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Organizing A Family Portrait

family_portraitUpdating your family portrait is a great way to preserve family memories, but it can also bring with it a lot of anxiety in preparing for it.  Here are some tips for organizing a family portrait and ensuring it is a success:

  • The first step to organizing a family portrait is in finding a time when you can get the family all together.  For extended family portraits this can be the hardest part as you will have to coordinate many different schedules.  Once you have a family time or reunion time scheduled you can coordinate the timing of having your family portrait taken.  When choosing the perfect time you should consider the sleeping and eating schedules of young children to ensure happy moods as well as consider lighting and location accessibility during specific times.
  • Choose the perfect location.  With a time planned, your next big hurdle will be finding the perfect location.   If you are having the photo taken by a professional photographer they may have a studio or outdoor location they commonly use for taking group photos.  If taking the photos yourself or having a friend take them you will want to consider finding the location in advance of the actual portrait time.  Some great locations to consider include outdoor settings such as near a lake, in the mountains, in an open space such as a filed or a park, or near a building with interesting architecture that will make for a great backdrop.  The important part in choosing a location is to consider a location that will allow enough space as well as one that will offer unique settings and options for picture backdrops.
  • Decide if you want family members to coordinate what they are wearing.  For more uniform looking family photographs it is a good idea to have a chosen color scheme that all family members wear.  This allows for the family portrait to look more uniform and cohesive and avoids having the eye drawn to one or two family members that might stand out because of the color of their clothing.
  • When you are taking the portrait, consider the best angles for lighting as well as different poses.  Play with poses that allow you to create a unique look as well as those poses that allow for genuine smiles and feel more natural.  With digital technology you can take hundreds of pictures in a variety of poses to ensure that you find the best one to show off your family.  When doing larger family portraits it is also a good idea to consider doing some of smaller family groups as well.  Using smaller group photos to create a split canvas prints can allow you to create a unique family portrait arrangement.  With the right family portrait transferred to canvas you will soon have not only a great new photo of your family but a new element of art to display in your home.

Most importantly when you are in charge or organizing a family portrait – don’t put it off!  Get as much of the family together as possible and take lots of pictures in a variety of poses.  Photos help to preserve family memories, and quality family portraits capture individual moments in time you will cherish for many years to come.


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