose, don’t worry—you can always ask someone else!

In fact, it’s best not to pose your family members at all.

Instead, just have fun with them and let them be themselves. After all these years of taking pictures of my own kids (and after having done so much research on where and what works best),

I’m happy to say that we haven’t needed any help taking pictures outside yet!

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