Family photos allow you to cherish a memory of your family dressed their best. With a few minutes and a little bit of planning, you’ll have a keepsake to remember not only important events, but how quickly your children grew.
1. Get the kids in special portrait outfits. Your children change a lot every year. Last year’s girls’ dresses or boy’s suit won’t work! Show them off in new styles, so everyone can see just how much they’ve grown up. Grandma and grandpa will appreciate the effort, and so will you, a few years down the road.
2. Say cheese! Those two words might get some smiles, but they don’t guarantee a great family photo. Even amateur photographers can get a group to take a beautiful picture, with a few goofy tricks.
Young children know how to smile, but they have a hard time putting on an expression on cue. So make it genuine, with the help of the photographer’s antics. Do a chicken dance, make some outrageous noises, or imitate the voice of their favorite cartoon. Do whatever you have to ensure some genuine smiles for your portrait.
3. Pick a time of day when your kids will be most likely to cooperate. You’ll always get a better picture before a nap, rather than after. Don’t try to rush taking a photograph if you’re late to your destination. You can always take the picture once you arrive. If the people in the picture feel stressed or anxious, it’ll show in the picture.
4. Natural lighting looks better in photographs, so take your picture outside. There is a time of day photographers refer to as the “golden hour,” shortly before dusk, when the sunlight has just started to soften. This is a great time to take pictures, and guarantees squint-free faces.
5. Take a little time to compose your portrait. You don’t have to organize your subjects strictly by height, but if you have members of the group much taller than others, try to disperse them evenly throughout the group.
You want your children to look stylish and happy, but putting too much pressure on perfection will create unnecessary stress. Pick the setting carefully, try to get the best light possible, make sure everyone is in the best mood possible – but other than that, don’t try to control too much. Kids will be kids. If you can capture them being themselves, you’ll have a photograph you’ll treasure much more than a stiff, formal portrait.