Seven Tips For The Best Family Pictures
Taking a family photo is an annual event for some families. For others, it’s a rare
undertaking. No matter how often (or infrequently) your family takes portraits,
there are some key things you can do to make it both hassle-free and memorable.
The following are seven must-use tips for taking the best family photos:
1. Smart Scheduling
Whenever children are involved, there should be some special considerations
Schedule the photo shoot when all family members are most likely to be at their
2. Location Logic
An indoor photo shoot leaves fewer elements to chance. However, an outdoor photo
shoot can open a world of creative possibility. Consider a park setting or hip urban
environment. While it can be fun to include a family pet either indoors or out, make
sure it can handle the different stimuli and activity of the photo shoot. There’s
bound to be lots of distractions throughout this process, so weigh creative
possibilities against minimizing your stress levels.
3. Lighting Is Key
Again, portraits shot indoors can be controlled and lit professionally, but natural
lighting gives some of the most beautiful effects. It’s up to you to decide how many
variables your family can handle. If you opt for an outdoor shoot, remember that
intense sunlight is not ideal and can wash out the photo. Strive for lower light or
choose a location in the shade or shadows to help regulate bright sunshine.
4. Wardrobe Considerations
When it comes to wardrobe, too much matching is not a good thing! Ensure that
your picture won’t end up in the next “Awkward Family Photos” calendar by
dressing everyone in tasteful, timeless styles. You can coordinate outfits and colors,
but avoid too much matching. Everyone wearing the same thing will result in a
distracting final result. If one main color is chosen, be sure there is plenty of
variation among outfits and accessories.
5. Avoid Loud Patterns — and Too Much Denim!
We’ve all seen the family photos where everyone is wearing jeans and/or denim
shirts; or is posed on a backdrop that’s too distracting. Casual is fine, but strive to
find a style that mirrors your family’s personal taste. Loud, busy patterns such as
multicolored plaid or clashing backdrop elements should be avoided. Tip: All-white
outfits or backdrops can be difficult to make visually successful, while black almost
always results in a chic effect.
6. Make It Personal
The key to successful, memorable family portraits is to blend timeless elements with
more personal touches that express who you are as a family. Consider trying
settings and compositional elements you all feel a connection with. A favorite park
setting, the family boat or collector car, shots with the family pet, or including
treasured accessories are all possibilities.
7. Experiment With Contrast
While you’ll want your photo to be personalized, remember that some creative
contrast can give effective and eye-catching results as well. For example, dressing
everyone in simple outfits and posing against an artfully weathered backdrop or in
an industrial setting can look stunning.
Lastly, remember that we live in a digital age where nearly unlimited after-effects
are possible. From changing the backdrop digitally to editing and retouching any
element of the photo, amazing results are possible. Framing and matting your best
prints also allows for even more creative license.
Lighten up and enjoy the process! The best images are created when the subjects
are completely comfortable, so make portrait day a fun family event.
Kristin Belt has seen hundreds of different family picture styles as co-owner of
Austin FASTFRAME with her husband Steve. Kristin has almost a decade of
experience in the framing industry, assisting clients with custom frames to suit their
rooms in the Austin metro region. Austin FASTFRAME offers framing solutions for
TV, plaque mounting, poster framing, fine art, custom frames and much more!