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Family Portraits – Your Story, Your Way

Family portraits have been and continue to be the best way to capture images of the entire family to look back on in the future and for future generations. However, these portraits were impractical for everyone but the wealthy until digital cameras came around. To have someone do a family rendition would cost a lot of money. Along with this, it wasn’t too practical with younger kids since it involved sitting or standing in a single place for long sessions.

However, family portraits remain extremely popular today. It is especially true given the breakthroughs that have taken place in the digital photography arena. Nowadays, nearly everyone can get in on the fun of getting family portraits taken because almost everyone has a viable camera to shoot with. While a professional photographer will have a lot of experience and skills that a novice wouldn’t, the advancement in camera technology has made it easier than ever to get impressive results with limited knowledge.

In this article, we’ll be going over some of the different ways you can capture your family story with a camera.

Family portrait of happy mom dad and twins daughters having fun time

Choosing a Professional or Doing It Yourself

When you invest in a family photography session with a professional, you pay for much more than having someone snap photos of your family. When you hire a professional, they will bring a lot of value for the ride. For one, they likely have invested in top-tier cameras to ensure you get the best quality result. However, more importantly, they have invested the time and energy in mastering it. Thus, you’ll be getting photographs taken by someone with best-in-class photography equipment and expertise. You can think of a photographer as an artist with their camera as their brush. While this seems like a lot already, their experience and expertise don’t end there. They also have the requisite knowledge of proper lighting, positioning, color coordination, and more. They also have the experience dealing with all sorts of people to ensure they can get the seemingly impossible task of having everyone keep their eyes open at the same time.

While you could always consider doing these portraits yourself, there will be a big difference between what you accomplish as an amateur and what you would get if you paid a professional to do it for you. Therefore, if you were to place two photographs side-by-side, you’d likely have no issues pointing out the professional one. For example, you may overlook the little one sticking their tongue out in the background, but a professional could spot that instantly. Along with this, they will have much better effectiveness at limiting little things that could naturally ruin a photo, like issues with reflections from eyeglasses and more. If you aim to take the photos yourself, a timer or remote can help, but you’ll still find it extremely difficult to coordinate an entire family shoot.

Ensure Everyone Looks Their Best

There is a difference between a family portrait and a family photograph. A family portrait is meant to showcase each family member in the best possible light. Typically this means that all blemishes on the face should be covered up and bald spots hidden. Everyone in the portrait should try to appear as natural as possible when they are shooting. All of the clothes in the portrait should mesh well together, if not wholly color-coordinated. While your family’s personality will ultimately dictate the style you go with, it’s not wise to go to the extremes. You don’t want to wear anything with a noticeable logo unless the session is for an event or sponsorship. If you’re taking formal family portraits, you’ll want to discuss your options with the photographer ahead of time. They should give you tailored advice as to what you should wear and how to do your make-up. At the same time, you don’t necessarily need to follow these specific rules when taking family photographs. A family photograph is going to tell a story at a particular time. A family story can include that eye-burning tie-dye shirt that you loved that summer.

Family Portrait

Smile or Not

The majority of the time, the face will showcase its owner’s emotions at the time. If they are in a good mood, they are likely smiling. Unfortunately, their idea of a good time typically doesn’t involve sitting around taking a family portrait for younger children and even older children. Because of this, you want to do some pre-planning ahead of time. This way, you can have a result that you can flaunt. If anyone is in a bad mood, it’s likely to show up in the portrait. You can only do so much in post-production to clean things up, and cleaning up a bad mood isn’t one of those things.

Choose The Background

You will find that you have plenty of options to choose from when you are considering a family portrait. You can go with a much more traditional option and a formal setting, or you could choose something more upbeat and colorful. The main thing you should be thinking about when selecting is the purpose of the portrait. Is it going to be something that is hung up in the office? Is it going to be hung in the living room of your home? Do you want the portrait to tell a story about your family and your interests? These are the things you want to ask yourself. That way, you can figure out what background would be ideal for your portrait. It’s your portrait, so you want to choose something that you like.

Ideally, your family portrait should get the viewer to want to know more about the family and its members.

Even if you get it taken digitally, you can have it printed on canvas, making your portrait look amazing and much like a painted one.


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