Organizing Family Pictures

Family pictures don’t have to be disastrous.  In fact, they can actually be really fun! With a little foresight and planning, you’ll be on your way to having the perfect family picture hanging over your mantle in no time.

  • Be sure to book a photographer at least a month or two in advance and for a time where everyone will be together.   You may want to plan a family photo shoot around holidays or other big events where everyone is together.  You want your family picture to be complete, so make sure no one is missing!
  • Your photographer will most likely advise you as to when the best light for pictures is, but if he or she doesn’t, request to take pictures in the early morning or early evening when the sun’s light isn’t as harsh.  If you do have to take photos midday, try to stay in complete shade (not spotted) rather than bright sunlight.
  • While you don’t want everyone to be completely matching, group pictures always look nice when outfits coordinate.  Consider a few colors that go well together and have everyone wear a variation of those colors.  Little details can make all the difference, for example the boys can have matching neckties and the girls matching necklaces.  Let each person’s outfit represent their own style as this will result in the most natural looking picture. 
  • Avoid the unnatural looking “cheese” and opt for encouraging family members to laugh and smile with their eyes.  This is especially helpful for little kids.  Try to have an outside person (who isn’t taking the pictures) do silly things to make the kids laugh - jump up and down, fall on the ground, run around like a chicken with your head cutoff… whatever it takes!
  • Try not to stay in one place, but instead change positions so that the pictures don’t look stale as if you’ve been standing in one place for a long time.  Changing positions often will also help ensure that you’ll find a final picture that you love.
  • In addition to changing positions, it is also a good idea to change backdrops.  Let the backdrops be representations of your family – favorite places, a home, family room, backyard, etc.  They’ll have more meaning if you there is a story behind where you’re standing.