family portrait

Family portraits can be a down right bugger to get. The larger your family is, the harder it is to get everyone to smile at the same time and look in the right direction. There is always some silly kid (or husband) who has to give a cheesy smile (like above) or make some funny face. When you have kids one always seems to be crying or looking in the wrong direction. Sigh…even my 19 year old acts up and stands on his tippy toes so he looks taller than my husband. So how do you get the family to cooperate? Do you bribe them with treats or promise a special dinner? Do you threaten to take away their toys if they do not behave? This does not work when they are over 40; they just buy new ones! Do you take 4,000 pictures and just hope just one will come out okay? These are lasting memories. Pictures you will look back on when you kids have grown and your memories are not see easy to draw on with out the aid of a photograph. You want them to capture the essence of your family during that year, occasion or celebration.

In this family picture a lot of thought and preparation went into it. We were taking family photos with my whole family, including extended, outside in the Florida sun. So this meant I had to plan for the weather, spills and still figure out how to have us seem semi-coordinated. Then you throw a teenager in the mix who is picky about what he wears and doesn’t want to match us. Neutral colors for fall is what I went for because this picture was taken at our Thanksgiving get-together. This is when we take our annual family photo. I wore the necklace my husband gave me, a shirt that made me look thin and said go neutral. It worked out.

After we tackled the prep, we had to live through the actual shoot. How do you get five people smiling and looking at the camera? LOL You don’t; not when there are 30 some odd people in the background in every which way making funny noises to get the kids to smile. Look at our eyes. You can see we are all looking at different people. Then my silly husband. He was making the goofiest faces is almost every frame on purpose! We literally had over 40 photos to choose from and this one was the only one where we all had our eyes open, looking generally in the right direction and I had a nice smile. I am picky; I don’t look good, no one looks good!

This time we are going to a professional! No crazy family in the background. No weather to contend with. No long day of fun to be weary from. Jcpportraits can capture our favorite moments next time! They even have an April promotion of $20 for 6 traditional portrait sheets (mix and match size and images) as well as one free $9 sitting fee. This sounds like a deal to me. This is always and important time for  for us because my baby boy has a birthday at the end of March, my middle son has a birthday at the end of April and mine is the day right after. It is like a Spring Birthday bash and we like to photo that occasion as well. It is kind of like our 1/2 way point to our Thanksgiving photos. It is amazing the changes you can see from photo to photo when I look back on them.

Jcpportraits also offers great tips to help you prepare for your photos:

Dress for Portrait Success

  • 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.
  • Jcpportraits’ photographers may suggest a full-length pose. Make sure you coordinate portrait clothing from head to toe.
  • 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.
  • Keep clothing consistent. Dress everyone in the same style. Don’t mix casual and formal clothing in portraits.

 Coordinate Colors

  • 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.
  • Don’t mix light and dark colors in portraits. Show your style in small accents. Save stronger colors and patterns for accessories like scarves and neckties.

 Props and Backgrounds

  • Ask your photographer for advice. If you’re not sure what you want in your portrait, jcpportrait photographers can help you choose a portrait background that suits your needs.
  • Add in your personality. Bring your own props for a personal touch. Consider items such as baby blanket, stuffed animal, or a special toy.
Most of all have fun and enjoy the memory you are making by taking your portrait! I have already started collecting ideas on Pinterest to layout our Spring family photograph.
“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of jcpenney Portrait Studio. 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.”


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