Begin the New Year with a New Family Portrait

What better way to usher in a New Year than with a new family portrait? These annual get-togethers are a time capsule in visual form that chronicles the lives of your family members. Each year shows how the children have grown and changed. You do not have to pull out old photographs, videos or film. Every visitor to your home can see the progression for themselves, and if you keep a smaller copy on your desk at work, you can see it as often as you like.

To maximize the time you have allotted for your new family portrait, here are five tips that will help you get the most for your time and money.

  1. Schedule a time when you know there is no competition. This means there cannot be a football game at Noon and your appointment is at 4:00 pm. Your young player may look too tired in the photo.
  2. Plan the color scheme of the clothing everyone is going to wear. This doesn’t mean everyone has to dress like the church choir. However, you may choose for everyone to wear shades of blue. Planning makes the difference.
  3. Have everyone’s clothes laid out and pressed ahead of time. This way no one is running around saying they can’t find this or that and one or more people in the portrait appear frantic.
  4. Meet with your photographer ahead of time and go over any idiosyncrasies with the professional. Tell him your husband is balding on top and he is very embarrassed. Or perhaps your mother-in-law will be in the group shot and has had a stroke. She may need a chair and may also need to be shot from a certain angle so her smile appears even. A professional portrait photographer will be able to frame each person to play up the positives and play down the negatives.
  5. If you are including the family dog in the shot, make sure he has been to the groomer, especially if he is long-haired like a Golden Retriever. Also, take him on a short walk before the process begins. Everyone will be much happier.