11 Tricks for Getting the Perfect Family Snapshot

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A beautiful photo of your smiling family is one of the best souvenirs you can keep from a holiday season. Unfortunately, the bigger your family gets, the more elusive a perfect shot can become. Luckily, the right tech innovations can make any family more photogenic.

1. Keep the Photographer in the Photo

Luckily, the days of setting your camera’s timer and then running over to jump into the shot are behind us. The app Groopic cleverly allows you to take a first shot that leaves a hole where the photographer should be, then shoots a live video from which it overlays the photographer’s image onto the first shot. The result: A flawless picture that includes the whole family.

2. Always Get the Right Moment

In a big family photo, it’s almost a sure bet that you’ll click the shutter a half-second early or late, robbing you of the perfect photo. “Burst photo” apps can solve this conundrum by taking upwards of 20 pictures in a second when you click the shutter, allowing you to pick the one that puts everyone in their best light.

3. Give Everyone a Makeover

Even a perfect family photo will draw jeers from some family members who don’t like their hair or think their smile is a little too cheesy. The app FaceTune lets you address all of these quibbles—it allows photographers to remove blemishes, restyle hair, whiten teeth, and more. Even the pickiest photo subjects will be delighted with the results.

4. Or Replace Their Faces Entirely

If you can’t tune-up everyone’s faces to their liking, give GroupShot a try. Once you’ve snapped multiple shots of the family, GroupShot will allow you to replace each person’s face with their best version from the shoot. The end result: The illusion of having gotten the perfect shot on the first try.

5. Get the Kids In on the Fun

Sure, adults are probably going to snap the most polished family photos, but your family’s younger set might have some photographic chops. Use a kid-specific camera app like KidCam to see what your little ones can capture—it helpfully separates your kids' shots from your main photo stream and makes it easier for small hands to shoot by letting them tap the screen anywhere instead of on a designated shutter button.

6. Embrace the Panorama

Is your family too big to fit everyone into the frame? Tech has an answer for that. You won’t have to force everyone to squeeze into the frame with image stitchers like AutoStitch Panorama, which can turn multiple shots of your family into one amazing panorama.

7. Coax Out Extra Smiles

Making sure everyone’s smiling is tricky, especially if some members of the family are babies who don’t understand the need to say, “Cheese.” Apps like PicaSound can sidestep this conundrum by giving parents an array of funny sounds to play right before a picture is snapped to ensure their tot has a happy grin.

8. Edit from Your Phone

When you’re enjoying a rare bit of time with your family, you probably don’t want to painstakingly edit and touch up photos from your computer. Photoshop Express lets you crop, remove red eye, and make other little tweaks directly from your phone so your shot is ready to share in no time.

9. Make Bigger Selfies

Unless you’ve got really long arms, bringing all of the family in close enough to take a selfie can be impossible. Luckily, someone invented “selfie sticks” that enable you to mount your phone for a few extra precious feet of arm extension. These additional inches could be the difference between whether or not you squeeze every cousin into your next group selfie.

10. Go the Collage Route

If you’re part of the rare family that’s so photogenic it’s hard to pick just one great photo (or a family with lots of hilarious outtakes), get ambitious by turning some of your favorite shots into a shareable collage. Apps like Photo Collage Unlimited and Collage Free enable you to make sharp collages to show off every hilarious, fun moment from your photo shoot.

11. Share Your Shot With Family Who Couldn’t Make It

Capturing the perfect family snapshot is only the beginning—you’re going to want to share it with the rest of the family, too. If you don’t want to put big group shots up on your social media profiles or keep bombarding your followers with photos of your kids, the app Cluster allows you to privately share photos and albums with specific groups of family and friends.

If you want to make even better photos, Intel® RealSense™ snapshot has depth-sensing technology that lets you change focus after you’ve taken the picture so you can highlight different people (or blur them out!) in the shot. Learn more here: intel.com.