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I like giggling with children, being silly, snuggling newborns, and making sure mamas get in the picture. I’m so glad you’re here! Please click around to get a feel for me and how I capture beauty in the everyday mess of life. 

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5 Tips for How to Take Family Photos at Home

The one thing every mom wants to know: how to take family photos at home. I know how important it is to document your family during the holidays. Sometimes it’s a rare moment when everyone is gathered together and for the most part looking their best. Holidays can get really busy but it’s important to take the time and carve out a few minutes to capture the whole family. With these 6 easy steps you’ll have the perfect Thanksgiving family photo before kids dissolve into tantrums and smiles get stale. Here’s how to take family photos at home.

how to take family photos at home

1. Take photos outside.

The lighting will almost always be better outside than the artificial lighting in your home. Once you’re all outside, arrange everyone so that they’re facing their shadows. This way the lighting is even on everyone’s faces and there aren’t uneven shadows.

2. When you’re posing in a big group, have a friend come over and snap the photo or use a camera photo stand.

They have great and inexpensive options on Amazon. Set a timer on your phone or attach your camera to the top and snap those photos.

3. Take the picture vertically or horizontally, whichever is your preference.

I recommend that you take a few photos. With squirmy kids and a big group, you’ll have better odds of getting a photo where everyone is looking at the camera and smiling. Edit your photo in the Lightroom Mobile App. It’s free to use and you can use my free presets to make the edits. It’s very easy!

4. If you don’t want to take the photo outside, find a neutral background to pose in front of your home.

I recommend that you take of photo of everyone standing and not just sitting around the table. If you take a photo around the table there is a lot of unnecessary space and you have to stand further away to take the picture.

5. When taking photos indoors, face everyone toward a window so you’ll have natural light in your photos.

If you can’t have natural light and a neutral background, I’d prioritize having a neutral background for your photo. Once again, prop your camera up on a piece of furniture or a camera photo stand, snap a few photos, and then edit it in Lightroom using my free presets.


If you want a family photo, make it happen. I give you permission to document your family. Be the boss and spend 10 minutes telling people what to do and where to stand. They will all be grateful in 5 years to have that photo to look back on. You’ve got this family photographer! And if you want to dabble in purchasing a camera versus your phone, you can check out some of my camera recommendations for new photographers.

Madison Thomson Photography earns a commission on purchases. Thank you for supporting my small business!

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