3 Tips for Taking Perfect Outdoor Portraits in a Hurry

Ever been in a beautiful spot by chance and wanted to capture the perfect portrait of your family before the moment’s gone? It’s not like our kids are going to stand still for us! I get it. We are so lucky to have cameras in our phones at all times so I wanted to share some tips on capturing these fleeting moments. The Bay Area offers such incredible beauty, it’s a must to capture our families on the move.

  • Lighting

When you’re exploring a new place, you’re only going to have natural light to work with. When it comes to working with natural light, harsh sunlight should be avoided as it can cast shadows across your subject’s face, which won’t be flattering. Cloud cover is what you want if you happen to be outside in the middle of the day as this will soften the light. 

If you can’t work around bright lighting, find shade by shooting near or under a tree or in the shadow of a building. If none of these are options on the day, you might just need to take a chance or come back later in the day. Lighting really does have a massive impact on how a photo turns out, which is why returning during golden hour can make such a difference. 

Best Bay Area family photographer, Nightingale Photography
  • Poses and Composition 

While you want the person in your photo to be the focus, it’s still important to bring elements of the background into the shot. In terms of posing, you want your subject to look relaxed so that the photo looks more natural. 

Be aware of hand placement and the angle of their head as this can also completely change the look of the shot. 

Best Bay Area family photographer, Nightingale Photography
  • Focus

Lastly, you want to make sure that the focus is on the person in the photo. If possible, position your subject further away from the background so that you can capture more of it and even create a slight blur. Another way to help make sure that the focus stays on the person in the photo is to stick to darker backgrounds wherever possible. It’s only natural for a person’s eye to be drawn to the lighter part of the photo, so if your subject is lighter, they will remain the focus. 

Best Bay Area family photographer, Nightingale Photography

There you have it – this is all you need to remember if you want to take better outdoor portraits whenever the moment strikes.

When you are ready to be part of your kids’ memories and get in the portrait, I’d love to be your photographer! Let’s plan on running around a gorgeous Bay Area beach, the fields of Walnut Creek and the Oakland Hills or the gorgeous landscape of Marin.

Best Bay Area family photographer, Nightingale Photography


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