What I Use For Family Photography

How to capture all those sweet family photos…

I probably answer a camera related question at least once a day! Which means many of you are also trying to capture family photography and memories in a meaningful way, because if I know one thing to be true it’s that we can never have enough photos of our kids. But regardless of your reasoning, I’m hopeful that this post will get you a bit of direction in you camera journey (and introduce you to the best mirrorless camera I’ve used!).

Below you’ll find few resources, our exact professional gear, and the iPhone accessories we rely on. But as always, feel free to ask any questions in the comments, too… we are happy to help! Because capturing those family photos will always be worth the time and effort!


Resources For Family Photography

Online courses

Courtney Malone has great courses on how to take photos of your little ones. Friends of mine have taken her courses and really loved them. If you are wanting to take a more elevated approach with capturing memories of your family, Courtney is your gal!

In-Depth Gear Review

If you want professional advice, Dan and Sally have an AMAZING YouTube channel called Learning Cameras where they review ALL the gear. Sally is actually my photographer, and she and her husband are a wealth of knowledge. If you want to geek out, they are the best at what they do.


iPhone Camera

Video settings

Honestly, you really don’t “need” a camera. The new iphones are truly just so amazing that we rely on ours most of the time. But I do think the settings REALLY matter. Carly showed me how to really get the most out of my videos with this post here. By following her directions (4k at 60 fps High Efficiency, with HDR turned off) my videos are *so* crispy I can screenshot them. HIGHLY recommend doing this.

Tripod

I know I talk about this thing so often, but I do because it’s amazing and SO worth it. We’ve captured so many family memories on this little collapsable tripod it’s insane. It fits right in my tote bag and I’ll pull it out wherever and whenever. Plus the great thing about your iPhone is that when you take a self-timer photo it will take 10 images, so if you are shooting with kids, you’ve got 10 shots each time you click the button. We usually will go a couple of rounds… but we will always end up with a winner (see here!). If you buy one thing. Make it this $40 tripod.

Lights

Okay, so I just ordered this lighting set up two days ago, but I cannot WAIT for them to come in. I think they are really going to take things up a notch. And let’s be real, lighting is everything.

* I have the iPhone 13 Pro Max, for reference.


family photography
Vineyard Vines swimsuit (old, similar here) // H&M skirt (old, similar here) // raffia sandals (old, similar here) // tripod

Professional Camera

Best Mirrorless Camera

We bought our Sony A7iii camera body two years ago and have fallen in love with it—I think it’s the best mirrorless camera on the market! The eye tracking technology is magical, and the images we get are crisp and creamy. I truly cannot say enough great things about this camera! If you are looking to invest in professional gear, we’ve loved our Sony cameras.

Lenses

We have both a 24-70mm and a 35mm and use both often. But if we were to have to chose, I’d say we use the 35 the most. Such a great lens!

iPhone camera card reader

Again, I just ordered this. I was influenced by my girlfriend Venita after hearing her rave about it. But this will make transferring images and posting on the go so much better. The built in bluetooth transfer options in these cameras is just so slow and often buggy in my opinion.

Tripod

This tripod with this joystick head is AMAZING, and we love it for our camera. Although it is heavy duty, so we don’t travel with it unless it’s a road trip. But this is what we use on the daily, and what took this family photo. We also use this shutter trigger for self-timer shots with our Sony mirrorless camera. The trigger is amazing because you can customize it—we often will set it to take 25 images with a two second delay. We almost always get the shot that way!

Rent gear

If you are looking to try out cameras to see if they are worth the investment, you can always rent gear! (We are actually renting a compact 35mm lens for our next trip!) We think we want to buy it, but before we make the $600+ investment… we’ll take it for a spin!

Editing

When I’m editing on the go, I always use Tezza… I’m obsessed. I don’t have a preset, I typically just play around with each lighting situation individually. But, if I’m editing on my desktop, which is where I prefer to edit, I’m old school (!) and will edit in Photoshop Bridge. Call me crazy, but I love it.


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There you have it! Definitely ask if I left anything out that you want to know. Happy memory-and-family-photography moments, friends!

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