But when you want a really special family portrait, somehow you’re going to have to work with all that squirming and pull off a snap that makes you smile, instead of wanting to bury your face in the nearest cushion!
Fortunately there are ways to get a picture you’ll actually treasure, and it doesn’t have to include paying a professional photographer a ton of cash to capture the moment.
The essential first step is to plan the shot. Indoors or out? Formal or informal? Big group or small?
Whatever you decide, lighting will be a major factor. You’ll need a bright day and probably lots of lights on in the room. If you want to take the pic outdoors, it’s very much the same story – you’ll need a bright day, but if there’s sunshine, make sure it’s not directly in everyone’s eyes.
There’s also the small matter of the camera! Most devices have excellent camera functions these days, so having a good play with settings, filters and effects will really pay off.
Another important thing (and this one is usually overlooked completely) is how people are dressed. It has a dramatic effect on the feel of the photo. For example, if you want the traditional feel, then neutral or pastel shades tend to give that effect. But if you want a more energetic, fun atmosphere, then encourage your group to wear bright, bold hues.
Finally, there’s the question of movement. Although you may want a formal portrait, expecting a group to sit completely still seldom results in a natural shot. Consider arranging the group formally, then allow everyone to talk, look round at each other and smile etc. It often produces a wonderfully warm family feel, with some naturally animated faces and bodies.
But for real fun and a truly memorable occasion – as well as a memorable photo – pick a theme, tell your group what to do, then stand back and snap what ensues! My sister did this last summer with her four boys. She arranged a water slide, water pistols and a paddling pool in the back garden and let them get on with it!
The pics are priceless, literally. You can hear them laughing when you look at the photos. It’s magical when you capture those special moments.