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8 Fun family portrait ideas

If the formal family portrait is too ho-hum for your fun bunch, try one of these clever group photo ideas.

Family photos - bubbles |
Image credit: Clancy 214 Photography

“When I have our family picture taken professionally, I want something that is different and unique and stands out from the crowd,” says Amy Cutler of Gypsy Tree Photography. “I like to give my clients that same opportunity — to have a unique family session that isn’t cookie-cutter.”

Show the true you

Show the true you |
Image credit: Michael Kormos Photography

When a new baby arrives, you’re not always feeling picture perfect. Instead of hauling kids and diaper bags to the studio, invite the photographer to come to you. This magical shot by Michael Kormos Photography captures the exhaustion and emotion that come with being a newly expanded family.

Show the kids in familiar surroundings

Show the true you |
Image credit: Happy Family Portraits

As the kids grow, continue to invite professionals to capture ordinary but oh-so-special moments. Josh Solar of Happy Family Portraits “runs a website about intentional family living and family photography.”

Flaunt your hobbies

Flaunt your hobbies |
Image credit: Gypsy Tree Photography

“Convey the uniqueness of your family to your photographer by sharing your family’s interests and hobbies,” says Cutler. Enjoy fishing? Have a session at a nearby lake with fishing poles in tow. Love reading? Have each member bring along their favorite book for some fun shots.

This family makes no secret about its love of all-things-horses. What a fun way to capture a moment in time with a favorite animal family member. Have fun with a theme like this by taking similar portraits as the children grow.

Share a day in your life

Share a day in your life |
Image credit: Thomas Robert Clarke Photography

Families don’t spend their lives in a studio, so why should a family photo portray them there? Tom Clarke, of Thomas Robert Clarke Photography in the Philadelphia area, is well-known for his portraits. Clarke is fascinated by the stories surrounding his subjects, which helps him create a portrait that truly represents who they really are.

When he was hired by Vicki, a hard-working mom whose Marine husband was stationed overseas, Clarke brilliantly captured her many important roles — wife, mother and student. What a beautiful tribute to this all-American family.

Invite the grandparents

Invite the grandparents |
Image credit: Nina Pomeroy Photography

Nothing completes a family like a grandparent. “Too often, we wait until that ‘perfect moment’ to capture on film and many times that moment never comes,” says Nina Pomeroy, of Nina Pomeroy Photography.

Pomeroy’s new project, My First Best Friend, captures that special relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren. The portrait is a way to make that precious bond permanent. Everyone deserves to have a beautiful, tangible photo that illustrated their relationships,” says Pomeroy.

Wear anything

Wear anything |
Image credit: Gypsy Tree Photography

A family portrait does not come with a “matching outfits” mandate. Express your family’s many personalities with clothing, and don’t be afraid to mix patterns and colors! If it’s done well, it will add even more visual interest to your photo. “I love to add layers,” says Cutler. “They add depth and texture to your photos.”

If you really want to make use of those matching outfits you have, consider adding interest with a unique venue. Move away from the stuffy studio and head outdoors, like this fabulous shot in front of a well-known local barn.

Embrace the day

Embrace the day |
Image credit: Gypsy Tree Photography

Rain on your family portrait day is not the end of the world. “Don’t be afraid to embrace the elements,” says Cutler. “The contrast of a family in their Sunday best getting caught in the rain makes a great photograph!”

These good-looking siblings braved the snow and cold to get this terrific shot. It will forever remind them of the beautiful Pennsylvania winters of their childhood.

You’re never too old for a family portrait

You're never too old for a family portrait |
Image credit: Jill Caren Photography

All of the children in the family are grown, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do a family portrait. Have fun recreating one of your favorite childhood poses or try something completely new and different.

“I had a very challenging family session last year,” says Jill Caren of Jill Caren Photography, “a super-fun family of (gulp!) all adults. It was a first!” Caren funneled the family’s delightful energy into a fabulous one-of-a-kind portrait. “This is one of my favorite images from the session,” says Caren, “and I gave it a bit of a treatment to get a ‘Rockwell’ feel to it.”

More family fun

Best props for family photos
Tips for keeping kids happy during photo shoots
How to create an inspired portrait wall

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