Large Family Portrait Ideas

Family photo sessions are absolutely worth the anxiety, trepidation, and effort that often takes place prior to the actual pics. 😅 Look, we know just how tricky family photos can be, so we’re excited to cheer you on and give you some large family photo ideas for your next group session! 👍

Here at Flytographer, we easily connect people with trusted photographers for fun photo shoots and have captured over three million memories worldwide. 🌎 We asked our local photographers for tips on how to capture memories with your family, in particular, for large family photo shoots. 📸

Photo: Cheryl in Ft. Lauderdale for Flytographer. Priya and family capture a beautiful day together in Ft. Lauderdale with a family photoshoot.

1. Embrace fun family photo poses

One of the best parts of large family photo shoots is the options for variety. 😎 Posing ideas are endless; fun poses for your whole family and smaller breakout group photos mean no one has to feel uncomfortable, and fabulous, flattering photos will be the end result. Embracing the fun is key to having a good time and making the whole experience memorable—in a good way!

Large family photo ideas can be found easily online, and we always recommend taking time for some classic large family portrait poses that include everyone in the frame together, oftentimes gathered in smaller unit groupings. Going into groupings as adults and then bringing in younger children once the adults are settled helps get the main structure framed without wearing out the attention span of little ones. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Adding smaller kiddos just before the photos are snapped can also be turned into a fun game. Don’t forget you can always start with the best smiles, then give a countdown to when everyone can make a silly face! Kids love knowing when something fun is coming, and just the anticipation of change often means the best giggles will appear just before those silly faces. 🤪

Big families mean big energy. Portrait photography can oftentimes feel stiff, but leaning into the potential for chaos will help you on the road to success. Kids will be kids. Tears may happen. People will feel nervous, but this is life, and that’s all ok! 🆗 Focus on your love for one another and how special this exact season is—time flies by, and people change so quickly. So no matter the hesitation, remember the ultimate payoff: family pictures you’ll cherish forever. Utilizing the skills of a professional photographer who is comfortable with the pace, dynamics, and energy of large groups means they can manage the likely chaos with stride.

Photo: Flytographer in Nassau. Dominique and family celebrate a trip together in Nassau with a family photoshoot.

2. Where to capture your family portrait

Accommodating a large group can feel like a challenge logistically, especially in comparison to smaller family photos. We recommend thinking first about a location that feels safe and comfortable—perhaps where there is a bit of space to move around and some variety to provide distractions for little ones (“Who can spot the tallest tree?” “Can you hold my hand and balance on the bottom stair?”). ❣️ Taking little breaks throughout your shoot will help provide time to breathe, wiggle, and regroup. We recommend starting with a large group photo, and when breaks are needed, take advantage of smaller groupings for smaller family photos and holiday card shots! For a large group photo or large family portrait, finding a spot with even natural lighting and enough space for everyone to fit comfortably will make everything just a bit easier.

Photo: Melissa in Palm Springs for Flytographer. Adriana and family capture a day together in Palm Springs with a family photoshoot.

3. Look for natural light

Let’s dig a bit deeper when it comes to natural lighting. Coordinating a big group is tough, so set yourself up for success by starting with good lighting. Natural light is flattering and generous. With large groups finding natural light means being outdoors, ideally where shade is present to offset harsh sunlight or shadows. This can be on the side of a building, garage, or even a patch of fluffy trees (just keep an eye out for pesky shadows). 🌳 Hiring a professional photographer who can help ensure everyone is positioned in an even and flattering light (pun intended) is a must. Talk with your photographer about your location, time of day, and location logistics to help nail down the best time featuring the best natural light. 💁‍♀️

Photo: Flytographer in Maui. Juliet and family capture a family trip in Maui with a family photoshoot.

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4. Find your favourite family photo outfits

Struggling with outfit ideas? 👕 One of our best photography tips is to focus on a colour scheme or general palate. Adding some pops of colour can be a nice touch, particularly if there are specific family members you want to highlight in your photos, such as parents or grandparents. Asking a large family group to match is a tough task, and typically a giant group of branded t-shirts isn’t ideal either. 😉 Avoid logos, extreme patterns, and any words. Stay flexible, be open-minded, and suggest layers. Bringing jackets, sweaters, coloured accessories, or extra items that can be added or removed can help create balance among individuals when they’re all grouped together. These items also add variety to a group photo or can even be removed to make things feel more cohesive.

Photo: Flytographer in Maui. Stephanie and family capture a multi-gen reunion in Maui with a family photoshoot.

5. Celebrate all occasions

Rather than creating a new gathering specifically for the purpose of taking a large family photo, what about utilizing an opportunity when the family is already gathering? Whether it’s a celebration, extended family reunion, holiday, or any other family occasion, take advantage of it. 🫂 Occasions are also a great time to not make pictures feel like a chore—remember, this doesn’t have to feel like a stuffy family portrait session. Hiring a professional family photographer is also a great opportunity to get candid lifestyle pictures throughout your extended family event—pictures are just a happy bonus to immortalize your time together!

Photo: Trenna in Jackson Hole for FlytographerPasha and family celebrate and anniversary in Jackson Hole with a family photoshoot.

Capturing memories with family photos

Family photography doesn’t have to be intimidating. Whether you’re creating the moment for an extended family photo session or hoping to piggyback off an existing celebration where your family is already gathered, be sure to hire a photographer to do the job well. 👏

Pictures are priceless, and here at Flytographer, we have hundreds of incredible professional photographers in cities throughout the world. We would love to connect you with one of them to help capture your large group photos. We can’t wait to connect! 💖