The Killer Family Portrait Kit for Canon Photographers

It’s time to get more serious about your family portraits, Canon photographers!

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 you Canon photographers. Now if you’re ready, let’s get into it.

The Camera:  Canon 5D Mark IV

For family portraits, there are a ton of cameras in the Canon ecosystem that would do well for the job, both old and new. But for the purpose of this post, we feel that the Canon 5D Mark IV is the best all-around camera option for someone interested in family portraits specifically. This camera is basically Canon’s best general professional use camera; featuring excellent image quality, fast AF, and those Canon ergonomics that we all love.

You can get a Canon 5D Mark IV right now on Amazon for $3099.

If you want to know more about it you can also check out our full review of the Canon 5D Mk IV:

“My personal opinions are my own though. By all means, the Canon 5D Mk IV is a fantastic workhorse of a camera but in some ways it’s a jack of all trades and master of none. There are cameras out there with better high ISO results, better detail rendition, and with better dynamic range capabilities. But for the most part, the Canon 5D Mk IV takes almost every mirrorless camera on the market and wipes the floor with it. The exceptions are Olympus’s autofocus system, Sony’s general everything when it comes to image quality, and Fujifilm’s color.”

Other camera options: Canon 6D Mk II, Canon 7D Mk II, Canon 80D


The Lens: Canon 24-70mm F2.8L


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 Canon 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 in general, it just covers most of the range a portrait shooter could want.

You can pick up a Canon 24-70mm F2.8L II on Amazon today for $1599.

You can also learn more about this lens over in our full review of the Canon 24-70mm F2.8L II:

“Canon’s 24-70mm f2.8 L USM II is quite expensive, but it gets so much right. The company fixed the reverse zooming issues, the color accuracy is top notch, it can be super sharp if you get the right copy, it is weather sealed like a boss, it is super durable and stays pretty darned compact. “

Other lens options: Tamron 24-70mm F2.8 G2, Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art


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 Canon 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 Canon 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.