Taking the perfect family selfie

Nat Geo photographer Erika Larsen shows you how to take the ultimate DIY family portrait.

You gather the family to capture the perfect vacation selfie. The result is not pretty. Faces are cut off, random people are in the background, and there’s no telling where the heck you actually are. Who better to help solve the selfie situation than a National Geographic photographer? Erika Larsen has traveled from Peru to Scandanavia to Hawaii photographing people—and that includes selfies with her husband and four-year-old son, Pauhlo. She gives her tips on taking the perfect family selfie.

Head out early in the morning or during sunset, when the light is even. “The key is to avoid having a mix of dark and light in your photo,” Larsen says. If noon is the only time you can gather everyone, look for a shady area to avoid squints.

Sure, you want to show where the photo was taken, but who wants to see a giant Eiffel Tower behind your antlike family? “People should be the focus of the family selfie,” Larsen says. Palm trees, stone walls, and interesting building textures are good backdrops. Cars, telephone wires, reflective windows … not so much.

Read This Next

10 secrets to identifying trees
Here’s how to take at-home photos like a Nat Geo photographer
Here's how kids can take wildlife photographs