Finding the right photography equipment for shooting your clients is a major task if you are a family photographer.
In this blog of our Ultimate guide for family photographers, you will find everything you need to know related to finding the right equipment for photographing all kinds of families.
As there are a lot of different sizes of families, you should be prepared to shoot all of them with the right photography gear.
Not having the right equipment for shooting your clients will not only affect your quality of work but can also make you look unprofessional.
Let’s start looking at all the different kind of types of equipment you will be needing to capture beautiful and high-quality Family photos::
When deciding to buy your camera for photographing families, you should keep two or three specifications as your essentials. These are your focus points, resolution, and speed.
As you might have to work with kids who will be too impatient for posing still for you, these specifications will help you capture them on frame flawlessly.
- Having more focus points on your camera will keep the kids running around in the frame, fully focussed.
- A good resolution will help you get all the details in good quality which will be important while printing those family photos.
- You should also have a 5 fps burst speed as a minimum benchmark for your camera body to avoid losing any special moments.
While purchasing, you need to carefully decide between a full-frame or a crop sensor camera first. These choices are important as while upgrading later from a crop sensor to a full-frame camera, the lenses will need to be upgraded as well.
If you have a good budget, I would suggest buying a full-frame mirrorless camera for the best quality. But having a crop sensor DSLR or mirrorless camera with the suggested minimum requirements wouldn’t stop you from capturing high-quality photos either.
Check out the following cameras which are an amazing option for family photographers:
- Nikon D850 (Cost: $2097)
- Nikon Z7 (Cost $2496)
- Canon EOS Rebel T8i (Cost $899)
- Canon EOS RP (Cost $999)
- Canon EOS R6 (Cost $2499)
- Sony a7R III (Cost $2798)
- Sony A7iii (Cost $1998)
- Fujifilm X-T30 (Cost $799)
- Panasonic LUMIX G9 (Cost $997)
Best Lens For Family Portraits
Investing in a good lens is necessary if you want to make the best use of your cameras. You may want to buy multiple lenses for adapting to different situations.
Let’s find out which lenses you should be looking forward to purchasing for family photography.
Prime lens or Zoom lens?
Prime lenses are an amazing choice for family photography as they can be used to shoot with a wide aperture, up to f/1.8. Prime lenses will make your subjects look super sharp with a shallow depth of field.
However, with kids running around, it will be hard to get everyone in the frame with a fixed focal length and you will have to move a lot.
Clicked using Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM by Sofia Sitnikiene
This is where a zoom lens can help you out. With a zoom lens, you can easily shoot the family from far away without moving by simply zooming in. This results in beautiful photos of the family with candid poses.
Some of the Zoom lenses you can use for family photography are:
Here are some of the best prime lenses you will need while photographing families: I personally recommend the 35mm for shooting families when you are close to them. But here are some of the different options you can go for:
Flash for family photography:
Family photographers commonly use natural light outdoors to give the family shoot a more natural look. In a composition where the light is beautiful to have in the background and the sun is behind the family, you may want to use flash in order to avoid having a lot of shadows on the faces of the family.
Investing in a good flash is a great idea as the in-built flash of cameras has a bad reputation of giving red-eye to the subject. Flashes are best used to create catchlights in the eyes of the subject and to make the sky don’t look blown away in the background when outdoors.
A flash, especially a Speedlight, is easily portable and can be taken anywhere to shoot family pictures. Speedlights can be used either ON camera or OFF camera. (If you want to use off-camera flash, you MUST have a compatible trigger.)
If you are shooting families, you wouldn’t require to buy an expensive flash. Just make sure the flash and flash equipment you purchase are compatible with your camera model and lens. The zoom range of your flash should cover your lens range if you are using a zoom lens.
Having manual controls and range between 1/1 and 1/128 is great for family portraits
If you are in doubt, you can definitely go for these Godox flashes depending on your camera model.
If you have a higher budget you can go for these as they have more options and are more powerful:
Our recommendation is Godox as they are worth their price, however, If you want to stick to the brand of your camera’s you can also try the following flashes.
To make the flash look good on the family, you may not want to use it without a diffuser. Avoid using naked flash as it will burst a harsh and concentrated light on your subjects.
Use a flash diffuser as it will make the light spread more softly and evenly on your subjects.
Godox diffuser is a great choice to diffuse the flash.
Using a bouncer is an alternative to diffusing the light. Flash bounce cards will allow you to bounce a flash easily and create a similar softer light.
Gels are also an interesting accessory that will change the color of your flash. Family photographers can use the orange gel to create a beautiful golden hour look when shooting a family.
You can buy these accessories here:
Using Tripod will make your job easy as a family photographer in a situation where the family is too intimidated or shy to look directly at the camera.
With a tripod, you can fix the camera in a position and shoot wirelessly through your phone via Bluetooth/Wi-fi while grabbing their attention.
This also allows you to have direct interaction with the family or they can have their own moments without having to worry about a camera hovering over them.
Make sure the tripod you are buying is portable, rigid, has good height, and is supported by your camera.
Here are some tripods you should check out:
Buying a spacious and comfy camera bag will help you out while shooting photos more than you could imagine. Get one with divided pads for your camera, lens, and accessories.
If you are looking for quick access to your gear, get a shoulder or sling-style bag. However, backpacks are more comfortable and offer more space.
Here are some camera bag suggestions for family photographers:
- PRVKE Travel and DSLR Camera Backpack
- Billingham Hadley Pro 2020 Shoulder Bag ($320)
- Thule Aspect DSLR Camera Backpack – TAC-106 ($147)
Other Small Accessories for Family Photography
These are small accessories for Family Photographers which will help you deliver better results comfortably to your clients. They don’t cost a lot but make sure you leave some budget out to get some of these:
- Batteries: Always keep extra batteries in case your current battery is drained.
- Memory cards: Use a class 10 or better for faster burst shooting
- Reflectors: They are great for small families or for individual portraits of family members.
- Protective lens filter: To protect your lens from UV Filters
- A stool or a sturdy chair if you want to get a higher view
- A toy or funny props to get the attention of kids/ babies
Finding the right equipment in your budget is very important for photographers.
Photography equipment costs a lot and is basically an investment for your business so you would want to invest wisely to get good ROI.
If you liked this blog make sure to check out our next blog “Family Photography Location: Where to plan it next? ” from our Ultimate Guide for Family Photographers.