I’ve been photographing families for years- from as few as 2 (or often 2, plus one on the way!), all the way up to groups in the double-digits, and there’s a few things I’ve learned over the years about what makes a family portrait memorable and timeless.
1. Toss the ‘Sunday Best!’ It seems to be every parent’s inclination to dress everyone up in their ‘Sunday best’ for their family portrait. My parents did it. Your parents probably did it. YOU may have
even done it a time or two! Here’s my advice: don’t! Especially if you have young kids. Seriously, the thing that makes family portraits ‘timeless’ is the interactions and fun between everyone in the family, and nothing makes the interactions look (and feel) more natural than everyone feeling relaxed during the portrait session…
Dad may be used to wearing a tie (or not!) but what kid is going to find their ‘Sunday best’ to be exactly what they need in order to relax and be themselves?Consider dressing everyone about ‘one step up’ from their everyday clothing, making sure all the kiddos have their hair more-or-less brushed, and then call it good. Making every effort to make picture day fun and relaxing = something that everyone will look back on as a fun family experience, and will make the images that much more treasured. Making picture day something that everyone dreads by making it a chore and burden for everyone (including yourself!) = everyone resistant to getting portraits done in the future, and bad memories associated with the pictures you take.
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