The Best Family Photo tips if you are not a Professional:
Don't try to make every photo posed. Your family is trying to have fun; so, let things go and get some shots of the event. Just your crew walking to the park, grabbing some lunch, and being with each other is enough. Sure, the photo filled with action is great, but may require setup or multiple takes. That photo of Granddad talking with grandson may be the perfect memory when they are older.
They won't all be perfect. Your job is to capture a few images to remember the day. So if you shoot 40 images, you may have 3-4 that really speak to you. That's okay. (And the more you shoot, the better your composition, lighting, and timing will be!)
Allow yourself in the pictures. I don't mean selfies, I mean give the camera to someone else so you are in a few images too. The younger kids need to know what to look for and how to take a decent shot. Perfect teaching moment....
None of us are perfect. Most of us are not professional models. And are we really going to run to the gym and loose those 20 pounds before the family trip? Let the love and hugs show in the photos and forget about the gray hairs or whatever worries you. To be honest, I would rather be included in the photos and the experience than sit alone.
Try to show a little of the location in the picture. Even if it is an entrance to the park, that can help you tell the story later with those clues in the pic. If you wanted to go there, the place must be important, right?
Remember to light the face. If you have the sun glaring on your kids' faces, they will not be happy and smiling. However, if there is no light on them, they will be a dark ghost. You can always pull someone to a shadowed area and have them face the light. If your camera has a decent flash, cut it on outside and let the flash fill the face shadows.
Lastly, Print, Print, Print ! You don't want to give everyone a box of photos from every event, but a few printed to hold in your hand can make a big impact these days. Oh, and if you have those old shots of you as a kid, bring them to me and I can restore and copy for you. Your kids may find it interesting how similar your picture at 8 years old looks so much like them at 8.
For more information, ask for Tim at Studio C Photography, Culpeper, VA