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. 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 Nikon photographers. Now if you’re ready, let’s get into it.
The Camera: Nikon D750
For family portraits, there are a ton of cameras in the Nikon ecosystem that would do well for the job, both old and new. But for the purpose of this post, we feel that the Nikon D750 is the best all-around camera option for someone interested in family portraits specifically. This camera is basically Nikon’s best general professional use camera; featuring excellent image quality, fast AF, and some of the intangibles that make Nikon great.
You can get a Nikon D750 right now on Amazon for around $1,500.
If you want to know more about it you can also check out our full review of the Nikon D750:
“Other than some quibbles with the partially plastic frame, you’re going to love the Nikon D750 through and through. It follows a long line of professional level, Nikon, full frame cameras putting all the controls right on the camera body. With better ISO performance and a faster autofocus than the D610, this camera is perfect for photography enthusiasts and professional shooters who want more than the barest of essentials of a full frame DSLR.”
The Lens: Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 VC G2
Now for all of our other family portrait kit guides we ended up recommending a brand name lens, but in this case, given the cost of the Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 lens, and the incredible performance of this Tamron lens in relation to the cost – basically we couldn’t in good conscience recommend the Nikon version over the Tamron. This Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 is simply an outstanding lens and we very much recommend it to those looking for a solid portrait zoom.
You can pick up a Tamron SP 24-70mm f2.8 VC G2 on Amazon today for $1199.
You can also learn more about this lens over in our full review of the Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 VC G2:
“One of the reasons why the Tamron SP 24-70mm f2.8 Di VC USD G2 lens is being awarded our Editor’s Choice award has to do with pricing. Tamron has always offered great image quality at a lower price than Sigma and first parties. And unless you’re pixel peeping you probably won’t be able to tell the differences between the lenses straight out of camera. Further, modern day editing can make any photo from any lens look like one another. The point is though that the Tamron SP 24-70mm f2.8 Di VC USD G2 is a pretty fantastic tool for the professional photographer.”
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, 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 Nikon 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 Nikon kit.
Feedback? Questions? Comments? Drop them below and join the discussion!