Holidays and large family gatherings are a perfect opportunity to get the quintessential family photo. The problem is that as soon as you get out your camera, the groaning and mass exodus begins, with people suddenly having something else to do! Getting a great family photo doesn't have to be limited to posed, formal studio-like pictures. Bring out the uniqueness in your family and celebrate the occasion instead.
Here are 10 photo opportunities, both planned and spontaneous, to capture the memories of your family.
At the game
Snap a photo with everyone dressed in support of your family's favorite team. If little Johnny or Susie play soccer, highlight your enthusiasm by a family photo taken on the field before the game.
With the family pet
While there are some studios that accept animals, the best photos that include the family pet are taken in the surroundings of your home. Pets are more likely to cooperate if they are not distracted by unfamiliar sights, sounds and smells.
If you can get everyone up early enough, try to take your family portrait at a time of day that produces the nicest light -- like early in the morning at sunrise. If you don't have early risers in the family, the light is also beautiful late in the afternoon when the sun is setting.
If you're planning ahead for a perfect family photo, try to coordinate (but not match exactly) everyone's wardrobe with bright, solid colors. Stripes, polka dots and plaids act as distractions that pull the viewers eye away from the subject.
Backs up against a wall
If your family is taking a walk or looking for an outdoor family photo setting, look for a wall that could be used as a backdrop. The latest trends in family photos include brick exterior walls or wood paneling.
If you're at a loss for unique family poses for the reunion, go to the shows! Whether dealing with children or adults, have everyone agree on a movie scene they like and then act it out. This approach works well for antsy children who sometimes have trouble sitting still.
Smile for the camera
Nothing can diminish the joy of the occasion than not showing a semblance of a smile. If you pose for family photos in a sad mood, it will reflect on your face in the photos. It's important everyone is in a happy and cheerful mood while you pose for photographs.
If you are looking to snap the family photo indoors, be sure that the surroundings that will show in the photo are clutter-free and as tidy as possible. Too many objects in a photo will distract the viewer's eye away from the subject. Consider a curtain of some sort if you don't have the right location or space.
Ana Zikic of JoyLens photography uses a lot of different angles when taking her family photos. "You may want to stand on a ladder or chair just slightly higher and take the photo, or try taking the shot from a sitting position and from the right and left of the grouping as well as dead center." Either way, take several shots from each angle to see which seems to work best.
We've all seen the pictures of the kids with tongues sticking out and flopping their ears cross-eyed, but tone down the goofiness a bit and you can have a cleverly posed shot. Think: hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil or doing The Monkees dance down the beach.
Create a positive family photo experience with these tips for the perfect family photo opportunity.
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