Reinventing Fine Art Family Photography: Top Tips for Creating Artist-Level Images

Reinventing Fine Art Family Photography: Top Tips for Creating Artist-Level Images


Family photos have always been cherished. After all, the time we spend with our loved ones is precious and fleeting, so capturing the moments for posterity has been a passionate pursuit for generations. Today, families no longer have to confine themselves to boring poses and standard shots; families can embrace the art of fine art family photography to create meaningful memories and pieces of art. Here are some top tips to help you take your family photos to the next level.

Plan Ahead

Nothing is worse than arriving at the location for your family photo session to find the environment isn’t the right fit, or the clothes you were going to wear aren’t coordinating. When aiming to create fine art family pictures, it’s important to take the time to plan out everything long before the day of the shoot. Decide on a location that speaks to the family’s style, and then pick the outfits – even down to details like socks and sneakers. Taking care of the little things ahead of time leaves you clear of distractions during the actual photo shoot and allows you to focus on the art.

Capture Emotion

When trying to capture the essence of a family, don’t just aim to capture a stiff pose. Instead, create spontaneous moments that express emotion. Have the family lounge in different cozy positions or relax on the beach. The setting shouldn’t be overly posed or forced. Have fun, erase stiffness and allow those genuine feelings of love, admiration and connection to come through in the shot.

Use Props

Adding meaningful props to a shoot can boost the storytelling ability of the images. Props don’t need to be anything fancy. A child’s photo diary from last summer, a family game night, a treasured heirloom — capture the moments that really tell the story of who this family is. Natural elements like trees, flowers and stones can add a unique twist and contribute to the feel of the photo.

Embrace Nature

Utilizing nature as a backdrop for family photos creates gorgeous images. The ocean, mountains, city streets and more can be used to make stunning photos. If the family isn’t the outdoorsy type, take pictures at the park or in a nearby field of wildflowers. Natural images create an instant sense of nostalgia and give the photos a greater sense of place and purpose.

Play with Angles

An artist-level image doesn’t mean simply lining everyone up and snapping a traditional family portrait. Angles add dynamism and make the shots stand out. Capture shots from the top of the staircase, above the city’s skyline, or lying on the ground near a lake. Feel free to vary up the angles and don’t be afraid to get creative.

Switch Up the Lighting

Lighting is vital for a successful shoot. Take some photos at midday to capture that stunning summer sunlight, but also consider taking photos at golden hour to bring out the best in everyone. Different lightings can alter the entire feel of the photos and can be used to tell a much more dynamic story.

Be Open to Change

Don’t get stuck in the same style of the same poses. If a shot isn’t coming out quite right, adjust the players and switch up the poses. Get creative to make sure the shots tell the type of story you want to tell – if that means waiting an extra five minutes or asking the family to move elsewhere, then do it. At the end of the day, it’s the photographer who pulls all the pieces together.


Beautiful family memories are worth documenting, no matter how you take the pictures. However, if you want to take your family pictures to the next level, embrace the art of fine art family photography. Be sure to plan ahead, capture emotion, use props, and shoot in natural settings with different lightings and angles. Above all, stay open to change and be creative with your shots. These tips will have you well on your way to creating pieces of art that capture the true beauty of your family.

wim arys

Wim Arys is a photographer from Belgium Europe with a passion for mirrorless cameras.

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