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Tips and Tricks for the Best Family Portraits

I love family pictures and have a full wall in my home dedicated to our family pictures. The next picture setting I really want to take is a nice picture of all three of my little boys together before baby #4 joins us this fall. The last great picture I have with the three of them together was when my youngest was a newborn, taken a year and a half ago. I also want to get individual pictures of all three of boys at the start of the school year as I love having yearly pictures to check back how much they’ve grown over the years! Check out some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years of taking pictures with my boys.

family portrait tips


Tips and Tricks for the Best Family Portraits!

  • Be Coordinated! Family portraits looks best when everyone looks like they go together. That doesn’t mean everyone has to be wearing the exact same thing, but pick 1-2 colors that look good together and carry them throughout the clothing of the family members. This makes the clothing not stand out as much and the faces become more important in the picture when you don’t have one odd shirt demanding the attention in the picture.
  • Fed, Rested, and Having Fun! When taking pictures with kids, it’s important to be sure your children are well fed and rested but also keep the picture taking as fun as possible. No one likes being asked to pose and smile over and over. The very best pictures are taken when you let your children have a bit of room to be themselves and have some fun! You then get true genuine smiles that make a beautiful picture!
  • Get Outdoors! My absolute favorite pictures are always the ones taken outdoors! Just getting outside with the natural lighting improves even a point and shoot camera’s ability to take quality pictures. Parks make a great setting as the kids can easily have some fun and there is usually lots of green grass, tress, and pretty flowers around. Bridges, benches, and water features make great backdrops too!


jcpportraits Portrait Success Tips!

  • Keep clothing simple. Try to choose solid colors for your portraits. Avoid large, bold patterns such as plaids and stripes. Remember, bright colors also draw attention away from your face.
  • Avoid short sleeves and tank tops. Long sleeves will draw attention away from your arms and helps bring the focus back to your face.
  • Darker clothing slims. Choose shades of black, brown, blue, dark green and other jewel-toned colors. Light tones tend to emphasize body size.
  • Scoops or v-necks flatter shorter necks and full faces. Turtlenecks or high-necked garments flatter longer necks and slender faces.
  • Wear light on white. Light pastel or white clothing looks best against a light-colored or white portrait background.
  • Wear dark on dark. Dark clothing looks best against darker backgrounds and creates a more formal mood in portraits.
  • Add in your personality. Bring your own props for a personal touch. Consider items such as baby blanket, stuffed animal, or a special toy.


What family portraits are you hoping to capture next?

Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of jcpenney PortraitStudio. I was asked to create a Pinterest Board and pin at least five (5) pins. I give jcpenney the right to repin any or all images/original content from this board. I received a promotional item as a thanks for my participation.

Pamela Halligan

Wednesday 25th of April 2012

Thanks for the post.  My family is long overdo for a portrait.  I agree with Sandy.  I think dogs should be allowed in the photo. My dogs are definitely members of my family. 

sandy weinstein

Wednesday 25th of April 2012

i wish they did dog portraits, but i dont think they allow dogs in their stores...unless they are service dogs...been trying to get a nice portrait of my 3 little girls 


Tuesday 24th of April 2012

My sons are older and I plan on getting a portrait of them at the end of summer!  Thanks for the great tips because it has benn awhile, since I have had their pictures done professionally! Cindi

Betty Baez

Monday 23rd of April 2012

Great tips I never thought to match colors

Jessica Hays

Monday 23rd of April 2012

That is a great tip with the long sleeves! I never thought about that! Thanks!

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