With the age of selfie and solo photos, a lot of people are wondering if family photos are still a “thing” these days. Before social media was present, families often discussed and planned family photos as if it were the gift to be given on Christmas Day. But now, family photos are rarely done. If anything, it’s mostly a group photo taken by someone while they’re eating dinner.
Although this has been the fate of family photos, this does not mean that it will all be obsolete. In fact, you can still recreate family photos whether or not they’re the trend nowadays. So how do you make the perfect family photo?
12 Themes for Your Next Family Photo
1. The Classical Portrait
Nothing beats the classical portrait. Before people got creative with photos, families often had this single photo where everyone wore matching outfits. Most of them were taken in studios while some are done at a family home. These classical portraits are recommended for large groups because it’s easier to plan a theme when you’re 20 in the family.
2. The Traveling Party
Whenever you travel the world, don’t forget to take at least one photo of the family. This will remind you of all the travels you’ve had with your family. If your family loves traveling, then you can use these photos to compile an album. You can even be creative with your shots. Take a look at this Beatles-inspired family picture.
3. All Fun and Games
Even if it’s great to have a classic family portrait, there’s so much fun in getting candid photos of your family playing. These photos not only capture who you really are as a family, but it also brings out the most genuine smiles. This time, you don’t have to force your kids to smile and look at the camera.
And if your family loves sports, then you can all dress up with the teams you support. This doubles as your matching outfits.
4. The Joy of Having Children
Ask any parent out there and they will tell you that it’s hard to have kids. They’re rowdy and needy, plus you have to buy them certain foods and clothing. But even if they can be difficult to deal with, they are always worth it to have.
As a parent, oftentimes it’s hard to show children how grateful you are of them. So if you plan on taking a family photo, then this is a great opportunity to bond with them. These photos capture how great it is to be a parent, no matter how hard. And the beauty of these photos is that they showcase how happy your children are to have you as their parents.
5. Thank you, Mom and Dad
Once you have kids, the spotlight suddenly turns to them. But that doesn’t mean that you will let yourself fade to the background. Don’t forget to also take photos of you and your partner and how your married life has been. This photo shows that couples can still have their photos taken even when they have kids.
Or if you don’t have children, that’s okay! You can still take family photos of you and your partner.
6. Throwback Photos
Throwback photos are always a great idea. They often give a nostalgic feeling that brings so much emotion, especially to parents and grandparents. One great trick to convert photos to a “throwback” kind of theme is to have them in black and white.
Or you can take this humorous photo for your future kids. You can have a then-and-now portrayal of how your kids were before and how they are now by copying the same photo from years ago.
7. Black and White
And then there’s another classic theme – black and white. Most of the time, they’re used for more emotional photos, but they can also be used for serious moments.
This family photo takes a nonconventional route by having each family member look at one side. As a word of caution, not all poses work well with black and white color schemes. So before you choose to have your photos edited like these, consult with the photographer if it fits well with your theme.
8. My Dad, My Hero
You don’t have to wait for Fathers’ Day to show your dad how much you love them. These family photos show that there are so many ways to show how close you are with your dad. If you look at him as a hero, then you can wear matching hero shirts.
Or you can simply take everyday photos that show your love for your dad.
9. The Misfits
It’s one thing to have kids, but it’s a whole different thing if they are very hard to discipline. For a family photo idea, you can capture moments with your kids being unmanageable. Instead of getting annoyed, you might find these moments worth looking back on when you grow older.
You can also capture moments of them having fun. Face it, they won’t stay young forever, so you might as well document these experiences.
10. Having Fun Outdoors
It’s always fun to go outside and do activities. As far as family photos are concerned, photos taken outside are often better as you can take advantage of natural light. But other than the technicalities of taking photos, the outdoors offer a lot of great opportunities for your family to take great candid photos.
11. Cozy and Sweet
When you have a family, rarely will there be times that it’s quiet and relaxed, but when they are, it’s something you want to treasure. Capture these sweet and cozy moments with your loved ones by always having a camera ready. Take a look at this sleeping photo of a newborn baby and its father. Here, you get to see how peaceful both look like.
You can also take a more natural photo that shows how tiring a parent can be.
And then there are mornings where all of you are well-rested. Mornings like this are great for photo albums to show how loving and affectionate all of you are.
12. Halloween Night
You can also take advantage of Halloween when taking family photos. If you’re the kind of family who loves dressing up for Halloween, make sure that you don’t miss capturing that! Not only will you be wearing costumes, but it’s also a perfect way to show how much fun you have as a family.
Tips on Taking Family Photos
Don’t know how to prepare for your family photo? Here are a few things to help you out.
1. Wear something comfortable.
Wearing uncomfortable clothes doesn’t help when you have to smile for the camera – especially if you’re a child. So as much as possible, pick clothes that will help you move around to do poses.
There are families who think they have to look extravagant when taking family photos. But this family photo shows that even simple clothes bring out the best in families. Take a look at how a jeans-and-shirt combo can make things look more natural.
2. Don’t be too rigid.
Whether you have kids or not, you should not be too rigid for family photos. The goal of a family photo is to look as natural as possible and to be able to show that you are one happy family. How can you do that if you limit yourselves too awkward poses? Try to do it as this family does. If you will notice, there is nothing conventional here. If anything, it’s as if it was a movie poster.
Or don’t be afraid to look very affectionate in photos. After all, this says more about how much you love each other than when you just stand side by side looking at the camera.
3. Choose an outdoor activity.
This can’t be stressed enough. When it comes to family photos, don’t limit yourself to the studio. Instead, go out and explore the world while taking photos of you and your family. You don’t have to travel to do this as this can be expensive, but you can simply just go around your neighborhood and take a photo.
What’s also great about the outdoors is that you can capture light in a very different way than when you just stay indoors. This photo showcases the sunset which acts as the perfect backdrop for this couple’s theme.
4. Wear colors that complement each other.
While you are free to wear what you want that fits the theme, make sure that you are mindful of the color palette. It is always easier on the eyes if your clothes complement each other. For example, you can mix and match a few autumn colors with a pale green outfit. In this way, there’s a balance between bright and dark.
On the other hand, you can follow the color scheme of your background. For this photo, the family decided to have the same colors as the grass and the reflection of the sun on the leaves.
5. Be creative.
When thinking about themes, the sky is the limit! If you want to go overboard, do so. If you want to shoot at night, then why not? There are so many ways on how you can depict who you are as a family.
6. Think of poses beforehand.
To be able to save time and stress, it’s always best to think of poses beforehand. And this also lessens the awkward poses you do.
And lastly, don’t forget to smile. Smiling always brings the best in people, and it will definitely bring the best in your family.
Top 10 FAQs on Taking Family Photos
1. What should we wear on the day?
Depending on the theme of your photos, you can either go with matching outfits or not. Some who plan on having the same color scheme come in with matching outfits, or at least those who have the same shade.
However, it’s not required to have matching outfits. In fact, you can take family photos even if you don’t follow the same color scheme. In the end, it will be your preference.
2. Is there an age requirement for taking baby photos?
There is no age limit for those who plan on taking baby photos. There are photographers who have taken photos of babies who were as young as a week old. But to make sure that this is the case, always ask the photographer if they allow taking baby photos.
3. How do you tame unruly kids?
When children become unruly in studios, photographers and assistants always find a way to distract them. Most kids become annoyed when they have to sit still or when the photo takes so long. During cases like this, the staff gives them something to focus on until the photo is taken.
As parents, you shouldn’t be worried if your kids don’t like taking photos. This is perfectly natural especially when their outfit is stuffy and heavy. As a tip, you should try to convince your child that the photo-taking will just be fast and fun so they will have something to look forward to.
4. Are the photos edited?
Unless requested by the family, all photos are edited. This is because there are necessary elements in the photos that need to be tweaked. For example, lighting will be adjusted if there are areas where it’s dark or bright. There will also be cases when skin tones will be edited so that they look even in the photos.
5. Will all the photos that were taken be used?
Not all photos will be used. In a photo session, there are times when the camera clicks continuously in order to get the perfect image especially when kids keep on moving. Before any editing is done, photographers will already discard photos that will not be useful. These photos are the ones that are blurred.
6. How much is a family portrait?
The price of a family portrait depends on several factors – location, photo package, additional fees, etc. There is some that charge for as low as $250 per session (or hour) while some charge up to $1000. Keep in mind that the more famous the photographer is, the more likely will his or her rate be higher.
7. Are travel fees covered?
Similar to the photography cost, the inclusion of travel fees depends on the studio. There are some who cover the travel fees if the location of the session is in the vicinity. However, most studios charge for out of town locations. This is especially common for wedding photos that often take place in other locations than the studio.
However, if you want to cut down on cost yet you also want to film elsewhere, you can hire a photographer near the venue. This will remove the travel fees or it can lower it down to an affordable price.
8. Do you conceptualize all the family photos?
Parents are the ones who decide on the theme of their family photos. However, if they need assistance, the photographer can also give their opinion on what best fits the characteristics of the family.
To add to that, photographers also give advice and help direct the family during the actual photo shoot. Some sample photos can be taken at the beginning so that the family has an idea of how their photos will look like.
9. Are candid photos better?
Photoshoots don’t have to be boring. In fact, there are times when it’s better to take candid photos because you can see the natural emotions of the family members. This is best for photos taken outdoors or while doing a few activities. And if you have kids who simply don’t want to look at the camera, then a candid photo will give you a better chance of getting a decent family photo.
But then, there’s also nothing wrong to take structured or scripted photos. If you really want to have a photo where all of you are smiling at the camera, then you are free to do.
10. What should we expect in a family photo?
Unless you prepared for your photoshoot, then there is not much to expect. Most of the time, surprises arise when you are shooting in an outdoor location and there’s a sudden rain. During these cases, the most you can expect is a reschedule.
But if you are shooting with children, expect that taking photos can be more difficult than when you are taking photos of adults. You should always be prepared just in case your kid throws a tantrum.
Capturing the Perfect Photo
And finally, when it comes to taking family photos, don’t forget to have fun. There’s no point in taking a family photo if all of you are fighting before and after the camera clicks. If you have kids, it’s important for them to love what they are doing so they don’t get all noisy and stubborn during the whole shoot.