My Top Phone Photography Tips for Capturing Gorgeous Family Photos

While I’m obviously an advocate of preserving your most treasured family memories through professional photography, there are so many beautiful, funny, and special moments in everyday life that deserve to be captured.

Thankfully, smartphones make it easier than ever to take those shots whenever the moment strikes, but just because it’s more accessible doesn’t always make it easy to capture a beautiful photo.

And that’s where my top phone photography tips come into play! Make these simple switches in your technique and photo-taking process, and I guarantee you’ll end up with pictures you’ll be itching to print off (that’s right, get them off your phone and into your home!) and put in a frame.


1. Turn your auto flash off! 

Your phone is slower to capture the photo when your flash is on, so by the time your camera phone snaps the picture your little one will have moved on to something else, and you’re left with a blurry photo!

The only time having your flash on is beneficial is if you’re in a dark space where you can’t find any natural or strong light source to illuminate the subject of your photo. Speaking of light…

2. Always have your light source (the sun, a window) behind you. 

If you take the photo with the sun behind your subject, which is probably your super cute baby, then your baby will be completely covered in shadows, even with the flash on, but as I just mentioned, that’s better turned off.

So, if you find yourself in a lovely setting where you’d like to capture a few family pictures, place your little one to face the light source so you can position yourself around him or her.

3. Have the camera slightly above eye level and angle it downwards. 

This goes for all subjects, whether you’re taking a picture of your baby, hubby, or even for a selfie!

When you position the camera up higher, it forces you to tilt your head up to the camera, which not only makes your face slimmer, but it also helps with eliminating any harsh shadows on your face.

4. Get in the shade. 

If your little one is in the shade and you are in the sunlight, you won’t be able to see your baby in the photo at all!

To keep your photo from being completely dark, walk over to the shaded area so you both are in it, or position yourself so that you’re both in the sun. Although, I suggest opting for shade since it softens the photo by eliminating the harsh light of the sun, which can also cast dramatic shadows on your face.

Bonus for this tip, no squinting eyes!

5. Wait for the perfect moment. 

How many times have you walked into a room or looked around for your child to find they’re doing something adorable and you want to capture it?

Before rushing to take a picture, instead stay cool and collected, and get your phone prepped to take the photo, walk to the area in your surroundings where the light source will be behind you, then say your child’s name/nickname and right when they look up, take the picture!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said my kids’ names too fast and missed the moment, so get prepped and ready first.

6. Get yourself in front of the camera with your little ones. 

I know these tips are to help you take better pics of your family, but you’re a part of your family, so you need to make an appearance, too! Plus, kids usually love to see themselves and will smile when using the selfie cam, so that’s a bonus.

When using the front-facing camera, get a better grasp on the phone by using the button on the left side to take the picture rather than the center circle on the screen.

For these photos, make sure the sun is behind the camera or if the sun is high enough in the sky, try and get it behind you in the top left or right-hand corner, which makes for some beautiful back light images.

7. Back up your phone! 

Losing all your photos is one of the worst feelings…I have friends who have lost every single photo from their baby’s first year.

Trust me, you don’t want to risk losing the most precious memories of your little ones, so here are some of my favorite ways to get those photos backed up AND off your phone.

Shoebox App

Helping you chuck the shoebox of prints in your closet, the Shoebox app isn’t just a great cloud storage site that helps you save storage space on your phone and keep your photos safe; it’s also free!

Google Photos

If you don’t have an account with Google, you’re missing out! The Google cloud not only makes it easy to store and backup your photos through their app, Google Photos, but it also makes organizing your photos into easy-to-view and use albums.

Costco App

I don’t know a mama who’s not pressed for time, which is why I love the Costco app! This app allows you to upload your pictures and get them printed (and enlarged) straight from your phone. Then they’re ready for you to pick up on your grocery run.

Other stores with photo labs such as Walgreens and CVS have similar easy-to-use apps, but I love the idea of knocking out two tasks in one trip!

AirPrint Compatible Printer

If making the trip to a store with a photo lab is inconvenient or doesn’t fit your photo needs, opt for an AirPrint-supported printer.

Many of the big-name printer brands have made AirPrint compatible printers in the past few years, and that will allow you to print to your heart’s content and get your photos off your phone and into your hands within minutes.
And finally, one last tip, have fun! 

Don’t get wrapped up in wondering if your photos are “Instagram worthy” or not…the story of your life is so worthy of being captured and as long as you’re happy with the memories you’ve documented, that’s all that matters.

So get out there and get snapping!