Picture Perfect – 6 Important Dos And Don’ts Of Taking A Family Portrait

In the time before smartphones, capturing a great picture of your family was a tedious process, not to mention an expensive one. This meant getting it right the first time was essential. Though times are easier now (for amateur photographers and professionals alike), we can still learn a lot from the old experts. If you’re planning to get the fam together for a photo-shoot, be sure to consider the dos and don’ts listed below to ensure you create some beautiful images and fantastic memories. 

1. Do Prepare Ahead Of Time

Family portraits aren’t usually spur-of-the-moment events. This means you have time to prepare for them ahead of time. Plan your wardrobe, come up with ideas for poses, and map out places that will make great backdrops. 

Another thing you might want to think about is your smile. White teeth look beautiful in pictures, so if yours aren’t as pearly as you’d like, schedule an appointment with a teeth whitening dentist beforehand, and then smile big for the camera. 

2. Don’t Tip Your Heads Toward Each Other

When it comes time to take the pictures, be mindful of not tipping your heads toward each other in an effort to fit everyone in. First of all, this move does nothing to help everyone fit in the frame better, and second, it takes the “professional” feel out of the photo. Instead, make sure everyone holds their heads naturally. 

3. Do Coordinate Wardrobes

Most professional photographers recommend coordinating clothing for the best shots. This gives you plenty of options in both color and black-and-white photos, and it’s less distracting to the eye. 

Pick a color scheme and let everyone know to choose an outfit that falls within that scheme. Avoid bright colors and clothing with loud and distracting prints or logos on them. 

4. Don’t Forget To Check Your Camera Settings

Even if you don’t have a fancy camera, there are settings you can change to get great shots both indoors and out. Be sure your camera is set on the highest quality image and then adjust things like ISO, image size, exposure, and metering. Search for online tutorials for your camera model if you need help understanding its settings. The idea is to get a better-quality picture than those you shoot when selling your stuff on eBay. Remember, the ideal settings will differ depending on whether you’re taking pictures inside or outside. 

5. Do Use Humor To Get Great Shots

Humor is a great way to loosen everyone up, and it’ll help you get some fun, natural-looking shots. When people are laughing and goofing around, they aren’t stiff or shy. Don’t be afraid to tell some jokes or get the fam to act silly. You’ll be happily surprised at the awesome pictures that come from it. 

6. Don’t Ignore Ideas From The Rest Of The Family

You’re taking a family picture, not a self-portrait. So, everyone should have a say in how and where you pose. Even if you’ve come up with some pretty great backdrops and have a plethora of ideas for great shots, you still need to let others voice their ideas. Someone else may have a suggestion you never would’ve thought of that will result in a fabulous shot. 

Taking a family portrait is fun and exciting, especially if you haven’t gotten together in a while. To make the process go smoothly and ensure awesome results, be sure to keep these dos and don’ts of taking a family portrait in mind. 

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