Use Photo Drones for Fun Family Portraits

You don’t have to fret over getting your youngins to say cheese for this year’s family portrait.

Why? Because family photo shoots turn into playtime once a Photography Drone is involved!

We’ve thought of 8 entertaining ways to not only make the most of your drone’s high-flying perspective, but to also keep your photogenic family having a blast from beginning to end.

So gather the fam and get ready for some up-up-and-away fun!

8 Amazing Family-Friendly Drone-tography ideas!
Learn More About the Phantom 2 Drone

1. The Chase

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What is it?

Children chasing a drone that’s always just out of reach! Kids often get a little antsy having to stand still for portraits, so give them a reason to run around while you capture genuine childhood mirth at its best.

How to do it?

Fly the drone low, about 6 feet off the ground. Aim the camera down about 30 degrees (experiment with the right angle and distance from your subject for best results) then move the drone backwards as you have the kids chase it.

Let them reach out as if they’re going to grab it, but always keep it at least 10 feet away, maintaining height as you move backwards.

Piloting Tip: Be sure to let the children know never to touch it, and watch out for obstacles as you move backwards! If you ever feel out of control with this shot, go UP immediately for safety!

2. The Spelling Bee

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What is it?

Words created not by pen but by your bendable bodies! Either lie down in the grass or keep everyone standing super close together to form letters like a marching band.

How to do it? 

Have one person “direct” everyone else, positioning them in the grass to spell out the family name, or even to write a short sentence like “We love you!” If you’re feeling super ambitious, spell out something a little longer. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, maybe?

Fly the drone up high, point the camera down, and snap a photo of your words! Or shoot video with the camera pointed down as the drone rises from just a few feet off the ground, revealing the words as it ascends.

Piloting Tip:  Make sure you have expert control over your drone! And fly on a clear day with little or no wind before flying low near people.

3. The Circle of Life

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What is it?

It’s fun with shapes! More importantly: it’s just fun! Each family member lies down in a circle (shoulder to shoulder with feet at the center) while the drone records from above.

How to do it? 

Have the drone hover a few feet off the ground in the center of the circle and aim the camera down. Now shoot video as the drone rises from the center of the circle, slowly revealing the feet and then the great people attached to those feet!

Keep the drone rising straight up for about 100 feet until you have a nice aerial shot of the family circle, then higher until you can see the house, and eventually the town.

Extra Credit: Place a sign or other object in the center of your family circle and the video will capture the sign before the viewer even sees the family around it.

4. The Classic Dronie

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What is it?

A family conga line! It’s an oldie but definitely a goodie! (The classics are classic for a reason, right?)

How to do it? 

Place everyone in position and start with the drone a few feet above the last person in line, with the camera pointed backward past the end of the line.

Angle the camera down 15 degrees and slowly move the drone backwards staying a few feet over the line and moving to the front.

As the camera moves past each person, have them smile and wave or do something silly like make a goofy face.

Piloting Tip: When you get to the front of the line, start moving backwards away from the line at top speed, then gently pull up as you do so to reveal the landscape below.

5. The Family Tree

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What is it?

They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Well, in this case you are the tree! You’ll be creating a traditional family tree but with a bit of a spin.

How to do it? 

This is a real-life family tree, so why not make it more accurate. Grandparents are the roots and trunk (they came before everyone else, right?) so they should stand side-by-side at the head of the group. Parents make up the beginning stages of the branches, and should therefore stand side by side behind the grandparents. The grandchildren should then stand behind their parents, making up the treetops.

Everyone can look up and wave to the drone as you take a photo from above.

Extra Credit: Create a video by hovering the drone in front of the grandparents before moving it to the side and “up” the tree to film each generation as it passes.

6. The Window Pane Portraits

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What is it?

Portraits of your family members with one important addition: your home! The house in which you live is kind of like an extended family member, so include it in your photo fun with this idea.

How to do it?

Have each member of the family stand at a different window of the house, leaning out slightly. From the outside, start shooting video and move your drone from window to window.

Pause outside each window to capture a quick portrait of each person, then move to the next window and do it again.

When you’re done moving around the house, move the drone backwards quickly. Slowly move it up as you move backwards to capture the house and landscape.

Piloting Tip: When moving the drone from window to window,  stay 6-10 feet away from the house for safety.

7. The Old House

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What is it?

An aerial shot of your old house hanging up in your new house!

How to do it?

Ask the new owner of your old house for permission to take photos with your drone. Once that’s done, fly the drone up high to photograph the house in its entirety.

Extra Credit: As a “thank you” to the owner, print them out a copy of the photo as well!

8. The Vid-to-Gif Transformation

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What is it?

It’s your super awesome drone videos turned into super awesome gifs to be used however you’d like–but may we suggest “holiday e-newsletters”?

How to do it?

There are a lot of websites that can easily convert your videos into gifs. You simply upload a video clip and it spits out a gif. We like this site right here. Don’t forget that Photojojo also has some awesome tips and tricks for all things gif.

Want to get your hands on a drone?