Throughout history, noble families have paid painters to make portraits of their proud lineage. Family portraits remain to be one of the best ways to preserve a family’s heritage. This practice has evolved since and today the digital age of cameras gave birth to more modern family portrait photography techniques which made it easier for members of the families to take their own family photos if they do not want to employ a professional to do it.

 

Here are some easy to follow do’s and don’ts that could help you record great family memories:

DO: Choose a Professional Photographer

If your family has the luxury of time, you can always schedule an appointment with a professional photographer. All you need to worry about is how you should dress up on the occasion and the photographer will take care of the rest.

You can always do the portraits by yourself. If you have a friend that could hold the camera for you, just take the lead in giving instructions. If you don’t have anyone else that could click the camera, try using the good old timer. Digital cameras can hold up to about 20 seconds, giving you ample time to pose, prepare and hold the smile.

DON’T: Take Pictures without Makeup On

If you want to take photos up close, tell your family members to at least wash their faces and put a little makeup on. Blushers and lip glosses for men will do; eyeliners, blushers and lip colors for women. Go for the natural look unless you are wearing formal clothes where you would need full makeup on women and the men’s feature highlighted with powder and some foundation and liners. You may also go to professionals to do these for you but the easiest way is to ask Mom to do it. (Avoid any shiny or sparkly finishes and especially SprayTan)

DO: Plan on What to Wear

There is nothing shabbier than a family portrait that has you looking like a rag doll next to the well dressed Mom and Dad. You don’t want anyone else to stand out. If you decide on wearing formal clothing, make sure that everyone is in formal clothing. The colors have to be coordinated as well. You can either wear the same color or dress in contrast, or monochrome, but please have one specific and recognizable theme in place. This will show unity and harmony in print.

Points to think about:
Shoes are always overlooked. It’s best to use NEW shoes if the soles are going to be seen.
Clothes that have spots or stripes are usually a bad idea as well as big logos, slogans, and images.
Black hides shape really well. Long sleeves are better than short sleeves, as are long trousers better than short trousers

If you go for a less serious portrait, then going crazy on colors is allowed. For instance, if you intend to pose on the beach, just make sure that everybody is dressed in swimwear.

DON’T: Shoot when someone is in a Bad Mood

Professional photo shoots are often scheduled, so make an effort to keep each other happy prior to the photo taking. If you have been planning to take photos by yourself, get everyone in the mood first. Have them laughing naturally so that the innate glow in their faces will show. You don’t want the faces on your family portrait to look glum or uninviting. Even if you were instructed not to smile on a particular photo, especially informal ones, it doesn’t mean that you are miserable. Any negative vibe could be reflected, so unless you want your family portraits to look like a photo of a wrestling match – make each other happy!

DO: Change the Scenery

Dare to be different. We are no longer in the medieval ages where pictures of families are very stiff and formal unless this is the direction you want to go. Experiment with the poses, kneel, lie down, jump, go high or low, and get wacky! Take pictures on the beach, while driving, bungee jumping, or anything that is out of the ordinary and you’ll be amazed at how original your pictures will turn out!

Truly, Family Portrait Photography is easy and fun. It was turned into a tradition not only to capture the images of the lineage members but also as a bonding moment for the family to be together. And later on in so many years, you probably won’t remember what type of camera the photographer used to take the photo or what car you were driving on the way to the studio, but you will forever remember the faces and laughter you had together as a family while having the family pictures taken!

Of course, you can always ask a professional photographer to capture that amazing portrait if it still alludes you. Hint, hint, wink, wink.

I hope this article helped you today.

To your success

Dean