Yeah, that’s me…on Good Morning Idaho…that’s live television…
Pretty much the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done. But it’s doing ‘scary stuff’ that makes us stronger, right? And I’m just so thankful and honored for the opportunity!
I was asked to come talk for a few minutes about taking a last minute family photo for Christmas cards. Christmas is just three weeks away and it’s awfully late in the season to be contacting me or most other professionals with enough time to get photos back for cards, so these tips are more for the hobbyist who’d just like to set up a tripod or enlist the help of a friend to take a quick snapshot. Well, since I had to prepare a segment for the program, I thought it appropriate to share all those do’s and don’ts, tips and tricks with all of you as well!
So we’re going to start off with your wardrobe. This is definitely the most frequently asked question I get, “What should we wear for our family photos?”
DON’T have everyone to wear a white shirt and khakis. Sure matching outfits may be simple, but it will also look dated and boring so we’re just going to move on.
DO pick 2 or 3 coordinating colors to incorporate in the family’s outfits. Use patterns, solids and different textures to add interest. As you’re planning your family’s portrait wardrobe it can help to lay it all out on the floor–everything, shoes and all–to make sure you like the look of it put together. This is especially helpful if you have a large family.
DON’T wear logos or character shirts. This is because as someone looks at the photo their eyes will automatically be drawn to your shirt instead of your beautiful faces. It’s a distraction.
DO dress for the weather. Because no one can naturally smile when their teeth are chattering. You can be bundled up and still look great! Think cute hats, scarves and boots.
DON’T shoot in bright sun. When the sun is directly overhead on a bright, sunny day it creates harsh shadows and causes people to squint–not so flattering.
DO shoot in the “magic hour” or even shade. We photographers like to call that last hour before sunset the ‘magic hour’ or ‘golden hour’ because the light is so soft and lovely and flattering. But nice, even shade like in the shade of a building is nice for portraits as well.
DON’T take a long time to pose everyone. You’ll lose their attention (especially when working with young kids…and husbands).
DO have everyone get in really close. Not only will it help get everyone in the frame, but it helps show connection. We all have a personal bubble, but sometimes those things just need to be popped to get close enough to show love within the photograph.
DON’T make it stressful. Put too much pressure on your family to get the “perfect” picture and all you’re going to get are forced smiles and awkward faces.
DO make it FUN! Sometimes you need to just let kids be kids, give kisses and cuddles, have a tickle fight, maybe mom and dad need to make a couple bathroom noises or just be silly. If you make it an enjoyable experience, you’re more likely to like your pictures.
If you’d like to watch my full segment on Good Morning Idaho click HERE.