Tips for Getting a Great Family Portrait

You can go and spend a fortune on a portrait sitting, get lots of different poses and then spend hours trying to agonize over which ones you want to order and which ones you want to include in your scrapbook.

Or you can create your own portrait sitting and take the photos yourself and spend a lot less money. In addition, you can spend no time actually agonizing over the selection, because the negatives or original digital prints are yours to begin with. This allows you the freedom and flexibility to crop, resize, reprint and alter the photographs until your heart is content.

Here are a few tips to making your family portrait session run at its very best.

After Naps – Either do your session early in the day or after nap time in the afternoon. A cranky kid is an uncooperative kid and no matter what you do to make him or her smile a few times, you just aren’t going to get the results you would get from having a completely well rested child.

After Meals – Its almost the same as above. Do the portrait session just a little past breakfast, lunch or dinner and carry a few snacks if you think it will be a long session. A hungry kid is also a crabby kid.

Use a Tripod and Timer – A tripod allows you to be in the photograph too. Plus you can use a self timer and that way you can get over to the scene in time. Either that, or you can just ask a friend to snap the photos.

Don’t Focus on Portrait Only – Let the family be silly for a little bit at the beginning. You’ll be surprised at how great they will sit if you give them some time to get into the groove and play around a little. Plus its fun to zoom in and get some interactions between everyone.

Dress – Have everyone dress the same or similar. Long sleeves usually look better and just because everyone has the same color top on, doesn’t mean the shirts all are identical.

Poses – Use all sorts of different props and settings for the photograph. Have people prop knees up, lean over balconies, sit on steps or pose around a park bench.

Location – Go for a natural setting. It always turns out best. Try a park or even your backyard. Just remember what time of year it is, and react accordingly. You might wind up with rain on your session day if its Spring, and you could wind up with a cold and windy day if its after autumn. Just keep these things in mind, and you’ll be fine.

How do your personal portrait sessions usually turn out? I’d love to hear!

Nicole Humphrey writes articles for the Scrapbooking Blog and for the Frugal Blog. She also guest blogs on a variety of topics. You can read more of her articles by clicking here.

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