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5 Family Portrait Ideas for Memorable Photos

Family portraits are powerful. 

They present a person with a great way to take a trip down memory lane. The beauty of a family portrait is not only does it take a person back in time, but it also permits them to revisit an exact moment in time.

A captivating family portrait captures the love and bonding among the family members. Imagine a day several decades from now. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren may ask to see photos of their family. Wouldn’t it be tragic if there were no photos to share? Memorable photos have the power to bring the members of a family together again as they think back about their lives.

So how do you capture memorable photographs? Simply follow the 5 family portrait ideas detailed here.

#1: Outdoor Family Portrait ideas

Family portraits are forever keepsakes. Therefore, taking family portraits is a specialty. The first rule for getting family photos taken is the whole experience must be fun, not stressful. To start with, pick a kid-friendly photographer—one who has already worked with kids and families. This could make a decisive difference. The entire photoshoot experience will be stress-free, and it will be evident in the results.

Not all photographers are the same. Some are serious. Some are deadpan. Some are lively. And some are plain fun to work with. A photographer who falls under the last category will be charming enough to bring out your children’s natural smile. An exceptional family photographer needs tons of patience. They need to be understanding, too, as many kids may be uncooperative or distracted. Another important attribute is speed—they need to be fast. You can bet the best moments will only be fleeting.

Pick the Right Location

Choose a beach, park, farm, or any green space if your family wants to be surrounded by nature. An amusement park or local carnival will be ideal if you are looking for something that’s fun and colorful. And a secluded lake or mountain trail would be perfect if you want breathtaking photos. Find a place that features the elements of nature such as water, rocks, and logs for the extra special effects.

Family Portrait Ideas
Image credit: Photo by kabita Darlami on Unsplash
Family Portrait Ideas
Image Credit: Photo by Nate Johnston on Unsplash

Choose an Interesting Background and Stand Together

If an urban feel appeals to you, head into the city. Capturing family portraits in the midst of the hustle and bustle will be challenging, though. The golden hour glow makes for another interesting background in a family portrait.

Image credit: Photo by Trust "Tru" Katsande on Unsplash

Other Outdoor Family Portrait Ideas Include Going for a Walk or Running Together

family portrait outfit ideas
Image Credit: Photo by Allen Taylor on Unsplash

Tip #2: Family Portrait Outfit Ideas

Deciding what outfits to wear for a family portrait shoot is no easy task. It can be as challenging as zeroing in on the perfect photographer. You are going to hang these portraits on your walls and cherish the memories for years on end. So when you consider what to wear, it can seem overwhelming. But there’s no need to be overwhelmed.

For one, you don’t need to wear matching clothes. For instance, you might have seen old family portraits in which everyone is wearing a white shirt and blue jeans. Those days are long gone. It’s true that jeans are appropriate for fun, casual photos. But don’t rush to buy white shirts and blue jeans for everyone. Ensure your clothes have variety.

While some patterns on clothes are alright, too many patterns can be distracting. And characters on children’s shirts are distracting, as well. Patterns and characters will only end up making your photos look too busy.

Other family portrait outfit ideas include mixing different clothing materials. You can add visual appeal by playing with different fabrics. The number of materials you can mix is huge—cotton, lace, wool, tweed, knitted, satin, and more.

Family Portrait Outfit Ideas
Image credit: Photo by Josue Michel on Unsplash

Also, consider the accessories you can add. Ties, necklaces, bracelets, and jewelry are all accessories that go well with family portrait outfits. These accessories are fun to use in photographs.

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Tip #3: Indoor Family Portrait Ideas

A family home is typically the first-choice indoor location. This is because a family would feel most comfortable in familiar surroundings. And it’s easy to capture affection indoors. Also, indoor shots are cozy and create intimate moments among family members.

Capturing family photos at the family residence is so much easier for a photographer because it’s easy to create good backdrops by combining different textures. Comfortable furniture, textured rugs, soft blankets and pillows are all elements that you can use to set the backdrop for splendid indoor family portraits.

Indoor Family Portrait Ideas
Image credit: Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

The furniture in a home can be put to good use too. Family members can sit on and pose while their photographs are taken. A home is also filled with numerous objects that are effective props.

Indoor Family Portrait Ideas

Some examples of props in a home include:

  • Stuffed animals
  • Games
  • Toys
  • Children’s books
  • Sports equipment
  • Musical instruments

Play areas or backyards are perfect for shoots, as well. The advantage of shooting family portraits in a backyard is it offers a fine blend of both indoor and outdoor allure.

Include pets in family portraits. Your pet is part of your family. So celebrate that bond and connection. Your family portrait would be incomplete without this four-legged family member.

Indoor Family Portrait Ideas

A family portrait shoot in a studio is another great indoor option. The perfect lighting makes taking picture-perfect, frame-able photographs a lot easier.

Indoor family Potrait Ideas

Tip #4: Formal Family Portrait Ideas

Unlike a casual family portrait sitting, a formal sitting will have a more traditional feel. Therefore, your wardrobe choices will have less leeway.

Matching your outfits to the background is a great idea. Ladies and girls can wear dresses, skirts, or pantsuits for quick formality. Likewise, men and boys can wear sports jackets and ties. Pick just one or two colors to carry right through the photo. Use these tones in the background, clothing, and accessories. Avoid reflective jewelry as it will distract attention away from the subject’s face. To achieve a matching look, the boys can wear clothes and accessories that the men are wearing, and the girls can wear clothes and accessories that the ladies are wearing.

family photo
Image credit: Photo by Muktasim Azlan on Unsplash

Another formal family portrait idea is to choose outfits that are coordinating but not identical. The primary goal of a family portrait is to direct the attention of the viewer to the faces of the subjects. One particular family member shouldn’t stand out. The focus needs to be on coordinating outfits so that all the members of the clan get equal attention. You can achieve this result even if everyone is not wearing identical outfits.

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Tip #5: Family Portrait Ideas for Coordinating Colors

We have seen the different locations for capturing family portraits. But there’s a key missing element that we haven’t covered.

What is the right color for family portraits?

This is the first question on everyone’s mind.

The easiest approach is to get everybody to coordinate. While this is relatively simple with small children, it could be a huge challenge if there are unwilling teens in the family. Hence, it’s worthwhile to plan your outfits in advance.

Dressing for the occasion is important for capturing memorable family portraits. But you don’t need to select matching colors to coordinate colors. Choosing the best color combination may seem overwhelming. A safe option is to begin with colors that coordinate well. Listed here are some complementary color combinations:

  • Blue and orange.
  • Red and green.
  • Red and blue.
  • Yellow and purple.
  • Pale blue and pink.
  • Red-orange and blue-green.
  • Yellow-green and red-purple.
  • Yellow and grey.
  • Orange and black.
  • Purple and white.
formal elegant family portrait

With these complementary color combinations, it’s possible to achieve a cohesive look without everyone wearing matching outfits. Neutral soft colors work much better than a single loud color. Opt for light colors and consider how your selection will look in the chosen location. But avoid white color clothing as it tends to lose its detail. Likewise, black color clothing can lose its detail and is best avoided.

Also, consider how the family wants their portraits to look. It’s wise to get them involved in choosing the colors they are comfortable with. The chosen colors should reflect their family lifestyle and also feel natural for them. After all, there’s no point in wearing clothes that seem unnatural.

In Summary

Families come in an assortment of shapes and sizes. Hence, the definition of family portraits is just as dynamic. Family portraits can range from a nuclear family that comprises young parents and a newborn baby to all the living generations of a large extended family and everything in between. So when it comes to families, you can’t capture memorable photos with a restrictive one size fits all mentality.

These family portrait ideas alone do not guarantee perfect pictures. Brainstorm for other possible scenarios. You need to test many more creative ways of doing things.

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