The Killer Family Portrait Photography Kit for Sony Mirrorless Photographers

portrait lenses
It’s time to get more serious about your family portraits!

Shooting family portraits, either for yourself or for paid clients, is a common task for photographers to be enlisted into doing.  But if you are new to family portraits, or to photography in general, maybe you are finding yourself wondering about what sort of kit you should have if you want to be doing more family portraits. Maybe you usually specialize in sports photography or landscape photography and your cousin Jane asked you to take care of the family reunion portraits this year.

Whatever your reason for being curious, we have you covered. In this post we will be sharing our thoughts on the ideal family portrait kit setup for the Sony mirrorless photographer. Now if you’re ready, let’s get into it.

The Camera: Sony A7 III

For family portraits, there are a ton of cameras in the Sony ecosystem that would do well for the job, including those of the family variety. But for the purpose of this post, we feel that the Sony A7 III is the best all-around camera option for someone interested in family portraits specifically. This camera offers excellent face detect AF, wireless shooting, lighting support, excellent battery life and a ton of other killer features for a price tag under $2,000.

You can get a [amazon_textlink asin=’B07B43WPVK’ text=’Sony A7 III’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’fa475d4a-6b40-11e8-8069-0fa9c140d16b’] right now on Amazon for [amazon_textlink asin=’B07B43WPVK’ text=’Sony A7 III’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’f55aaf38-6b40-11e8-8f11-d1945b710a85′].

If you want to know more about it you can also check out our full review on the A7 III:

“I genuinely think the Sony A7 III is a fantastic camera. Sony describes it as their “basic” option. For that, I understand the mentality. But for the professional photographer, I think the Sony A7 III has no real place in your bag. Instead, go for the Sony a7r III or the Sony a9. The Sony A7 III has great image quality, autofocus, decent build quality (with reservations), and is reliable.”

Other camera options: [amazon_textlink asin=’B076TGDHPT’ text=’Sony A7 R III’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’0abdff1a-6b41-11e8-8b83-89833db52bbd’], [amazon_textlink asin=’B00ZDWGFR2′ text=’Sony A7R II’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’105bd4b1-6b41-11e8-9708-5113ef08d29c’], [amazon_textlink asin=’B01M586Y9R’ text=’Sony A6500′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’152bfab6-6b41-11e8-aea6-576e1b480a72′]


The Lens: Sony 24-70mm f2.8 G Master

Now, this lens may be out of your price range, but this is honestly the best all-around lens for family portraits currently available in the Sony ecosystem. It offers you the flexibility of shooting wider for those insanely large family gathering photos, but then also zoom in for a tighter crop on those more intimate small family photos. There is a reason why the 24-70mm is such a popular focal length for portrait photographers.

You can pick up a [amazon_textlink asin=’B01BESQYJW’ text=’Sony 24-70mm F2.8 G Master’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’405ddf3b-6b41-11e8-b542-457c6b720622′] on Amazon for [amazon_textlink asin=’B01BESQYJW’ text=’Sony 24-70mm F2.8 G Master’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’3a9e5084-6b41-11e8-adbb-2f24ab6d943e’].

You can also learn more about this lens over in our full review:

“In all rights, this is a fantastic lens. It delivers wonderful image quality, performs well, has a fast autofocus, and will make lots of professional photographers very happy. For the photographers that love zoom lenses, this is another reason to move to the Sony E mount system if you haven’t already. It can tackle any sort of work that you can throw at it and combined with just the right Sony a7 camera body, you’ll get the results you really want.”

Other lens options: [amazon_textlink asin=’B00FSB79FU’ text=’Sony 24-70mm F4′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’2d21188c-6b41-11e8-b4e2-bd0c07fd6ec2′], [amazon_textlink asin=’B07CSLM1X8′ text=’Tamron 28-75mm RXD’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’31be959e-6b41-11e8-a08d-f9078e8c2e42′]


The Lighting: ORLIT RoveLight RT 610 TTL Monolight

The line between speedlights and monolights is getting smaller and smaller these days. Where in the past speedlights would be a go-to for family portraits, now monolights are becoming much smaller and more portable with wireless triggering and built-in battery packs. The ORLIT RoveLight RT 610 is one of these new wave, portable monolights that packs a ton of power into a small and portable package. It also supports TTL with Sony, which is an excellent feature to have where family portraits are concerned.

You can pick up an [amazon_textlink asin=’B075RXGSMB’ text=’ORLIT RoveLight RT 610 TTL’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’757729cc-6b41-11e8-89da-3188b51f79c9′] on Amazon for [amazon_textlink asin=’B075RXGSMB’ text=’ORLIT RoveLight RT 610 TTL’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7035083e-6b41-11e8-9905-3166af651d63′].

You can also learn more about this monolight over in our full review:

“If you’re a photographer looking for a monolight that isn’t super expensive, then the ORLIT RoveLight RT 610 TTL Monolight could be what you want. You’re not getting Profoto’s quality here with the build or the design, but you’re getting consistent results. You’re also not getting Profoto’s consistency when it comes to flash duration or full color consistency. But at the same time it’s not far off. This light is more tailored to a hobbyist more than anything else. It’s nice. Can you use it for professional gigs? Totally. In fact, at the moment it is my main light. It simply works.”

Other Lighting options: [amazon_textlink asin=’B071HVLCHS’ text=’Profoto B1X’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’f9f21cbd-6b41-11e8-a375-0107a49c344e’], [amazon_textlink asin=’B01DVKBQEY’ text=’Godox Thinklite TT685S TTL’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’01c2b108-6b42-11e8-9432-290ba848ea86′], [amazon_textlink asin=’B01C69XVIK’ text=’Interfit S1′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’088f697a-6b42-11e8-a0a9-3f1722e95883′]

So, there you have it, our picks for an ideal family portrait setup for you Sony mirrorless photographers out there. This kit, or any of the alternatives mentioned, will do really well for anyone looking to shoot better family portraits with their Sony mirrorless kit.

Feedback? Questions? Comments? Drop them below and join the discussion!

Anthony Thurston

Anthony is a Portland, Oregon based Boudoir Photographer specializing in a dark, moody style that promotes female body positivity, empowerment, and sexuality. Besides The Phoblographer, he also reviews gear and produces his own educational content on his website.