Taking an outdoor family photo can be quite the hassle. Just ask any professional photographer you know, and most will admit that there is so much outside of their control that often taking pictures outside is a hit or miss thing. However, most professional photographers also will admit that the natural lighting from the sun can make for an excellently photographed picture. While most photographers remain mum on the specifics of helping people out with their own outdoor family photos, some are more than happy to offer some advice.
Some of this advice for taking the perfect outdoor family photo includes picking the right setting. A place with too much shade or not enough of it can complicate things, as can a location where shade comes into play but only partially. This can make a photo look disjointed, leaving half of the family in the shadows and the other half in sunlight. So selecting an ideal location that has plenty of space and lots of sunlight or an even tone if clouds are out that day is the initial step to take.
In fact, many photographers will encourage people to take their family photos on days that are cloudy and where sunlight is not present, since it can diminish the quality of the outdoor family photo. A gray or cloudy day is the most ideal for this kind of photo. The grayness of the day rarely shows up in the actual photo, and the entire family looks the same because they all are not affected by the sun or its rays.
Aside from location, many photographers stress that getting the perfect outdoor family photo involves the kind of camera that is used as well. A simple digital camera purchased at a big box store or a smart phone camera may not produce the kinds of images that families want to frame and put up on their walls. For families without high tech cameras, professionals encourage either renting this equipment out or asking a neighbor or family member to loan a nice camera for a few hours.
Lastly, the ideal outdoor family photo is normally taken when all parties are wearing something similar. For instance, the family could all dress in the same color or could have the same kind of shirt but in a variety of colors. Having everyone dress the same or similarly creates a sense of cohesion within the photograph, which most professionals prefer.