How-to: Take Beautiful Family Portraits

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All the family photographs from my childhood are not my proudest moments. From the time I was a baby until the time I was about 15-years old I can be seen in a dress with plenty trim and wearing an awkward  "cheeese!"  smile on my face. I doubt that anyone kept the holiday cards with those photos beyond the holidays, not even my grandparents. It was a result of that childhood misadventure that  I decided that I would never subject my children to posing in a studio. So for years, the photos on hubby's desk, the ones on greeting cards and those on display on the mettle piece are candids.

That was until my babies grew into sully people who are always either nose deep in their phones, in front of the TVor computer or sleeping. I still get wonderful pictures of my youngest to post of Facebook and to send to family abroad, but the teen people  are really elusive.

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Hence my foray into the world of properly set up family photo shoot days. The woman who is not fond of posed photos is still very alive within me,  which is why I had to search for alternatives to the prim suit and cocktail dress ensembles that have made all of us cringe about our past.

I picked up the following tips here, the author is a fellow mum who seems to have had the same childhood nightmares I did

Schedule photo shoot when kids are happy:

This used to happen easily during holidays or trips, the kids would be constantly happy; exploring a new area and discovering new things. Now I think the only leverage that will keep family photo day on track is the promise that they'll get to do what they like afterwards. That and the threat of sending a collage of photos of the sleeping as their grandmother's big present, where cousins will see it.
    Coordinate but don't match:
I think this means we'll have to pick a colour palette for the day. Or stick to a certain look. This means my initial idea of jeans and a t shirt is out. A nice Sunday brunch look would suit us fine. A look that has harmony but isn't matchy matchy. That's what I don't like most about the photos from my childhood! I look a lot like my mother.
Avoid patterns:
I'm not very fond of patterns, unless we're talking about my wonderful leopard print Nine West babies that were a steal at the last spring/summer sale.  according to Simple Mom: "too many intricate patterns distract from the faces." Solid colours work better than a pattern.
With the responsibility (and fun) of shopping around for a photographer I must say I'm a looking forward to getting started on this project. I can already picture photos of my family sitting near the fire or all standing outside showing off my laying skills like we were in a Woolies catalogue.
Enjoy your week!

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