Close your eyes and tell me about the image that pops into your head when I say “family photo”. It is the one where everyone is staggered, one behind the other, right? The people behind have their hands on the shoulders of those in front. There is a sweater vest in there somewhere. A whole bunch of obligatory, forced smiles. Big hair. Who brought the cat? Family photos are cheesy, boring, and unpleasant for everyone involved. Whether you are in the picture, or just being shown the picture. It is the year 2013. Spice things up. Live a little. Sometimes tradition needs to be shattered. Instead look for something that better suits the habits and personality, and therefore the image, of your family.
So, let me just amend, if your family is full of poorly dressed, socially awkward, introverts, then I guess the standard family photo is perfect for you guys. I cannot wait to see it. And laugh. But for us normies, that sort of substandard familial representation just will not cut it! Does your family like biking? What about long walks on the beach? Or how about playing in the park? Consider outdoor family photos. You can find photographers who specialize in outdoor family photos, but you may find that your regular photographer will jump at the chance to get out of his studio and spread his wings. He may love to use that degree in photography that he has not touched since working at the photography studio.
Outdoor family photos are a more creative, more visually appealing way to portray your family’s personality and preferences. People love to see families perched on rocks, or all hanging from tree limbs, or running down a trail. Think about the stories tied with the photo. How fun it was to shoot will translate to how fun it is to see. You do not need to all be lined up and stiff for people to see your family. As long as everyone is in the shot and smiling, I would say that is a pretty successful family photo. You should be making memories along with your photo, not just cramming the whole family into the studio, awkwardly not talking to each other because that is how family photos are done. Break the mold and be proud of the product.