Did you know that, in the late 19th century, photographing relatives, especially children, post-mortem was common practice? The pictures featured recently deceased infants or children, sometimes propped up next to their living mothers and siblings. The chilling photographs, sometimes the only memento of a child due to high infant mortality rates, give a whole new meaning to scary family pictures. Taking an awkward family picture may not seem that bad in comparison, but there are steps you can take to ensure that your family has the best possible experience with a professional photographer. What are these steps? Prepare Children Family photos today are much more flexible. Although average photo sessions can last up to an hour, many family photographers may recommend shorter, 20 minute sessions to capture kids at their best. Professional photo services also recommend giving children a bit of an incentive, maybe going out for ice cream after, for example, to encourage them to behave for photos. Another great tip? Get children involved, in fun and creative ways. Opt for outdoor family photos, and ask photographers to snap shots of your child blowing bubbles. Children can also be photographed playing on swing sets, or holding up balloons. Keep Up With the Times Did you know that, long ago, families posed for up to 20 minutes to have a single family photo taken, and the first photographs date back as far as 1861? Photography, meaning “painting with light,” has taken leaps and bounds since then. Today, photos can be snapped in just a matter of seconds, and most families leave with physical copies of their photos as well as digital copies stowed on a disc or a thumb drive. Use relatively new photography techniques, like long exposure along with some lights or sparklers, to give photos an ethereal feel. Consider unique, panoramic shots for especially large families. Have Fun With a little bit of creativity and fun, you can easily avoid taking scary family pictures. Consider your spouse’s and children’s personalities before you get in the studio. For more subdued families, try unique ideas like posing in front of water, with each family member’s image reflected in the lake (or whatever body of water it may be). For families who are a little less shy, try posing for pictures that are a little more humorous. Cute holiday ideas include pitting families up against a mug shot, or line-up, backdrop, along with the heading, “Santa, we can explain…” or tongue-in-cheek pictures of families tangled up in Christmas lights. Family photos can be memorable, humorous, and fun. Avoid taking scary family pictures by preparing children, experimenting with digital copies and long exposure, and posing in ways that best suits your family members’ personalities.
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