Reader’s in Central & Southwestern Ohio (or anyone willing to commute to the locales), ASFT is working with Susan Miller of Susan Miller Photography to give one commenter a FREE photo session! Check out the terms below and then comment on this post to enter the random drawing!
You can view testimonials and some of Susan’s beautiful work here.
Thanks for visiting and good luck!
Nothing can put a mom on edge like trying to orchestrate the perfect family picture. By the time you’ve researched photographers, coordinated outfits, fed/washed/dressed everyone and arrived on-time at the designated, pre-planned location, you’re probably closer to killing everyone than snuggling up with them for a warm, happy family portrait. Especially when you’re smacking one kid in the back of the head so she’ll look at the camera and shouting at the other one to get his finger out of his nose.
When I look back at the pictures my parents have of us I remember things like oh, that’s the one where Mom burned my neck with the curling iron then yelled at me to stop crying so my eyes wouldn’t be red in the pictures OR oh, yeah, that’s the one where my brother peed on the floor in the waiting area at the Sears and my dad wanted to run out but my mom refused because she had a coupon.
I like the pictures, but I like the story about the pictures even more. Which got me thinking that maybe making the memory is really the whole point of the family picture ordeal. Maybe it’s just a few cherished moments of imperfect family time where someone happens to be photographing. That’s what makes the most sense to me now. Much more than restrictive fancy outfits, pretending to smile and being forced to tilt my head at an unnatural angle.
Still, it is nice to have a decent photo or two of the family and luckily for most of us, the time of the staunch family portrait has passed. We can all relax a little and actually enjoy our family pictures.
So on this note, we’ve compiled a quick list of tips that might help make your family picture day just a little less traumatic for everyone involved.
1) Consider the locale, time and setting. Plan around the family schedule as much as possible. Try to avoid nap times, meal times, etc. Tired, hungry kids don’t photograph well. Also, factor in the typical weather conditions when choosing locales and outfits.
2) Coordinate don’t match. And also, honor each family members unique tastes and style whenever possible. Forget white and denim, at least for a while. Consider; back & khaki, chambray & neon, complimenting colors & patterns (like a black, white and pink plaid for the kids, dad in black, mom in pink). If you’re worried about your ability to coordinate, check out Pinterest, ask you photographer or look at your favorite websites or catalogs for styling ideas. Every reputable advertisement is a professionally coordinated photo. And you don’t have to copy it exactly. Just use them for inspiration (colors/patterns/materials/poses) then adjust to what works best for your family and picture plan.
3) Poses. Use sparingly. Have a few in mind, but don’t over do it. Especially today when the popular style favors more candid / natural looking photos.
1) Adjust your expectations. This photo isn’t going to make you better looking, slimmer, or change any dysfunctional family dynamic. Relax and enjoy the moment. Otherwise, the camera will catch any angst and stress. Trust the photographer to get a good shot, hopefully while you’re none-the-wiser and consider the light touch of a skilled editor your BFF. Our best family pics have come from shoots where I left saying, “There’s no way she got one good picture. No way. Not one.”
2) DON’T say Cheese. Nix the fakey, fakey. Be yourself, take it easy and let the camera and photographer do the work. Stand or sit there and just enjoy a few moments to focus on eachother or the beautiful locale where you are likely shooting. Celebrate the fact you’re all bathed and dressed and together. It will show in the photos.
3) Respect everyone’s (especially the kids) limitations. Most of the best shots come in the first 15 minutes, especially with younger kids. If you’re forcing them into poses, they’ll degrade quicker. Get those (few) poses in at the beginning, then, just interact a bit and try to forget someone’s taking pictures.
Do you have additional tips from past photo experiences? Or do you have a great family portrait memory to share? Or do you just want to say hello? Any comment on this post enters you to win the free session. Good Luck!
** Photo Session Giveaway Terms **
- Comment to enter random drawing for a free photo session from Susan Miller of Susan Miller Photography
- Comment deadline is midnight ET 08/06/2012.
- Winner will be drawn at random and notified via the comment stream. Specific delivery arrangements will then be made via email.
- Winner has three days from notification to claim prize. Otherwise it’s forfeited and another winner will be chosen.
- Winner receives one 30 minute mini – session which includes a disk of 20 edited photos with full rights (a value of 45$).
- Session is limited to members of the immediate family.
- Entrant must be able to attend one of the following sessions;
+ Saturday, September 1, 2012 at Wegerzyn Gardens in Dayton, Ohio (late morning / early afternoon time slots)
+ Thursday, September 6, 2012 in Granville, Ohio (morning)
+ Wednesday, September 19, 2012 in Granville, Ohio (evening)
+ Thursday, September 21, 2012 in Granville, Ohio (evening)
- Final times will be scheduled directly with Susan via email after the winner is drawn