If you’re having family portrait done, you’ll probably want something traditional where everyone is looking at the camera and everyone’s eyes are open! But, when your photographer delivers your photo gallery, it’s nice to see something a little different. A little more natural. You, know–the kind of photo that looks like someone with a camera just happened upon a moment of pure family bliss. Getting a picture of your family laughing together is a welcomed addition to your album. You may not decide to print it, but you’ll definitely wanna share it on social media. It’s fun and it’s different! Tons of likes headed your way!
Sometimes your family is gathered for a photo because it’s a special event to celebrate one person in particular. In the case below, it was a senior graduation. I had the family members–grandma and grandpa included–all look at the graduate and smile. It’s nice to have a photo where it’s obvious that one person is the focus. Consider one like this for your family because it just adds a little something different to your traditional, “Let’s put our arms around the graduate, bride, performer, or birthday girl!” Again–maybe not one you’ll print, but one to definitely share!
I love to tell families to laugh at each other. But you have to tell them who to laugh at or someone will be left out! In this picture of a family of four, the connection between the 7 year old and her 20 year old brother was fierce (in a good way). So, mom and dad had to laugh at each other or risk looking like they didn’t belong in the moment. If you’re taking a picture like this, either ask your photographer where you should look or take charge or your family members and tell somebody you’re gonna look at him and for him to look back at you!
In the picture below, the daughter on the left had the BEST laugh of the entire family. She wasn’t looking at anybody in particular. So, she wasn’t following my advice of having someone to lock eyes with, but her laugh is so hearty and genuine, that it works! It’s as though her family as a whole is so silly to her, that she just had to laugh unabashedly. If you’re interested in some tips to help yourself to achieve that caliber of laugh, read my post Make Your Model Laugh: A Portrait Tip
Most importantly, the laughing family technique works really well if there are mainly older children in the mix (teens to adults). It’s actually harder to get a more natural look without those small children–everyone goes rigid because now they can stand still! So, if your family has matured and you have an older kid crowd, consider the a picture of your family laughing. It’ll loosen you up for sure.
If one of your family members is an actor, you should be required to try this shot with your group! What’s so great about the photo below is that the dad is one of my actor friends from the theater. You can totally tell a difference in his laugh compared to the rest of the family. He’s animated and exaggerated–and he makes the photo! An actor or a performer of any kind in your family makes the laughing family picture come alive. Since it’s hard for bigger than life people to tone down their energy for too long, this option gives them an outlet! Love your actors, please! Allow them to bring that little extra fun to your time with your family.
Consider your family. Are you used to sitting or standing next to each other forming a triangle shape with your bodies and with your faces close together? Probably not. But, that’s typically what’s gonna happen in your family photo session. Would you like a photo that is more representative of the connection you have to each other? YES! Then make sure to ask your photographer if you can try a a few shots where your family is laughing! It may actually end up being your favorite one! They’re definitely some of mine!