Getting all of the family together in one place is a rare occasion. For many families, it only happens for weddings, funerals, or the holidays. Finding a way to capture the memories, while at the same time making the photo preparation stress free, is easier than you think.
When the family was all together for the holidays, it was a great time to think about getting family portraits done. Following these steps made the whole process stress free, and the results were beautiful.
Though I didn’t have to tell everyone what to wear, giving a general idea of how they should dress brought unity to the picture while at the same time leaving each person to dress in their own style. The best course of action was to keep it simple.
The girls wore shades of red for their dresses or nice blouses and slacks. Women are more likely to have different shades of red in their closet to choose from, so it wasn’t like asking them to go out and buy something especially for the pictures.
The guys wore shades of green. Just as women are more likely to have red in their wardrobe, guys are more likely to have green. Not only that, but some guys have an aversion to wearing the color red, so designating green makes things easier.
I made sure everyone wore the same basics. By deciding on black dress pants, khakis, or jeans and telling everyone who was wearing pants to stick to whatever was decided, the look was more uniform for everyone. For those who like to dress in layers, the universal under-layer was white. It helps bring both the guys and girls together aesthetically.
By designating colors, each person could still dress in their own style, which everyone appreciated.
Think Time & Location
We decided the location of our pictures ahead of time using a professional who specializes in family portraits-which I think is the way to go. Some people do theirs at home or in a hotel. Either way, we made sure everyone knew where they should report for pictures. If you take pictures at a studio, make sure everyone has the time and address. Relatives who are known for being late should be told a half an hour early for arrival time, just to be on the safe side. If that won’t work, designate someone who is known to be punctual as the ride. Regardless of where the pictures are taken, make sure everyone knows where to go and when to be there.
When scheduling the time, it’s important to also think about the people involved in the photos. Usually earlier in the day is better. Later in the day, kids tend to be grouchier and stress will be higher, so getting genuine smiles is a challenge.
Before going in to take the pictures, let everyone know what print packages are available. Each family can be responsible for their own package, but at least if they know in advance what to expect for cost per package they will be better prepared to order on the spot. Some photo studios charge an extra fee if packages are ordered after the day of the sitting.
Make sure that everyone knows they are responsible for whatever prints or packages they want. There is no reason that one person should have to pay for all of it. Split the cost, inform the others, and concentrate on your own needs.
The holidays were a great time to take pictures of the family together. Family portraits don’t need to be strictly for the holidays though. Any time family finds a way to get together is a great time for portraits. Whether big or small, these three simple tips will help reduce the stress of family portraits. The pictures can also make the perfect gift for your loved ones for any occasion.