Most parents struggle to snap a family photo that is worthy of hanging on the wall and sending out to extended family and friends when the holidays roll around. But it seems like someone is always frowning, blinking, or looking the wrong way. For this reason you might want to think about paying a professional photographer to do your family portrait for you. Still, there are a few dos and don’ts you’ll want to observe on your end in order to ensure that you end up with the best photos possible.
- DO: Make sure everyone is well-rested. The worst thing you can do is show up for your family portrait session with bags under your eyes and a cranky bunch of kids in tow. Since you’re paying for a family photo you want to make sure that everyone looks their best and is on good behavior. So don’t pick a Friday night when everyone is tired after a long week of work and school. Choose a time that you won’t be rushed or stressed out. This will give you the best shot at a family portrait that’s so good it brings a tear to your eye every time you look at it.
- DON’T: Take too long. You can likely get some good behavior out of your kids with promises of a treat after the photo session, but don’t expect this detente to last forever, especially with younger kids that are full of energy and easily distracted. Get situated as quickly as possible, have a few poses in mind before you arrive, and take advantage of your children’s interest in the process to snap a few good pics in rapid succession. Otherwise you’ll have to work around their waning attention, fidgeting, and possibly temper tantrums and tears before long. Even well-behaved kids won’t sit still and follow directions forever.
- DO: Coordinate. Whether you all wear white tees and jeans for photos on the beach, you use white oxfords shirts for a traditional, buttoned-down, black and white portrait, or you throw on festive Santa hats for your holiday cards, coordinating outfits is a great way to give your pictures a timeless feel or an element of fun.
- DON’T: Get too gimmicky. Although you want family members to match, especially with a large group, you should stay away from gimmicks that are going to feel dated before long. Sure, mustache parties are in right now, but remember those photos you took back in 2000 where everyone dressed like Neo from ‘The Matrix’? They’re probably hiding in the back of a drawer somewhere now. You should also avoid holiday sweaters (shiver), matching pajamas, inappropriate themes, or anything that’s could go viral as an awkward family photo (fig leaves and Santa hats – maybe not the best idea ever).
- DO: Go pro. While you can definitely save some money by taking your business to a photo studio at your local Walmart or Sears, you’re going to get what you pay for. The photos will likely be taken by someone with minimal training and you may not get the quality or service you expect. If you prefer to ensure that your money is well spent on a professional with the proper education and experience to deliver spectacular prints, you might want to select a top-notch studio like Nadine Nasby Photography, for example. After all, kids grow up so fast and you want to do what you can to preserve a special moment in time. A professional photographer will have the right backdrops, lighting, and personality to capture a winning smile from every child.