My husband is really great about taking photos at important events, but we have very few pictures with just our family. Even he admits that he has a hard time remembering to give up control of his camera and let someone else take his picture!
While I’m not the photographer in the family, I do think it’s very important to take lots of pictures. Photos, both formal and informal, are excellent ways to document ages and special occasions. Of course, they also trigger memories when viewed at later dates!
I know a few families with grown children who had family portraits taken each year. Looking at those pictures now is like watching the growth of their family. The images of the parents with the kids from babies to adults is an impressive display, and it’s inspired me to have our family photo professionally taken this year.
These are my biggest questions when it comes to formal family portraits: How do you get everyone looking at the camera, looking acceptable and acting appropriately at the exact moment when the photographer takes the picture? If you have the same questions, I may have some information to help you!
Here are the top 10 tips for taking fabulous family portraits:
1. Keep your clothing simple :: Avoid logos and make sure any prints are coordinating. It’s best to stick with solids and relatively neutral tones if they’re flattering for everyone. Try not to make all the outfits match too closely; a little contrast defines each person in the photo.
2. Don’t dress up :: Everyone (little kids and adults) gets a little uptight when they’re too dressed up. Casual clothing helps everyone relax and makes for a more natural picture.
3. Haircuts should be done 7-10 days before your scheduled session :: That allows enough time for everyone to “grow into” their fresh haircut and keep from looking too “done up.”
4. Time it right :: If you can, do your best to plan your photo shoot when little ones are well-rested. If you can’t guarantee your baby will sleep during a scheduled naptime, consider an appointment for first thing in the morning.
5. Experiment with natural shots :: A formal family portrait marks the time well, but does little to capture personality. Consider asking the photographer for a few natural photos of getting kids prepped for the portrait or try taking it down a notch after your photographer is confident he or she has captured your posed portrait.
6. Remember that babies aren’t props :: I keep seeing stranger and stranger posed “portraits” of babies. Ones where they’re propped up into an awkward position. Or draped across a rounded surface. Or inside of an object. Yes, sleeping babies are sweet, and many parents want that unique photo that others will get others talking. Just remember that a baby is real. Keep the photo natural and make sure your precious little one is warm enough and secure in his or her position.
7. Take photos of kids interacting :: I think the sweetest photographs are those where young siblings are interacting. Nothing warms my heart as much as when my two toddlers are having fun together. If a photographer can capture one of those pure moments I’m a happy mom!
8. Let your photographer get to know your family :: You’re not going to be able to cram in a ton of personal information and get quality photos out of a 20-30 minute photo shoot. If your little one has any quirks or fears that may trigger unexpected emotions during a photo shoot, be sure to either let the photographer know ahead of time or ask if you can provide that information for him or her to review in advance of the shoot.
9. Give the photographer control :: Remember that taking photos is the photographer’s profession. You can request a few poses or shots that you have in mind, but don’t be afraid to try something different that your photographer has in mind.
10. Relax :: You will get a beautiful family photo. Enough said.
Now that you have some tips to help you get through a portrait session and hopefully end up with amazing pictures, think about booking a portrait session at JCPenney Portrait Studios (jcpportraits) and take advantage of their April portrait special: 6 portrait sheets for just $20 with no sitting fee!
I even created a fun inspiration board on Pinterest to showcase my favorite poses and photo options that jcpportraits offers! There are some adorable shots in there–personally, I love a lot of them with the wooden letters spelling out little ones’ ages!
jcpportraits is an all-occasion portrait studio designed to provide high-quality portrait products for customers’ needs.
jcpportraits provides portrait services for all occasions: newborn, birthday, first communion, holiday, graduation, engagement, adult and family portraits and portrait greeting cards.
jcpportraits is based in Eden Prairie, MN and employs 9,500 associates. jcpportraits is committed to offering their customers superior service and providing high-quality, professional portraits while Creating Memories for a Lifetime®.
Visit the JCPenney Portrait Studio to learn more and use the store locator to find a studio near you.
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of JCpenney Portrait Studio. I was asked to create a Pinterest Board and pin at least five (5) pins. I give JCPenney the right to repin any or all images/original content from this board. I received a promotional item as a thanks for my participation.