Family Photo Tips While Social Distancing, Part 2

Tip 2 takes advantage of the great weather we are having, and the explosion of beauty and color outside. There’s little more beautiful than cherry blossoms. However, getting photographs of your family with them doesn’t have to mean breaking social distancing practices.

In case you missed it, here’s a link to Part 1, where I introduce the series with some basic info such as “Do I need a fancy camera?” and Tip Number 1.


Most “Shelter In Place” orders allow for residents to go out for exercise as long as you can do that while maintaining a certain distance between people. Until we get to a place where we are ordered not even to do that, our family tries to have to have a long outing outside before we watch a movie at night. I have a totally unverified opinion that Vitamin D and fresh air and exercise will help our immune systems. And I’m not a great housekeeper so I’m sure the air quality is better outdoors.

Note: I know if you are someone working your job and have young kids at home, you barely have time to just keep going – there’s no judgment here!

Appreciate the blooms near you

Here in Northern Virginia, it’s an annual tradition for many to go to Washington DC’s Tidal Basin to experience the beautiful cherry blossoms. Although social distancing recommendations were made before the peak blooms, many still ventured out, making social distancing impossible. I can understand going, hoping everyone else stayed home. That would be an epic, once-in-a-lifetime experience. For anyone who has gone on a normal year, it is so crowded that it makes it difficult to enjoy.

However, if you are just trying to get some good photos with cherry blossoms, there are so many beautiful places just around your neighborhood. This tunnel of beautiful white blossoms might not catch your eye other times. At this time of year, it is breathtaking…and it’s just right next to the the side of a neighborhood road in Northern Virginia. And NO other people will be in your photos (near impossible at the Tidal Basin).

father and daughter walking together while social distancing

A short distance away, another beautiful solo tree (and a beautiful teenager coping so well with the forced family time).

teen girl smiling outdoors social distancing

Use depth of field and get close to focus on the blooms and your subject

It’s funny how you can be walking around your neighborhood and not really think about all the trees around you. Yet when they have their moment of glory in bloom, suddenly they are not just part of the landscape but the center of attention. It’s not just the cherry blossoms too!

These photos were taken just on a walk in our neighborhood. We went in the early evening, trying to avoid peak foot traffic. I used the portrait function of an iPhone 8 for the closeups. I edited with only the single click auto edit to each of the images. Portrait mode mimics changing the aperture on a manual camera, which affects the depth of field. It’s super helpful for blurring the background. Getting close to remove side distractions and using depth of field to minimize background distractions make just the parts you want to capture the center of attention.

Just a single tree is enough.

2 image collage of girl next the flowering tree

These forsythia were planted to block the view of the stormwater management pond in our neighborhood.

2 photo collage of girl in front of forsythia bushes

That’s Tip 2! Make sure you subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t already to get more photo tips while social distancing. Leave me a comment or tag me on Instagram or Facebook @robinsgambatiphotography to show me your social distancing family photos taken with this tip! I would absolutely love to see them.

Social distancing isn’t a great phrase – it’s only physical distancing, right? We can be still be social! Sign up below for my newsletter to get future tips.

Check out the information on family holiday sessions.

Headshot and Corporate Event Photographer in Northern Virginia

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