Family portraits can be a real blessing as more and more of your relatives move away or go to that great family reunion in the sky. They can bring back lots of happy, enjoyable memories. And family portraits can be a major pain in the butt! Let’s face it, particularly when there’s children involved, getting everyone to sit still for that couple of seconds that it takes for a family portrait to turn out well can be more difficult than parting the Red Sea – or so it seems. Here are a few ideas that might make things a little bit more fun – thereby making them a little more tolerable when it comes to taking your next family portrait.
Portrait Idea Number Four
This is truly a fun favorite: fancy dress ideas can consist of anything and everything from the roaring 20s flappers and gangsters to wild West cowboys and saloon girls, Southern plantation men and women decked out in their best goin’ courtin’ garb, Sherlock Holmes era mystery dinner party-esque costumes. You name it, the possibilities are limitless. Children should like this because it’s fun, women will like it because there’s no reason not to and men might even be on board, because they can look suave and debonair – which may be something they seldom do… if ever.
Portrait Idea Number Three
If you’re family is into sports in a big way you can get everyone together in their team jersey of choice. Now of course it’s nice if everyone cheers for the same team, so everyone has the same jersey, but it’s not often you can get that many people in a room and have them all agree on something like a sports team. Feel free to include sports paraphernalia as a type of prop(s).
Portrait Idea Number Two
The totem pole effect can be fun for smaller families with dad, the largest or the oldest on the bottom… above him heads stack up with mom, the oldest child, the next oldest child and finally the youngest child. It might take a little doing to hold that youngest child up on top of the totem pole if they are a baby so this is only practical in select cases but can be a hoot. And this portrait hanging on the wall can be a real conversation starter when company comes to visit.
Family Portrait Idea Number One
Nothing could be much simpler than denim and T-shirts but if the family wants to they can go online and order matching T-shirts with a slogan, logo or simply the family name on front and/or back of the T-shirt. These can be purchased very inexpensively online.
Now I know full well that not all individuals involved are going to be on board with every single one of these suggestions but surely you can get everyone to agree on something. And if not, just have one of the elder ladies lay a guilt trip on them like any good mother knows how to do. “Honestly Gerald this is the least that you can do for your poor old grandma Edna at 83 years old. Goodness only knows when she’s going to be able to get together for another family portrait – if ever. (shed a tear) What’s wrong with you – I have never in my life seen anyone so disagreeable and self-centered!” That ought to do it.
For the person that sincerely believes that photography is a dying art, they might want to talk to any number of people about the popularity of Pinterest. Granted, Pinterest has more than just photos captured by cameras, tablets, iPads and smart phones. They have many drawings and manufactured and computer-generated pictures as well. But Pinterest would be shockingly smaller and relatively empty without good old-fashioned photography… Let’s face it. Maybe one of the secrets to being a successful photographer is the same as being a successful business person of any other kind. Maybe it’s all about the photographer’s promotional ideas. Promotional giveaways would at least help you get the word out.
Are You A Pessimist For An Optimist?
To hear the naysayers tell it, photography is a dying art as well as career suicide. You are not necessarily doomed as a photographer these days however, particularly if you’re good at what you do and you have a unique quality that sets you apart from all the others. This in addition to all of the usual good business practices will keep you at the top of your game and hopefully at the top of everyone’s list of reputable photographers. If you have begun reading articles titled something on the lines of “How Can I Save My Floundering Photography Business?” it’s probably already too late. You’ve already stopped believing in yourself, your beliefs and your vocation.
You can’t walk around with a gloom and doom attitude if you are going to succeed in anything, much less photography. Let’s face it, is photography threatened in today’s world of technology and digitalization? Absolutely. Is that a death sentence for your career as a photographer? Absolutely not. Not unless you let it be.
Photographers Make History
Were it not for photographers we would be without some of the greatest, most infamous recorded visions in history. Consider the picture that had to inspire the sculptures of the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima. And one picture summed up atleast 1000 words for the photographer that caught the picture of the firemen raising a balttered American flag on a pile of rubble that used to be New York’s Twin Towers. These sites would have existed only in someone’s memory had it not been for a photographer. And we all know that the human memory is undependable at best. In fact the saying “a picture is worth 1000 words” in and of itself should tell you and everyone else – be they a photographer or not – that photographs are an indispensable part of life as we know it.
Get the picture?
One common theme amongst vacationers is to always bring a digital camera. Either a professional, expensive one or one of the more economical types. Or you can always wait until you reach your destination to purchase a throwaway camera there, for the most frugal of people.
#4 Don’t Pose Around Monuments
People are not statues, but for some reason when families or couples travel together they pose by the monuments. It is really a strange phenomenon but comes off looking stodgy and staged. Just be natural and allow your fellow vacationers to do the same.
#3 Embrace The People
In your quest to take photos of every monument and landmark that represents where you are visiting, don’t forget to embrace the people you travel with. Years down the road it would be a shame to look back on the family trip or vacationing with friends, just to realize you failed to capture memories of the relationships on the trip.
#2 Fill Up The Photo With Necessities
The standard saying is to crop the garbage out of your shots. Pay close attention to what you are trying to capture and then crop before you shoot. This way extra sky or grass is not so big. Instead you need to zoom in as much as possible to highlight what you are emphasizing. Keep in mind that some shots look better if you shoot it vertical rather than the traditional horizontal It is amazing how spectacular a blade of grass can look when you zoom in on it. Imagine how amazing the Costa Rica rainforest photos can look when you remember to crop before shooting.
#1 Bring Extra Batteries And A Memory Card
Many vacations have been ruined by the camera battery wearing out. It is not always convenient to buy one at a camera shop or drugstore if you are vacationing in any of the retreats Costa Rica has to offer. They are sometimes in very remote areas so it is necessary to not only have extra batteries on hand but an additional memory card or two to expand the amount of shots you can capture.
Photographs of every vacation you take is a moment in time and a snapshot window of your life. It will be a legacy of your life going forward and after you have left the earth. Make them the best representation of your personality that you can.
God love family photos/portraits. They can become keepsakes that are passed down through the generations. Small families, medium-sized families and massive families can benefit from having the family portrait in at least one of their photo albums. This is something to be cherished and enjoyed by all who view it. And as much fun as it can be, getting a family portrait taken, it can also be a very trying day. The success of your family portrait can depend on many contributing factors. What could possibly go wrong with a family photo?
# 5 It Only Takes One Family Member
All it takes is for one family member to feel a little under the weather and before you know it to the entire family is not feeling well . Not to mention the fact that you’re probably going to look anything but your best for that family portrait. A red nose, watery eyes – not exactly the way you want to go down in history. If you’ve got a family portrait coming up and you know you’re a little under the weather make sure that you see a doctor for the pain of sinus problems or whatever) before they ruin your next family portrait.
#4 Seriously, You’re Wearing That?
Crazy props found in many photographers studios and goofy outfits that match are better left to the photo studios found in your local department store. This portrait is going to be around for many years so make sure that it’s something you can be proud of and not embarrassed by.
#3 It Seemed like a Good Idea At the Time
Currently making the rounds on YouTube and many other Internet websites is the family portrait taken on a beach where each parent was swinging a child around on the sand. It was to be a carefree picture of fun in the sun – right up until it wasn’t. Though everyone ended up okay in the long run, a moment of temporary loss of motor skills caused one child to fly through the air, without the greatest of ease. And of course, the astute photographer captured that precise moment.
#2 Family Portraits Mean Kids
One of the reasons that this is going to be a long day could very well be because there are children involved. It’s hard to get children to sit still for a family photo – or anything else for that matter. Finding a photographer that is well-versed in child photography is your best bet if children are going to be part of your family portrait… How could they not be?
#1 Are You Going With Traditional Or New Age?
Deciding to go New Age may seem like a good idea at the time, but it could end up being disastrous in the long run. Nowadays people are going with alternatives to actual photos: Family portraits created with shadow figures or silhouettes, portraits of your family fashioned from wood or some other material, dolls either cut from paper or hand carved from wood, and even stamps with the family’s likeness on it are just a few of the methods being used these days in place of the old school family portrait. Photographers would be well advised to sharpen their skills and make sure that they are providing the best family portraits money can buy.
Yes, that would stand to reason. Great looking bling is going to look great in photographs, in person, pretty much no matter what. Of course, a really phenomenal photographer and just the right lighting can take a piece of great bling and make it look like crazy, stupendously elegant and blindingly luminous bling. This would be particularly important if you’ve decided to design your own ring and have it photographed for your own purposes, or the purposes of the jewelry artisan responsible for actually making the ring.
See Anything You Like?
Shopping at retail stores that handle jewelry, clothing, furniture, toys, appliances and more is a lot like going to a restaurant that serves anything and everything. There isn’t going to be one specialty item aside from maybe their big burger platter. The same can be said for jewelry – those stores carry everything that the store down the road carries who carries everything that store further down the road carries in most cases.
But, with a piece of custom jewelry that is handmade/handcrafted you stand a far better chance of having something that no one else has. That is of course, unless you decide to have your custom ring modeled after someone elses – say, a celebrity for instance. When Jennifer Aniston got married people flocked to buy rings just like hers. The same can be said for the recent marriage of royalty celebrities William and Kate – everyone wanted that ring. (As if!) Fortunately, you can copy more expensive rings for far less by using alternate materials with which to construct the ring.
What Does Your Jewelry Say About You?
If you aren’t particularly artsy and don’t feel that you can design a ring that would be worthy of photographing you might want to go speak with an experienced jewelry artisan in person. Tell them you want a ring that says something about you, explore several options as far as precious stones and metals, talk about the kinds of designs that you favor.
And, be sure to pick out a setting that is going to do its job – which would be to hold on to that precious stone through thick and through thin.
When faced with the magnificent Alaskan landscape, it can be overwhelming to attempt capturing its essence. Further research this after learning basic tips, so you don’t miss anything you want to share later.
Essential Landscapes To Capture
There is so much to see of the topography and landscapes of Alaska. Rugged tundra, rainforests, glaciers, mountains, and captivating scenery are everywhere. All you have to do is point and shoot. Stand near the rivers and capture the intense joy of Alaska salmon fishing. The excitement of fishermen as they catch a King Salmon and hold it in the air is palpable. Now it is your task to capture that feeling on digital camera.
At six million acres, Denali National Park is home to majestic Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in North America. Grizzly bears, moose, wolves, and eagles can all be photographed in their natural habitat. At least 20 million acres and three rivers are part of The Artic National Wildlife Refuge located in the Arctic Region of Alaska. Almost 180 species of birds, 45 mammal species, 36 fish species, and tundra plants are waiting to be photographed. Each region has its own special aura.
Precautions To Take When Photographing Wildlife
Alaska is home to many types of wildlife that are roaming free in the wilderness. While it can be exciting to look up and see bears, moose, or caribou and other wild beasts, you don’t want to find yourself becoming part of the story. Keeping a safe distance with a great zoom lens is the best way to take great photos while avoiding getting chased or worse.
Alaska is known as bear country, since three species of bears live there. Brown, grizzly, and black bears all inhabit various regions of the wilderness and roam freely about. Although this is a photographer’s dream to take snapshots of a bear in the wild, caution is imperative in order to avoid turning that dream into a nightmare. Several things to remember include, bears are curious but don’t like surprises. If you are walking in brush or vegetation, make your presence known by talking aloud, singing, yelling, or tying a bell to your backpack. Traveling in a group is noisier and therefore easier for them to be aware of you.
Don’t camp near trails. Use long lenses, when photographing bears, rather than getting close for a better shot. Cook away from your tent. Do not feed bears or leave food behind for them. Don’t cook bacon or other smelly foods. Don’t run. Instead stay calm, if approached. Red extract spray has been an effective deterrent. Remember, no photo is worth losing your life. Capture Alaska’s beauty, but remain smart in the process.
Well, first on the list would seem to be the importance of getting the entire family together. Decide whether this is going to be a casual attire situation, a more formal, dress-up type picture or something more fun – like all matching T-shirts or colors. You may not all be crazy about shopping at trendy clothing boutiques, particularly if you have to travel some distance to get to them. The good news here is that you can pick up lots of great looking outfits – whether they are matching or not – by simply shopping online in the convenience of your own home.
#5 Fancy, Casual, Matching, Holiday?
That can be your first choice, when it comes to things that you’re going to have to do before that family photo can become a reality. You want to decide on a general theme as far as clothing goes for all parties concerned. Try to keep in mind that not everyone looks good in every color of the rainbow. If you are centering your theme around a particular holiday you’ll also want to decide if you want any kinds of props to be included in the picture – i.e. a Christmas tree, an Easter bunny and basket, a patriotic setting, cornstalks and jack-o’-lanterns, etc.
#4 Ugh! Arranging The Children
Next, you’re going to want to make sure that you make it worthwhile for the kids involved in the picture. It’s hard to get kids to sit still even if there is an Easter Bunny or Christmas tree in the room. You may have to resort to bribery such as the promise of ice cream, pizza or a fun park if they behave.
#3 To Pose Or Not To Pose?
Is that really a question? You may want to go all ‘Vogue’ and strike the pose, but you might also want to just leave it as natural as possible. Try a couple of both types of shots and decide when the proofs are ready for your perusal. Do you want to tell a story with your picture, act silly, act natural – picking something will help those who are more awkward during pictures.
#2 Location, Location
In addition to the theme you’re going to want to decide exactly where these pictures will be taken. You can have them taken in the studio but you can also have them taken outdoors, in your own home – the possibilities are truly limitless. You may want to pick a central location that is easy for everyone to get to if your family is spread out over a large area.
#1 Who’s Taking This Picture?
Finally, you’re going to have to think about the photographer themselves. Do you want a professional to take care of a picture of this importance or are you going to rely on a friend? You may even be able to do it yourself with a timed camera so that you can get back into the picture in time for the shot to be taken. It isn’t often that the entire family can get together so make sure that you have a photographer that isn’t going to drop the ball.
Weddings. Births. Anniversaries. Birthdays. There is no limit to the number of special occasions requiring a photographer to capture the momentous times in our lives. With so many digital and phone cameras available in the marketplace today, everyone considers themselves a photographer. However, it you want quality photos that will last, you want to hire the best photographer available.
Where To Find Quality Photographers
The number one best way to find a photographer that is on top of his or her game is through referrals. People, who have hired a photographer for their special events and pleased with the results, will recommend that person. When newlyweds are happy with the quality of pictures taken by their photographer, they have no qualms about sharing that name with their friends and family. They will pass the photographer’s contact information on in a heartbeat.
An obvious way to find great photographers is through the Internet. Good photographers have websites showcasing their work through an online portfolio. Is their business licensed with the state? Can they provide references or testimonials either on the site or in person? This differentiates between professionals and amateurs practicing photography as a hobby. Looking through portfolios gives you insight into a photographer’s style and quality.
Criteria In Searching For Talented Photographers
The most talented photographer will have taken some level of classes to learn advanced techniques in the craft. Professional photographers will also keep quality cameras and auxiliary equipment to ensure their work is clear and captures the moment effectively. On their websites they will list types of events they cover. While some prefer to cover a potpourri of events, many instead specialize in certain events, such as weddings or birthdays.
If you attend a wedding or two, observe the photographers there. Does he seem patient with the family members, young and old? Or is she working with an assistant to get all the camera angles? Are they carrying more than one camera in case one malfunctions? Ask the bride after her honeymoon for the contact information of the photographer she used. Then look up his website to find out more information.
Don’t be afraid to narrow down to three and meet them at their studio for an interview. Once there, ask questions and look for a feeling of rapport. The last thing you want to do is have a special occasion come and go and realize your chosen photographer was incapable of delivering as promised.
When you need to capture your special moments you want to be confident your chosen photographer will be up-to-the task of delivering photos that will be cherished for a lifetime.
Family reunions, Weddings, Christmas parties, Class reunions are all examples of special events where it is important to look special for pictures. If you want to make a dramatic statement then changing your hair color will be just the ticket.
Life Events That Require Special Photos
Often the most cherished pictures of the special events listed weddings. From personal experience, the amount of time that photographers take to shoot pictures of all the different groupings necessary to complete a wedding book can drive the wedding couple crazy. Before the ceremony there are photos of the bride and her family, the groom and his family, and the venue. During the wedding, the processional, vows, and kiss. Then after the wedding, throwing the bouquet and garter, newly married couple feeding each other the first slice of wedding cake after cutting it, dancing, wedding party poses and various reception photos are taken. It is part of the whirlwind experience of that event.
For the bride, your life changing hair color that is applied by a professional stylist will be part of what makes your day special and-one of the most memorable days in your life. Aside from the wedding gown, the bride’s hair is often the topic of conversation, especially if her hair color is dramatically different, from how people are accustomed to seeing her.
How Changing Your Hair Color Alters How People View You
Hair is one of the major things we notice about a person, when first meeting them. Everyone knows how important it is to make a positive first impression. If you ask most stylists for advice on how to make a splash, when taking pictures for special life events, they are likely to say that changing your hair color will make the most drastic change.
Yes, haircuts can make a difference too, but how people view you when you have blonde, brunette, red, or black hair is varies. Some Buzz Words and Perceptions of hair colors include:
- Blonde: Sexy, Ditzy, Fun, Confident, High Maintenance, a Stand Out
- Brunette: Serious, Responsible, Intelligent, Good girl type, Professional
- Redhead: Temperamental, Feisty, Opinionated, Not as Attractive, Hot Headed
- Black: Exotic, Sultry, Tough, Mysterious, Ethnic
So, where does your personality fit or what do you want to project in the pictures of your next event? You are only limited by the levels of your imagination.
Everyone wants that picture that will be a great memory. It doesn’t have to necessarily be a single momentous picture. It could be a series of pictures that bring back thoughts of the day that you did something. Pictures associated with some type of costume always seem to stand out faster than any other kind of picture. Sure, there might be the group shot of you standing with your friends outside that memorable building you went to in that memorable city (what was the name again?). Or, you could attend a New Year’s Eve Ball dressed as Mozart, or Halloween like a zombie. If nothing else put a special gathering together and have everyone dress in costumes for a murder mystery dinner.
More Gatherings To Choose From
Not so long ago, the only time you would see people dress in any kind of costumes were at Halloween parties. Over the years more gatherings are not so much mandating that you dress up, but more fun is attained if you do. Attend a Renaissance festival. Whole families will dress in costume whether it’s to go as Lords and Ladies, Pirates, Barbarians, even Fairies and Elves. Scottish Highland festivals bring everyone out ,in their kilts.
Biker rallies and runs even have theme days with people dressing up in costumes. The UMF Catholic Schoolgirl Run has women dressing in costume as nuns, angels and school girls, the men dressing as priests, devils and school teachers. Another event that is growing in popularity are the Zombie Crawls, where people will gather together dressed as zombies and proceed to walk down the street to a determined location. There they will gather and dance, often times to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”.
Reuse Your Costume
There are more and more outlets springing up that will rent you costumes for whatever event it is you are attending. This is a good way to go if you want variety in how you are dressing up. Should you choose to purchase a costume be sure it is not one you will use only once and then pack away into storage. Often you can reuse your costume if it is one that identifies you. Online gamers have adopted an alternate personae in the gaming world and will dress as their character in the real world (or this is their fantasy world and the gaming world is the real world. That one is hard to keep straight).
Those who attend Scottish Highland festivals usually make the expensive investment in their tartan, since this is a family plaid that is associated with their heritage. They will wear their kilts at many functions, in addition to the festivals.