With the holidays fast approaching I’m sure most of us are thinking of everything we need to do. On that list is usually a family portrait. Usually most of us just dread the thought of this! No place to park, packed portrait studio, tired and crabby children screaming (including your own!) and then sweating trying to make your children sit still and smile! I’ve learned that usually the best portraits are the ones you do yourself.
Here are my tips for a perfect family photo:
- Location is key. Pick some place that isn’t going to be overly crowded, especially if you have little ones, you don’t want them distracted by people around them. Parks make great scenery. Do not have your background too busy. You want people to focus on you not everything around you. Try to find a big tree to sit under, or in front of a garden. Fountains make lovely scenery as well.
- Wear comfortable clothes. It is much easier to look happy in a photo when you are comfortable. This is especially true for the kids, if they don’t like their shoes for example they will probably spend most of the time whining that they hurt instead of smiling for the picture; plus most of the time, shoes aren’t even in the picture!
- Wear complimentary clothing. I’m not saying wear the same red sweater with a big Santa on the front, but when everyone is wearing the same color scheme the picture comes together better.
- Allow small breaks in between pictures or the little ones won’t last as long. It is a good idea to bring a little snack along as well if you have a large group of people. Just remember nothing messy, crackers or pretzels are good options.
- Have a close friend or family member take the picture so your little ones will be more comfortable with their photographer and it will help them smile more.
- Not all pictures have to be posed. Some of the best pictures are the ones you didn’t mean to take.
- Know when to quit. You can’t force a smile, so if it’s just not your toddler’s day, you may have to try on another day. Pictures should be fun, not torture.
Once you’ve mastered that perfect family picture you have to show it off! A great way to do this is with Christmas Cards and Photo Gifts from Shutterfly. Your loved ones will enjoy seeing your family and you will save tons of money taking the pictures yourself!
To help you get more inspired Shutterfly is hosting Family Photo Days throughout November. They have special activities set up to help you get that perfect family photo so you can have a great Holiday Card.
Some of the things set up include:
- A Digital Toolkit which you can actually print and bring with you on your photo day.
- House Parties (Create beautiful portraits out of your house)
- A Contest with different categories for Best Funny Family Photo, Most Unique, etc.
We have been doing our own for over a year now. My children would no longer sit still for portraits so we’ve been doing our own. Look below for a couple pictures we took a few weeks ago for our “Fall” Portraits.
I encourage everyone to give it a shot this year and try taking your own family portraits.