Family portraits have a special place in our hearts – and on our walls. They capture an important moment in time, form a central part of our home decor, and are a cherished keepsake passed down through generations. While many families document their daily lives digitally through quick phone snaps and social media, there’s nothing like a professionally staged family portrait to capture those all-important memories.
Here’s what to know when preparing for your professional portrait.
Know Who’ll Be Participating
Will your family portrait involve just your immediate family, or will the extended family be included as well? Figure out the combinations you’d like to see and make sure you coordinate outfits and travel arrangements, as well as extras such as temporary seating options or shade for older or mobility-impaired family members. Some families like to include their furry family members, which is a great idea if you make accommodations for your pet and let your photographer know ahead of time. Bring water, treats, and a leash to help keep your pet comfortable – and to help tempt them to keep that all-important “good dog” pose!
Plan Your Outfits Ahead of Time
Think about the mood and tone you want to set for your photoshoot. Are you aiming for fun and whimsical, formal and curated, or candid and natural? Choose outfits that work together but that aren’t too matchy-matchy: a detail such as a pattern or color can create a sense of cohesion without making you look like you’re in uniform. If you’re stuck for ideas, look at mood boards or scroll through Pinterest to find something that matches the concept you have in your head. Try on your outfits ahead of time to ensure everyone is comfortable and have some backup options ready for younger children. If your family members aren’t comfortable in their outfits, that discomfort will show up in the photos!
Choose The Right Location
Location is key to the success of your photoshoot. Do you want a natural background, something at home, or a historical or meaningful destination shoot? Your answer will inform the best time of day – not to mention the year – for your shoot. A stunning local park might be at its best in spring or fall, while your home might see its best light at a certain time of day. If you’re aiming for a public or historic location, check to see whether you need special permission first or if there are any restrictions about where and when you can shoot. If you’re bringing your pooch or pet to your photoshoot, check whether there are any restrictions there. Additionally, if your venue is outside, have a backup location or sheltered area such as a gazebo on-site in case of inclement weather.
Decide on Any Props
Props can be a great way to liven up a shoot, set the tone of things, and give camera-shy family members something to do with their hands. Props can be particularly good for kids or provide a central focal point for the family to gather around while still looking natural. Choose props that travel well, reflect the theme or mood of your photoshoot, and that won’t distract from your faces. Teddies or other childhood favorites can be a good way to help keep kids engaged, and discreet dog toys can help get a pet’s attention.
Be Selective About Your Photographer
Other than your family members, the most important element of your family portrait photoshoot is your photographer. Choose a professional photographer with proven experience in directing and creating amazing family photos like those you want as your result. An experienced family portrait photographer can maximize light and location, help ensure all members of your family are positioned to showcase their best selves and create a winning, unique photo series you’ll cherish for years to come.
At Freed, our professional photographers have extensive experience creating memorable, naturalistic family portraits that every family member will love. Whatever your style, group size, or preferred location, our photographers can deliver results that will make you smile – so talk to us today about arranging a shoot!