10 Genius Hacks for Capturing Creative Family Candid Photography

by | Mar 25, 2024 | Family Candid Photography, Family Photos in New England

Family candid photography is all about capturing the authentic spirit and genuine emotions of your family. Unlike posed shots, these candid moments provide a snapshot of life exactly as it is – raw, real, and beautiful. For families living in Massachusetts, Connecticut, or Rhode Island, capturing these fleeting moments can turn daily routines into treasured memories.

For young couples and families, the importance of candid photography lies in preserving the essence of their relationships and daily lives. Whether it’s a spontaneous laugh, a quiet morning routine, or an impromptu dance in the living room, these are the moments that truly matter.

Candid photography freezes these memories, allowing you to look back and feel the same joy, love, and togetherness years down the line.

Quick Guide: Capturing Candid Moments with Family:

  • Definition: Candid photography captures natural, unposed moments.
  • Importance: These photos preserve genuine emotions and interactions.
  • Key Tips: Always have your camera ready, understand the lighting, and capture the routine and mundane.

Jodi Blodgett Photography believes in capturing these bright, vibrant, and whimsical images in a way that feels natural and comfortable. By keeping things relaxed and focusing on genuine interactions rather than forcing poses, we create a space where your family’s true personality shines through.

candid family photos - family photographer

Keeping the process simple and stress-free means you end up with photos that are not just images, but true representations of your family’s unique story and love for each other.

Choosing the Right Moment

Choosing the right moment is crucial in family candid photography. The magic often happens when the light and the activity align perfectly, creating a snapshot that feels both real and magical. Here’s how to find those moments:

Golden Hour

The Golden Hour—the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset—provides a soft, warm light that can make your family photos look magical. This time of day adds a golden glow to the skin, and the long shadows can add depth and interest to your photos. It’s perfect for outdoor shots, especially in open spaces where the light can envelop your subjects.

Overcast Days

Don’t overlook overcast days. While they might seem dull, the diffused light on cloudy days eliminates harsh shadows and evenly lights faces, making it ideal for family portraits. This moody light can also add an emotional depth to your photos, making them more compelling. It’s a great time for indoor shots near large windows or for outdoor shots where you want soft, even lighting.

Indoor Lighting

When you’re indoors, use window light to your advantage. Position your family near a large window, but avoid direct sunlight streaming in. This natural light can beautifully illuminate your subjects, creating a natural and soft look. Turn off artificial lights to avoid mixed lighting, which can cause unflattering color casts on your subjects.

Action Shots

Action shots are where the fun really begins in family candid photography. Capturing your family in motion—whether it’s playing in the backyard, baking cookies, or a spontaneous tickle fight—adds a dynamic element to your photos. These moments are often the most telling of your family’s story, showcasing the joy, laughter, and love you share. To capture these, be ready to shoot quickly and adjust your camera settings for a faster shutter speed to freeze the action.

The best photos often come from simply observing and being present at the moment with your family. Keep your camera handy, but don’t let it distract you from enjoying time with your loved ones. The perfect moment for a candid shot can come when you least expect it, and being ready to capture it can make all the difference.

Equipment Essentials

When it comes to family candid photography, the right equipment can make all the difference. Here’s a breakdown of the essentials:

  • Mirrorless Cameras: These are a top choice for many photographers. They’re lightweight, making them easy to carry around for those spontaneous family moments. Plus, they’re quick to focus and shoot, so you won’t miss a beat.
  • Nikon D850: For those who prefer DSLR cameras, the Nikon D850 is a powerhouse. It’s known for its high resolution and fast performance. Paired with the right lens, it captures stunning details and works well in various lighting conditions.
  • Nikkor 85mm f1.4 Lens: Speaking of lenses, the Nikkor 85mm f1.4 is a favorite for portraits. It creates a beautiful blur in the background, making your family the clear focus. It’s perfect for capturing those intimate moments with clarity and depth.
  • Smartphone Photography: Don’t underestimate your phone. Today’s smartphones have incredible cameras. They’re always with you, ready to capture those unexpected moments. For better results, use apps like the VSCO app. It offers advanced editing features to enhance your photos right from your phone.
  • VSCO App: This app is a game-changer for editing on the go. It’s user-friendly and offers a range of filters and tools to improve your family’s candid photos. Whether you’re adjusting the exposure or playing with black-and-white filters, VSCO can help you achieve the look you want.

The best camera is the one you have with you. Whether it’s a high-end DSLR, a mirrorless camera, or your smartphone, what matters most is capturing those fleeting moments that tell your family’s story.

Now, let’s dive into how to compose those perfect shots and make the most of your equipment.

Composition and Perspective

New England candid family photos - family photographed smiling - Family Candid Photography

When it comes to family candid photography, how you compose your shot and the perspective you choose can turn a simple moment into a captivating story. Here’s how to nail it:

Get on Their Level

One of the most effective ways to connect with your subject, especially when photographing children, is to get down to their eye level. This does more than just capture a moment; it invites you into their world. It creates a sense of intimacy and engagement that can’t be achieved from above.

Play with Perspective

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles and viewpoints. Sometimes, the most interesting shots come from the least expected perspectives. Try shooting from above, below, or even from the side to add variety and depth to your family’s candid photography. This approach can reveal new expressions, highlight interesting backgrounds, or simply uniquely present a common scene.


Close-up shots are powerful. They can capture the sparkle in a child’s eye, the laughter shared between siblings or the tender look between parents. These shots often focus on the emotion and detail that might be lost in a wider shot. When taking close-ups, pay attention to lighting and background to ensure nothing distracts from the subject’s expression.

Wide Shots

While close-ups capture details, wide shots tell the story of the environment. They place the subjects in context, whether it’s a family picnic in the park, a child running through a field, or a family gathering at home. Wide shots are great for capturing the essence of the moment and the setting. They remind us where we are and what we are doing, providing a backdrop to our memories.

Composition and perspective in family candid photography are not just about the technical aspects of photography; they’re about how you see the world and how you choose to present it.

Creating Natural Interactions

In family candid photography, the magic often lies in those natural, unscripted moments that happen when everyone’s just being themselves. To capture the essence of your family, encouraging natural interactions is key. Here are some simple yet effective ways to do this:

  • Activities: Start with something everyone enjoys. It could be as simple as making pancakes together on a Sunday morning or a family bike ride. Activities bring out genuine smiles and laughter, making for perfect candid shots.
  • Hugging: Sometimes, the simplest actions can be the most powerful. A spontaneous group hug or a child embracing a parent can capture the warmth and love of a family like nothing else.
  • Walking: Taking a stroll together, whether it’s in your neighborhood or on a nature trail, can lead to beautiful candid shots. It’s a relaxed setting where everyone can just be themselves, and the movement adds a dynamic element to your photos.
  • Kissing: A peck on the cheek, a forehead kiss, or even a child planting a smooch on a pet — these moments are tender and tell a story of love and connection.
  • Playing games: Board games, tag, or hide and seek — games are a fantastic way to get everyone engaged and forget about the camera. The concentration, the excitement, and the inevitable bursts of laughter offer a wealth of candid photo opportunities.
  • Tickling: Guaranteed to bring out genuine laughter and joy, tickling is a surefire way to capture the playful side of your family.
  • Upside-down fun: Holding a child upside down, doing handstands, or any playful inversion brings out joyous expressions and a sense of adventure.

By incorporating these activities into your family photography session, you not only ensure a fun experience for everyone involved.

The goal is to capture the essence of your family’s relationship and the individual personalities within it. Letting everyone just be themselves, and engaging in activities they love, provides a glimpse into the heart of your family life, making for unforgettable images.

Keep in mind that these interactions are the building blocks of memorable family candid photography. Next, we’ll explore how capturing everyday magic can further enrich your family photo album.

Capturing Everyday Magic

In the realm of family candid photography, there’s something truly special about the ordinary. It’s in the daily routines and seemingly mundane activities where the real magic of family life unfolds. Let’s dive into how you can capture this everyday magic.

Routine Moments:
Think about those activities you do so often, they feel like second nature. Whether it’s making breakfast together or reading bedtime stories, these are the moments that define your family’s unique rhythm. Capturing these routines provides a snapshot of your family’s current phase of life, preserving memories you’ll cherish as the years go by.

Monotonous Activities:
It might seem counterintuitive, but the more routine the activity, the more authentic the photo. Washing dishes, doing homework, or folding laundry together can make for surprisingly intimate photographs. These activities offer a glimpse into the real, unpolished side of family life, adding depth to your photo collection.

Evening Walks:
Evening walks are not just good for health; they’re perfect for photography, especially during the golden hour. The soft, warm light can add a magical quality to your photos. Capture the silhouettes, the long shadows, and the golden glow on your family’s faces. These walks can also capture the changing seasons, from the lush green of summer to the fiery tones of fall.

Encouraging Authentic Expressions

In family candid photography, the goal is to capture the raw, unfiltered essence of family life. Authentic expressions are the heart and soul of these photos, telling stories far deeper than any posed picture ever could. Here’s how to coax out those genuine smiles and looks of love:

Avoid Forced Smiles

We’ve all seen it—the “cheese” smile. It’s stiff, it’s awkward, and frankly, it doesn’t tell a story. Encouraging natural expressions starts with letting go of the idea that every photo must feature front-facing, pearly-white grins. The aim is to document real life.

Engage in Play

One of the best ways to capture authentic expressions is to engage in play. Whether it’s a tickle fight, a game of tag, or a silly dance-off, the play brings out genuine joy, surprise, and a range of emotions that are gold for candid photography. It’s during these moments of laughter and fun that you can snap some of the most memorable and expressive photos.

Action and Movement

Action shots are not just for athletes. A child running through a field, a family playing catch in the backyard, or siblings racing each other are moments brimming with energy and emotion. Movement adds a dynamic element to your photos and captures the spirit of the moment in a way that static poses simply can’t match.

Let Kids Photograph You

Turning the camera over to the kids can lead to some unexpectedly wonderful results. Not only does it give children a sense of involvement and control, but it also allows you to capture moments from their perspective. The photos might be off-center, blurry, or framed in ways you’d never think to try, but they’ll be infused with the child’s viewpoint, making them uniquely precious.

By focusing on these aspects, you encourage a photography session that’s more about capturing the essence of family life and less about getting the “perfect” shot. The beauty of family candid photography lies in its ability to freeze genuine moments of happiness, love, and togetherness—emotions that are far too real to be staged.

We’ll explore how editing can enhance these raw moments, bringing out the emotion and turning everyday snapshots into treasured family keepsakes.

Editing for Emotion

candid family pictures in New England

Editing isn’t just about fixing mistakes. It’s about highlighting the feelings that make family candid photography so special. Let’s dive into how different editing techniques can bring out the best in your photos.

Black and White vs. Color

Black and white photos are timeless. They strip away the distractions of color, focusing on the emotion of the moment. This can be perfect for those tender, quiet moments you capture. But don’t rule out color. Color can bring warmth and vibrancy, making joyful moments pop. Think about the emotion you want to convey and choose accordingly.

iPhone Editing

You don’t need fancy software to edit your photos. Your iPhone can be a powerful tool. Apps like VSCO offer simple ways to adjust your photos. Play with the filters but use them sparingly. You want to enhance, not overpower. The goal is to keep the photo looking natural as if there’s no filter at all.

Exposure Adjustments

Getting the right exposure can be tricky, especially in challenging lighting. If a photo is too dark or too bright, use editing tools to adjust the exposure. This can help bring out details that were lost and make your subjects stand out. It’s easier to fix a photo that’s slightly underexposed than one that’s overexposed.

Ambient Light

Ambient light can add a beautiful glow to your photos, but it’s not always perfect. Maybe the light was too dim, or it cast unwanted shadows. Editing can help balance the light, making sure it complements rather than detracts. Look for tools that allow you to adjust the brightness of specific areas without affecting the whole photo.

By using these editing techniques thoughtfully, you can enhance the emotional impact of your family’s candid photography. The best edits are the ones that no one notices. They feel natural, just like the candid moments you’re capturing.


Family candid photography goes beyond the mere act of snapping pictures. It’s an art form that freezes time, capturing the laughter, tears, and joy of everyday life. These unguarded, authentic moments are the ones that you’ll look back on with fondness, long after your children have grown.

Our approach at Jodi Blodgett Photography is centered around creating a relaxed and natural environment where your family can just be themselves. We believe that the best photos are taken when you’re not even aware of the camera, allowing your true personality to shine through.

We understand that every family is unique, and that’s why we tailor our photography sessions to suit your individual needs and preferences. From the planning stage to the final edits, we work closely with you to ensure that your family’s story is told most authentically and beautifully as possible.

Let’s capture the magic of your everyday life. Contact us today to book your family photography session and start preserving those precious moments.

Frequently Asked Questions about Family Candid Photography

How do you take candid family pictures?

  • Interact, Don’t Pose: The secret to capturing genuine moments in family candid photography is interaction. Encourage your family to engage in their usual activities or play together. It’s in these interactions that true emotions shine through.
  • Use Activities: Activities are your best friend when it comes to candid photography. Whether it’s making smoothies, going for an evening walk, or even brushing your teeth together, these everyday moments provide rich opportunities for candid shots.

What does candid mean in photography?

  • Unposed: Candid photography captures moments without staged poses. It’s about snapping pictures as life happens, without the subjects preparing for the photo.
  • Natural: The essence of candid shots lies in their naturalness. These photos are a glimpse into the genuine expressions and emotions of the subjects.
  • Authentic: Authenticity is key. Candid photos tell a real story, showcasing the personalities and relationships of the subjects in a way that posed photos often can’t.

How much should you spend on family photography?

  • Average Cost: The cost of family photography can vary widely. It depends on factors like the photographer’s experience, the session length, and the package you choose. On average, you might expect to spend anywhere from $150 to $500 for a quality session.
  • City vs. Rural Rates: Where you live can also impact the cost. Generally, photographers in urban areas charge more than those in rural areas due to higher demand and living costs.

When considering family candid photography, you’re investing in memories that will last a lifetime. While it’s important to find a photographer within your budget, the value of capturing those fleeting, genuine moments is priceless.

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Our content is carefully created and edited by Jodi Blodgett to ensure that the content is accurate, reliable, and up-to-date. Jodi Blodgett Photography is a trusted New England Wedding Photographer with senior portrait experience across Massachusetts, Connecticut, the Boston area, and Rhode Island for New England Photography Services such as New England couple photography, couple pictures, senior pics, senior photo sessions, wedding photos, engagement photos, and more with over 10 years of experience in studio photo capturing and editing. 

Jodi Blodgett Photography has captured almost 100 photo sessions in the last two years alone signifying her expertise and trust amongst clients and the community for photography service in New England.

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