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Before you bring the camera up to your eye, look what’s behind your subjects and how far from your subjects the background is. You have a few images where the trees are impeding the visual appeal of your subjects. We often like to post our  subjects directly against a tree when in fact, the tree becomes a distraction.  Position your family a few feet in front and using your depth of field knowledge you can expose to get your family tack sharp and the tree becomes a piece of blurry goodness.  Also, if you’re going to use a tree, post, or something that will rise higher than your subjects as a backdrop make sure they don’t sprout out of their  heads.  Before I even raise the camera there’s three things I’m going to determine: 1) what aperture I want to use to achieve the depth of field I want 2) how is the available light falling on my subjects (do I need to use flash) 3) what is behind my subjects. These things greatly reduce the I amount of time in post production and yield more pleasing images.

Learning flash is very easy. Getting it off camera is simple with some cheap triggers.  There are many video tutes covering off camera flash. I always recommend  the AdoramaTV channel on YouTube. The quicker you incorporate flash into your workflow, the better you will progress. You don’t always need flash but it’s good to know when you need it.

Lastly, output sharpening for the web is a critical yet overlooked process for new photographers. You should be resizing and sharpening your images differently for web use then you do for your hi-res images for printing.