Family photos are great for gifts and holiday cards. They're also fantastic for making fun of your relatives when the old albums are dusted off after too many Christmas cocktails. Want to make sure your family doesn't end up an after-dinner drink discussion? Family portrait photographers are the experts who can save you from this embarrassing fate.
What You're Trying to Avoid
Take a trip to http://www.awkwardfamilyphotos.com. Note all of the ridiculous outfits, goofy expressions, and horrific poses. Commit these atrocities to memory and say to yourself, "I will start looking for professional family photographers today to avoid embarrassment like this tomorrow." Your kids will thank you for it, I promise you.
Ways in Which a Professional Can Help
Yes, we know you're dying to dress your family in matching stonewashed jeans and tie-dyed T-shirts. Avoid this urge. Part of the job of professional family photographers is to steer you away from making disastrous fashion choices.
If you don't have time to get your photographer's advice prior to your shoot, consider dressing your family in v-neck or crew neck shirts, Make sure the shirts have long sleeves, to avoid unwanted focus on out-of-shape arms.
As for colors, don't zero in on a singular color palette, unless you want your family look like they are on lunch break from a local prep school. Red, burgundy, and navy are a few of the colors recommended by family portrait photographers, though most bright colors get the thumbs up.
For some families, neutral tones are a better personality fit. In these cases, family portrait photographers ask that clients choose off-white colors that aren't too bright or crisp on film. In general, avoid wearing brand new clothes to shoots, as they tend to come off as stiff and uncomfortable in photos.
During your initial consultations, make sure to check out the sample albums for all of your potential family portrait photographers. If you can't find more than one photo that suits your personal style, consider continuing your search. If you find any pictures that look like they were taken before 1990, run, don't walk out the door. In choosing from professional family photographers, it is always important to select someone who will understand the various personalities in your family and know how to bring them all together in one cohesive, attractive photo.
Practice Makes Perfect
Before going in for your shoot, grab a point and shoot and snap a few practice shots of your family in your living room. Try different outfits and a variety of poses to discover which angles and styles are most flattering for your crew. Consider placing a mirror in front of your family during this practice shoot so that you can identify the culprits who perpetually make funny faces throughout the process.
Keep in mind that most family portrait photographers have several poses in mind when you arrive for your shoot. Don't be afraid to suggest ideas if you hit upon something during your practice session that you think will work well for your family.
Start a Tradition
Similar to how your hairdresser gets to know the way your hair reacts to dye and other treatments, family portrait photographers begin to learn the various idiosyncrasies of family members the more often you stop by. Consider finding a professional who you feel comfortable shooting all of the important moments in your family's lives: graduations, anniversaries, engagements, and births.