Having family pictures taken can be a harrowing experience. Many parents hope that family portraits will capture the best side of their families, but between takes, it can bring out the worst in everyone involved, leading to yelling, bribing, wrestling, sweating, crying etc. (and that’s just the mom’s experience).
Needless to say, it’s probably not a parent’s proudest moment. Sadly, a family portrait is supposed to reflect a parent’s pride and joy for the loving family they’ve created. So, with a few simple preparations, you can make your experience actually look like the pictures being taken.
Get a quality print
Raise your hand if you have a digital copy of a photo you love, and it’s tucked away in a “photo” file on your computer instead of displayed in your home. Guilty. What good is that gorgeous family photo that you love if you never see it?
After all your planning and hard work, you had better get that puppy printed. Many parents prefer to get this lined up first so that they don’t procrastinate later. An easier, more trendy option for photo displaying is having the photo printed on canvas so it’s ready display as soon as it arrives. Canvas printing is affordable, convenient, and makes an excellent display on your walls.
Choosing a photographer
Getting the right kind of photographer who understands the dynamics of your family is imperative. Look specifically for someone who brands himself or herself as a family photographer. It’s incredibly helpful if the photographer has an online portfolio you can peruse to make sure that their style matches what you have in mind.
If keeping within a tight budget is more important to you, try finding an aspiring photographer looking for models to build their portfolio. It’s more of a gamble, but it’s usually cheap or free to try this route. Local schools or communities are a great place to find budding artistic talent.
Polish your look
About two or three weeks before your photo shoot, schedule haircuts and dental visits. A new hairstyle can take some time to navigate — and a bad haircut will need time to grow out. Give yourself a nice cushion of time to get it right.
This also goes for the dentist. Your smile is really the star of the show, so a nice cleaning will do wonders. Since we’re here to make your life easier, do yourself a favor and take your kids to a reputable pediatric dentist rather than a general dentist.
Pediatric dentists are specifically trained to work on little mouths, wiggly bodies, and unpredictable moods.
Location, location, location
Children, as a universal rule, do not like to sit still for long periods of time and stare at one spot with a smile. It’s important to choose a place that your children will interact well with.
Popular Photography suggests opting for a photo session during your family outing. Choosing places where kids want to have fun is a great way to get beautiful candid shots. Capturing the slurpy bite of apple your toddler takes at the apple orchard is a picture you’ll treasure. The look of joy your child has on the carousel is the smile you want to remember.
Dress for success
Finding the right outfits for your family photos can make or break your picture. Obviously, that bowtie makes your little guy look like a dapper little squish of perfection, but if he’s uncomfortable, he will rip it off.
Plan clothing that won’t create a parent versus child battle. Keep things comfortable and appropriate to the setting. Once again, would Mr. Squish wear a bowtie to the pumpkin patch? Probably not.
Keep your colors and patterns simple and classic (no characters on clothes), and try not to match each other too perfectly. Try keeping everyone within a color palette rather than a single color. With the right outfits, your family photo will be timeless.