Getting a quality family portrait can be far more challenging than it sounds, and there are a number of important things to consider before you chase that perfect picture. Here are a few of the most vital do’s and don’ts when it comes to family portraits.
Coordinate your Clothing
To ensure the compositional balance of the photo, it’s a good idea to make sure everyone coordinates their clothing. This doesn’t mean you all have to match, which in fact can look uniform-like and even tacky, but it does mean being aware of a few key points. Make sure you clearly decide whether you want formal, casual, or somewhere in between. Choosing solid colours with no distracting patterns or logos and sticking to fairly neutral styles will ensure everyone looks their best, and lets the photographer capture your personalities, not just your dress sense.
The most beautiful family portraits are taken when everyone is as natural as possible. Choosing comfortable clothing, being at ease with the photographer and hosting the portrait session as a big family catch up is a great way to get natural looking pictures that express your family’s special bond.
This is an essential step, especially if you have a large or extended family to coordinate. Choosing a date and deciding on what to wear are the most important things, but you should also talk about what everyone would like from the pictures. It might not be possible to please everyone, but it makes the photography process easier if everyone is relaxed and happy to be there.
Invest in a Professional
The number of amateur photographers in the portrait field is staggering, and often they market themselves as being professional when they simply do not have the necessary experience. It can be tempting to hire a cheap photographer, but just remember that your portrait will be with you for life, and is a worthwhile investment.
Always ask to see a comprehensive portfolio of the photographer’s work so that you are comfortable with their style and the type of shots they create. It also pays to get as many testimonials as you can from past clients. They can give you a good idea of the photographer’s manner, their turnaround time for prints, and a general overview on how they conduct their business. A true professional will always have their portfolio and client testimonials on hand for you to see, so be wary of any who refuse this simple request.
Once you’ve chosen your photographer, it’s essential to be 100% honest with them in regards to what you want from the portraits. Waiting until you get the prints back to voice your concerns will leave you with a disappointing experience. Your photographer is a professional and will have a whole range of ideas to help you get the perfect portrait, but if there is anything in particular you’d love to include then make sure you let them know from the beginning.
When booking a family portrait, keep these important tips in mind to make sure you get the best possible pictures. These photographs are a unique insight into your family and their personalities, one that you will all have for the rest of your lives. A bit of planning, professional knowledge and openness all contribute to capturing that perfect picture you’re looking for.
Featured Image: CC Attribution photo by a4gpa on Flickr - source
Article by K. Kerstin
K. Kerstin, has a strong interest in family photography in Brisbane and has been taking family portaits for 7 years. She wishes to share her knowledge with anyone apsiring to become a photographer.