We’ve finally taken a family photo. Not only did we get some great shots, but I’ve got some really great tips that will help you get your best family photo.
It’s also another item knocked off the Summer Bucket List! We’re really making some progress. Good thing, since we’ve only got about 2 weeks left!
On Sunday we had our family photo taken. Since we are the Ambassador Family for the March of Dimes March for Babies this year, we needed a great picture for them to use. I’ll be blogging all about our roles and responsibilities as the Ambassador Family in a future post, but today, I wanted to share some tips for getting your own family photo taken.
First, let me give you a little background. My kids have never had professional pictures taken.
I know. I know. Some of you probably think I’m terrible for not getting them done. However, I take so many of my own. Plus, I never know where to go or who to hire. Not to mention, it’s expensive. And well, I just don’t have any other excuses. We just haven’t done it.
While I have a ton of pictures of the kids, we don’t have many of us as a family. At least good ones!
Here’s a prime example of a typical family photo. Notice the wonderful expressions, and lovely red eyes.
We also have a few where at least one family member is missing.
Although, I did like this one from last summer.
I still knew we could do better. Perhaps, shoes on the kids?! Maybe no boxes in the background?
Here are the tips I used for getting us ready for our first professional family photo.
Tips for getting the best family photo
#1 Find a Photographer you are comfortable with
With this one I got really lucky. I have a very good friend that does freelance photography. She also has three kiddos, so she is just as busy as we are. We’ve been trying to set something up for a while, and the stars must have aligned.
Since all of our family knows her, it made us all comfortable. Plus, since she’s a mom and a photographer, she’s great with kids and getting them to look at the camera. She is also super patient.
#2 Figure out your Fashion
Again, my friend/our photographer came to the rescue. I asked her what we should wear, and she said have everyone Coordinate, but not Match.
This one was a little hard for me, since I love to dress the boys in matching outfits. Often my oldest also matches. In the picture above we all match. It’s something I swore I’d never do when I was pregnant with the twins, but somehow I just can’t help myself.
So, I went through everyone’s closet and found everyone a blue shirt. One was a button up, one was a solid polo, and one was a striped polo. My husband wore a little bit different shade of blue as a polo, and I work a knit shirt with three-quarter length sleeves. We all had jeans on, but none of them were the same either.
#3 Location, Location, Location
When my photographer asked me where I wanted to do the pictures, I just figured we’d do it at our house. She had much better ideas.
She said it would be great to be in a non-residential place. Also some place that’s not too busy. We narrowed down our choices to some old abandoned train tracks, a botanical garden, or (the one we finally chose,) a historic farm.
It turned out to be the perfect place. There were plenty of different backgrounds, and the boys liked to explore a little before each set up. Luckily, there wasn’t anywhere for them to get dirty either. Plus, it was a little overcast, so no one was squinting in the sun, yet we still got the natural light.
#4 Be Prepared
From getting enough sleep the night before to eating a good breakfast to bringing extra clothes, preparation is key.
You want everyone to be well-rested and looking their best. It also helps if everyone is in a good mood, so having a full belly is a good thing. I also brought snacks with, extra clothes, and treats for afterwards. I’m not above bribing my kids for good behavior and good pictures.
#5 Ask Questions and Be Comfortable with the Answers
Again, since I knew our photographer well, I felt comfortable asking how things would work, when we would get the pictures, the cost, and what would happen if we’re not happy with the results.
It’s always best to know what you are paying for. Do you want all the pictures on a disk so you can print them yourself? Or do you want just a few edited pics and your photographer to print them? Do you need the pictures right away? Or are you OK with waiting a couple of weeks? If you’re not happy, will your photographer offer a re-shoot? Or do you have to pay for another session?
Remember to ask all your questions before you hire someone, and to be happy with the answers. It’s your Family Portrait, and it’s important for it to turn out the way you envision.
Now, ready to see the picture?
Nope. Not yet. You’ll just have to come back for the big reveal.
I hope these tips were helpful. Do you have any tips you can share for getting a great family shot?