Looking to Find Ways to Take the Best Family Selfie to Make Sure You Capture Those Precious Holiday Moments? Here Are Some Tips from A Professional Photographer.
Article Updated September 2018
In an era of smartphones that take excellent photos through to lightweight hand held GoPro we are now much better equipped to take group selfies or family wefies. Families are travelling more with their children of all ages and are also becoming much more adventurous on their expeditions Taking the best family selfies are increasing in popularity in a bid to capture social media worthy images.
How do you get the best-looking family wefie photos? If you’re already well versed in taking selfies, its not a difficult transition to incorporate your skills into a wefie shot. If you’re however a self-professed dud at taking photos of yourself (Amy falls in this category!) these pro photographer’s hacks will help you ensure your photos are the very best they can be!
TRAVEL TIPS YOU WILL FIND:
#01 – IMPORTANCE OF LIGHTING
Lighting can make or break a photo, and group shots are no exception. Bright sunlight is not your friend where photography is concerned, and you need to be looking for somewhere that is shaded, but still has plenty of natural light to illuminate your images.
If you are inside, find a large window that doesn’t get direct sunlight, and get everyone to face it. If you are outside, try to find shade in the lee of a building or under a large sunshade. The inside of cars, trains and buses can also give good lighting, as long as you are not in the glare of the sun.
If you can, try to take your wefies in the first hour after sunrise, or the hour before sunset. Photographers call this ‘the golden hour’, and you don’t need to find shade at those times, as the sun casts a soft, mellow light that won’t dazzle or make your images look awful. Quick tip: but don’t be tempted to use your phone flash or pop-up flash on a camera – it will do no good to your photo.
#02 – SELFIE ACCESSORIES
It will be difficult to get your whole family group in shot if you are shooting with a phone camera at arm’s length as you would for a selfie. But selfie sticks are a traveler’s friend! Light and small enough to carry around without it being a nuisance, it’s an essential piece of kit for when you want to whip out your phone and take a group shot. By extending it you should be able to fit a group in your shot when your arms just wouldn’t stretch that far!
With Bluetooth capabilities, these affordable selfie sticks allow one person to set up the shot whilst the other person is in charge of the clicker. Great for those who are a little uncoordinated and can’t do both things at once, especially when you have a baby in one arm and a screaming toddler on the other!
For those who only wish to use their mirrorless camera or even their DLSR, you might like to invest in a gimbal. Handheld 3-axis gimbals are used in stabilization systems designed to give the camera operator the independence of handheld shooting without camera vibration or shake. This is particularly useful if you’re trying to juggle the kids whilst they are constantly moving. Gimbals are also obviously available for smartphones and is definitely worth the investment as they are more stable and durable.
A sturdy but lightweight tripod is also an answer to this problem, and you would set it and your camera up so that the whole group is in shot. You will need to move the camera further away than normal to fit your whole family in, depending on how many of you there are. At Family Globetrotters we prefer a heavier tripod to support our DLSR and have a Manfrotto MKBFRTA4BK-BH Befree Advanced Travel Aluminum Tripod with 494 Ball Head (Twist Locks) – Black (HS Code: 4202 9280) Hah! What a mouthful but we absolutely cannot live without it. And yes, we lug it around with us when we travel. its just a matter of getting use to it being part of your everyday routine.
Using your camera or phone camera’s built-in timer is necessary for this to work. Most cameras have a two or 10-second timer option, and if you choose 10 seconds, this gives enough time for you to get back to the group and ready yourself for the shot. The small light weight tripods for smartphones with the bendable legs are not only small and easy to carry around, it is also super useful when you’re in a situation where you can’t balance a tripod on a flat surface.
#03 – CHOOSING YOUR BACKGROUND
Before you set up to take your shot, do some thinking about choosing your background. Do you want a family wefie in front of a famous landmark or tourist attraction, down a quaint local street, at a café serving local cuisine, a street market, or on the beach?
Whatever location you choose, make sure you have a harmonious background for your shot. Before you press the shutter, make sure there is no rubbish or untidy items visible in the shot, and check to make sure that there aren’t lamp posts or tree branches directly behind anyone’s heads – it will look like they are ‘growing’ out of someone’s head when you look back at the shot later!When taking a family selfies on holidays, we often forget to think about the background. Family Globetrotters show you how ot take the perfect wefie when on vacation. #familytravel Click To Tweet
Sometimes however it’s just not so simple when the kids are just not cooperating. Do a quick scan around you before getting the children to pose so you minimise the time it takes to take the photo. You could even take a few quick selfies to see what the shot would look like and when you’re happy, the kids can jump in. Nothing worse than looking back later and regretting it.
#04 – TAKING MULTIPLE SHOTS
In the age of digital images, take lots of shots to get the best out of your wefies. Change the angle of your shots, get everyone to change their poses etc. If you have lots of shots to choose from, it makes finding the best ones a lot easier.
Also make sure you take photos in both portrait and landscape or vertical and horizontal. It is the natural pre-disposition for us to take portrait photos only on the phone as that’s how we hold our device. Often a photo taken horizontally takes in a better view o the background and the surrounds.
The same applies for the camera. Most people only take images horizontally and forget to the turn the camera to get a portrait image. If you’re one to edit your images later and are social media conscious and need to crop the image, you’re always best to have both options available to you.
#05 – EASY EDITING
Once you return home, your wefies will benefit from a bit of post processing in image editing software. A little adjustment of color, contrast, exposure and sharpening will help your images look amazing. You can do it either on your desktop or just made some adjustments right in your phone – iPhone, for example, has quite many editing options. Some free apps you can try on the iPhone also include PS Express and Snapseed.
Desktop editors usually have some more advanced options like deleting the unwanted objects, retouching, denoising, lens correction etc. There are a lot of photo editors available on the market – from advanced and well-known editors like Photoshop or Lightroom to medium priced and easier to use image editors such as ON1 and Luminar. There are also free options like GIMP, which has been around for ages (however, some people may find its workspace too complicated). But if you plan to print some of your wefies or want to try to take a shot using a tripod and digital camera, learning some photo editing tricks can’t hurt!
#06 – IPHONE SELFIE HACKS
Most of us have an iPhone and here are some quick hacks that may be useful for you:
- Take the image with volume button if you require a firmer grip. As the iPhones become bigger, its harder to balance the phone whilst activating the camera button. This is a good alternative.
- Use the burst mode to take a series of photos. As you’re “bursting” you can slowly move the camera to get a few angles. This will also work when you hold down the volume button.
- Use the back camera for the family selfie rather than the traditional front camera. The advantage is your get a better distance shot and easier to incorporate your background. The disadvantage is that you can’t see the image you are taking so it may take a few goes. You take the photo by holding down the volume button.
- If you’re a serial Instagram poster and only want square images, change it all to square mode so you don’t need to edit images later.
- Always have your iPhone higher than your face. The worse kind of selfies are taken when the iPhone is below your face, forcing everyone to look down and get the dreaded double chin.
- If you have the High Dynamic Range (HDR) function on your iPhone, turn it on! It will give your images a higher depth of field and the colours are more vibrant.
#07 – DON’T STAND TOO CLOSE
It is our natural instinct to huddle close to each other when we take a family selfie. But the varying heights of the family members make it difficult to try and get everyone in the frame plus the background. Try standing apart from each other. Step back from the person taking the wefie as you form part of the background. It’s a better posing position and the image is then always just consumed by the people in the photo but also shows the destination you’re trying to capture.
We had so much fun in Paris. Check out our blog post 15 Things To Do In Paris for Teenagers.
#08 – LET THE KIDS DO THE SELFIE
Hannah takes a mean selfie. Kids of this generation grew up with devices in their hand and are much more well versed in taking photos of themselves. Apart from possibly getting a more well curated image, it’s a great way to get them involved. It also helps to mix up the composition of the poses as otherwise they all start to look the same.Check out Fmaily Globetrotters' 9 HACKS on how to take the perfect family selfie when you're travelling! #familytravel #familyselfies #selfies Click To Tweet
#09 – DON’T TAKE IT TOO SERIOUSLY
Wefies are about having fun; so don’t make it a life or death situation if someone isn’t posing the way you want them to. Try and get everyone relaxed and enjoying themselves. Some people hate having their photo taken, and it can be hard for them to look happy and relaxed, but you can help them by having them hold something or do something while you are taking the shot, so they don’t feel so self-conscious.
If it’s not working out the way you planned, don’t keep making everyone stand there while you take shot after shot, hoping it will all come good. Children in particular have a short attention span and will get bored just standing around. Take a break or move on to another location and try again.
One thing you will find with group shots is that it’s very hard to get everyone looking at the camera at the same time. Often someone is blinking, looking away or yawning at the moment you press the shutter! Give a clear countdown from 3 so that everyone is (hopefully) looking in the right direction at the same time, and it should help solve the issue.
Family vacations are magical times, and if you follow the advice in this article, you will be well on your way to creating the best family selfie images to keep the memories alive forever.
Guest Post by Max Therry. Edited by Family Globetrotters.
Max Therry is an architecture student who is fond of photography and aspires to become a professional photographer. He is also working on his photography blog, Photo Geeky about photo editing, modern photo trends, and inspiration.
Disclaimer: The Family Globetrotter’s website contains affiliate links which help us to maintain this blog and assists us with our travels. Family Globetrotters have also posted articles based on sponsored products and/or services but all opinions are our own, truthful and unbiased.
[…] Η Coba είναι μια υπέροχη ημερήσια εκδρομή για οικογένειες επειδή είναι μια πυραμίδα στην οποία μπορείτε πραγματικά να αναρριχηθείτε. Είναι 130 πόδια, και είναι ένας πολύ διασκεδαστικός τρόπος για να περάσετε την ημέρα. και φθείρουν όλη την οικογένεια, ώστε να κοιμούνται ήσυχοι αργότερα εκείνο το βράδυ! Η θέα από την κορυφή πάνω από τη ζούγκλα κάνει για μια υπέροχη οικογενειακή selfie. […]
[…] Coba is a great day trip for families because it’s a pyramid you can actually climb. It’s 130 feet, and it’s a very fun way to spend the day; and wear out the whole family so they sleep soundly later that night! The views from the top over the jungle make for a great family selfie. […]
thanks for sharing this tips
You welcome Deepak. Hope you found them useful and it worked well for you!
I have to admit, when I read the title I thought this will be a funny/humorous article. However, you provided so many useful even professional tips. I really enjoyed this article, keep up the great work!
LOL! Maybe I should put a spin on the next article. I’m not at taking selfies or wefies so thought I’d put all these ideas down in a comprehensive list!
I love this post! I’m terrible at taking good selfies, so need some advice. Love the lighting advice, it’s so true! And yes to just having fun and not being too serious. Sometimes these make the best photos at the end of the day!
There are some awesome tips here, a lot of which can definitely be transferred not just for group selfies but individual selfies too! Lighting definitely can make all the difference – if I take a selfie in the right lighting I can look semi-decent, but in the wrong kind of lighting I look like a potato.
Bahahahah! And in a group setting, a whole sack of potatoes! Lighting does make a difference. The hardest one for me is when its too bright and everyone is squinting because it is so glary.
Such a useful post! I will travel with my family next month so it comes in time. Lighting is definitely important in photography. I always bring selfie stick while traveling. It’s so useful when traveling alone or with a group.
Thanks Ha! The selfie stick is the best invention ever. Don’t know why people still think its a social faux pas or that its embarrassing to use. We all travel so much nowadays that I reckon it should be something that is a no brainer and we should all have one. And they are so cheap!
Though I take good pictures, but I am terrible at taking Selfies. You have listed quite useful points about how to take good selfie. Blue-tooth option is good one as one is adjusting the shot and other one is having clicker. Also taking Multiple shots is wise option. I will now have a look on GIMP editing software too as I was not knowing about it.
Some useful tips here! I’m always getting pictures that are too close or not showing enough of the background… No one wants double chin photos either! I’ll need to buy a tripod!
I’m bad enough at capturing good selfies of myself and the sights taking a single-person selfie, so great tips on capturing family ones! And pretty much all these tips are useful for any of us taking selfies while travelling, whether solo, couples, groups or families!
I am actually terrible at taking selfies! My 9 year old daughter can take a better photo of us than I can so I leave it up to them. But when I have the selfie stick or the gimbal I’m great. So seems to be a distance things for me.
Although, I am a solo traveler yet I find this tips for useful for taking selfies. Specially taking care of light, the background and using a stick/tripod/gimbal with a timer. I do that a lot myself these days. I love clicking myself against historic and beautiful natural surroundings.
Thanks Archana! As a solo traveler you want to be able to capture those memorable moments so you have photos to leep forever. Glad you found them useful:)
These are such good tips! Another thing about taking a selfie from the side where you can’t see yourself: The camera is of higher quality going in that direction (or maybe it’s just that the lens isn’t always smudged from it being on your face). My family selfies from that side of the phone are always MUCH better!
Tip number 4 is my favorite, and I only wish I could get my husband to cooperate! I had him take a few photos of me the other day, and had to beg him to take a few in different angles, landscape, horizontal, etc, because I know its importance when going to select the perfect one! I should show my husband your tip about iphone hacks too, as I have a Google Pixel. Thanks so much for sharing these great tips!
Yes you have to take pics from different angles and taking it in protrait and landscape is so important. Personally I need both angles for my blog. Yes! Show him the tips:)
Great lighting is extremely important for the perfect selfie, investing in a tiny selfie LED light for your smartphone will make all the difference in capturing the perfect family selfie!
Seriously? There’s such a thing?? I want one! What a great idea!
These are great tips for non-professional photographers like myself! Will have to put these in practice as I use my iphone all the time. Thanks for sharing!
You welcome! We all have phones these days with great cameras. Would be good if you used it to its full potential:)
Love these suggestions – great ideas for those of us who are not professional photographers. I like my iPhone camera but I don’t have much interest or patience for learning the ins and outs of serious photography. PS express to the rescue! Just started using it and I love it.
The iPhone is especially the current iPhone X and they portrait setting. The image is so sharp and crisp and the photos all look so amazing. i have seen so many travel photos that wow me and are only taken on the iPhone. Oh yes, PS Express is the best. And its free!
These are some great suggestions. I travel with my husband and it’s hard to take selfies sometimes. We will try out these tips for sure, on our next trips
Yeah sometimes its just hard isn’t it and no matter all the different angles you try, it never quite turns out how you need it to! So frustrating! You travel so much Mayuri, you should invest in some of these gadgets. They will change everything!
Great tips on here. I will definitely be trying these on the next family holiday.
Thanks Shannen! Hope they’ll help you create some great memories:)
Lovely pics and great tips for taking selfies. I personally love the Gimbal a lot!!! And of course the Golden Hour, it’s my fav time of the day to take a pic!!
Glad you love the gimbal. Isn’t it the best ever?? But despite that I still am not great at taking selfies let alone wefies. But practise makes perfect I guess and having these gadgets has made a huge difference.
These are great tips! My selfies are awful, which means I don’t often take them. I wish I had the funds to invest in the gadgets you describe!
I am terrible at selfies! I’m great ta taking photos of other people though. Yeah the gimbal is on the exy side but selfie sticks are really cheap now! You’d be surprised how much you can pick one up for. Go check it out!
These are great tips! I’m definitely going to try them because I’d like to take as cute photos as those. Our family selfies are the worst!
Hahaha! Family selfies are actually quite hard ot take. We’re not better either which is why we got Max to give us some tips. But I have to say the gimbal and a simple selfie stick has been the best decision ever. Time to amp it up Lois!
Super helpful tips! We are always looking for people to take those precious family photos on trips,but we’ll definitely try some of those on our upcoming trip to Peru.
Peru! How exciting! Oh my yes, get a good solid selfie stick with bluetooth capabilities and get those amazing shots of Macchu Pichu! You’ll be so happy you have these photos to remember the trip by.
These are so helpful! I took a trip to Europe last summer and there was definitely a struggle to get a good picture of my boyfriend and I without asking someone to take it. We eventually bought a selfie stick on the Spanish Steps in Rome and boy was that a life saver!
Everyone thinks that the selfie stick is such a naf thing to do it but it is the best invention ever! I want to take family photos of everywhere we travel so we use it all the time now.
These are great tips and very timely for me since I’m leaving in a few weeks to go on my bucket list vacation!
Oooo! Sounds exciting! Where are you going? Yup, get that selfie stick or tripod or even the gimbal. You will not regret it!
These are some awesome tips! I end up not having many photos as I am always the photographer lol. Will try some of these in next trip 🙂
I am also always the photographer but luckily with smartphones my daughter also takes some great photos of me. But I also want family photos so these are great tips.