3 Tips for Candid Family Photos

After being a candid family photographer for seventeen years, in this post I am going to share my top three tips to achieve candid family photos. This post is for photographers looking to achieve natural connection as well as families who are getting their portraits taken and want to know how to interact for that perfect natural pose.

There is an art in creating authentic candid family photos. Achieving a candid family photo is not about taking three thousand images. There is a misconception that candid family photos are unposed. The truth is, candid family photos are very intentionally orchestrated to get the right expression as well as composition.

As a photographer there are many things you can do to achieve that candid family photo portrait. Here are my favorite tips to capturing the story of a family in their candid portraits.


Leave expectations at home as well as the threats. No child responds to things being taken away from them. You will never get a child to smile if they are being threatened with the ice cream you promised them being taken away. Instead, bribery works better. I bring smarties to all candid family photoshoots. They are small, they dissolve and every kid loves them. More than anything, embrace the chaos and crazy. It's these moments that paint the true picture of your life right now, which is a beautiful life that one day you will miss.


Make sure your photographer is experienced in giving prompts and games to interact with one another. My favorites are twirling, skipping, dancing, talking to each other in animal noises, hugs and telling secrets. This gets the eyes off the camera and into your relationships, achieving that perfect candid family photo. I generally group a few individuals in a family and give each grouping a different prompt to get unique and dynamic interactions happening simultaneously.


Even if your kids are being mischievous or misbehaving, SMILE! Remember kids can't misbehave during a photoshoot. The best portraits are authentic portraits. Your favorite images WILL be the ones where they are being little stinkers. In twenty years from now it will be the perfectly imperfect portrait that will be reenacted at a family reunion.

If you want to create magic with your family, I have a unique experience you will not find anywhere else. I have developed a set of prompts that dip into the psychology of connection to help get that perfect candid portrait. In my opinion it's those candid moments that make the best art work for your home. Interested in connecting with your family in a way that perhaps you never have? I'd love to chat. I am a Utah photographer but travel worldwide photographing families.

Let's Chat! Click the connect button below and let's set up a consultation to get your session started. Want to know why my process is so different? Read my story here.

Much Love!



candid family photos
candid family photos
candid family photos
candid family photos
candid family photos