It’s time to celebrate the dads! The ones who love hard, play hard and become overnight super heroes. Whatever your plans are this weekend, think about taking a moment to snap a few great photos of him with the kids, or even a few family photos. Just grab that tripod, or like I do, lean your phone against something that is eye level. Just make sure it’s sturdy and not over water 😉

Of course hiring a professional is your best bet for amazing family photography, but you can absolutely capture some of your own fame-worthy images thanks to digital technology and a few helpful tips from me! Sprinkled in with lots of great dad photos for inspiration of course. So, here are 7 Father’s Day photo tips for memorable images you’ll want to frame!

1. Make it candid

One thing I quickly learned after years of photographing families and couples…? Just like your kids, men typically don’t like to sit and “smile at the camera”. I don’t know what it is, but some guys can not handle it! Personal note – I honestly don’t think anyone hates this as much as my husband. Seriously. But I’ve always been able to get great photos of him with our son using this tip: Capture it documentary style. My favorite photos are the unplanned ones, the ones where you truly catch a genuine moment.

fathers day photo tips candid pose

2. Give an action

This is really the bread and butter of capturing candid shots. Keep it simple. Things he would normally do with the kids. Chase and tickle, fly over his shoulder, throw them up in the air, give big bear hugs. The worst thing you can do is have him stand there not knowing what to do with himself. Don’t overthink it, just take a few moments to capture them playing. Connection is what we’re after, and this is a great way to get it.

fathers day photo tips fun candid pose

3. Document an activity

This is my favorite tip. I have lots of photos of my husband teaching my son guitar, reading comic books, etc. When you see them doing those things together, it is always great (and easy!) to photograph. Think about daily life, things you may already have planned for this weekend. Shoot it. Does he play an instrument, does your daughter like to have tea parties with him, paint his nails? Do they play baseball, cook, dance around? Shoot it!

fathers day photo tips candid pose activity

4. Focus on each person

This one is harder when you have small kids because we all know the attention span is miniscule. But, if you have multiple children, make sure to get a solo shot of him with each one, it’ll make them feel extra special to have that one one one moment with dad. If you have the time and they are game, start with a full family shot and then break it down as you go.

fathers day photo tips candid pose snuggles
Having them snuggle up, head on shoulder is a great go-to pose!

5. Lighting!

This is the number one thing that makes or breaks a photo. And you don’t need anything extra or fancy. You just need to know how to find your light. If you are shooting indoors, turn off ugly orange lighting and find the biggest, brightest window you can. You will get wonderful light there. Shoot with the window to one side of you. Or, if large enough, have your back to the window and the subject facing the window.

Outside, it always looks best when the sun is low. Early morning or late evening. But if it’s the middle of the day, just look for large shady spots so no one is squinting or blinded by that noon sun. You want the light to be even on their faces. Avoid harsh shadows, unless you are going for a dramatic look of course! And please, please, seriously… turn off that built in flash.

fathers day photo tips candid pose window

6. Play with angles

This is often overlooked. Even when I’m in a rush, sometimes you need to get what you can get! But if you can, keep moving. Don’t just shoot from straight in front. Especially if there is a sweet scene set up and you have room to change it up. Walk around, shoot from the side, from above, from down low. Shoot wide and don’t be afraid to get in there close and really capture those emotions.

fathers day photo tips candid pose beach

7. Make it fun!

Seriously, this isn’t that serious! So most importantly, remember to have fun with it! He will appreciate it, make it feel like everyone is having a good time together and play some games. That’s honestly when you get the best images. The kids will typically cooperate better this way too.

fathers day photo tips candid pose
When in doubt, hug it out!
fathers day photo tips candid pose
The classic dad pose: lifting/tossing kid up in the air, always gets good smiles out of someone!
fathers day photo tips candid pose

So there you have it, 7 Father’s Day Photo Tips on how to take memorable photos on your own any time you want to capture new images of your family. I hope you found this helpful. I’d love to know your thoughts on this and what you may want to read and learn about from me in the future.

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tina take my photo rva family potrait photographer bio headshot

Tina Thomas is an award-winning Professional Family and Personal Branding Photographer & filmmaker in Chesterfield, Virginia. RVA. With a passion for capturing real, intimate and joyful moments, my experience allows me to take a laid-back approach where I can guide, observe and record genuine connection and celebrate individuality.