Each year for the past few years, I have persuaded my family to pose for a large family portrait on the one weekend or so that we all manage to be together. My nieces and nephew are growing up quickly, as kids do, and they change so much from year to year. On a more somber note, we never know what might happen to any of us. It’s not uncommon to hear from a client who says something like “Grandma died last year, and we realized that we have no photos of her with the kids.” (They then ask if I can Photoshop the various groups together using wildly disparate images that look nothing alike.) As a photographer, I realize that I am in a place to help avoid that, and I encourage everyone to take the time from their gatherings to come together for a photograph, at the very least. Better yet, with a little planning, that snapshot can becomes a treasured portrait.
For the past two years, we all came together at Thanksgiving, and it was too cold to get the kids to stay still long enough outside for a session, but this year we were fortunate enough to all gather during the summer. This is where the planning becomes important. I scouted some locations beforehand, and we all met at the local town park, where I was already setting up. We also agree upon coordinating outfits before we all travel to whever it is we are gathering. ( And yes, even in my own family, everyone grumbles about the clothing, though less and less each year as they see the results.) After we wrangle the kids together and photograph the large group (there are eleven of us at present,) we release the kids and do the smaller groupings of families, couples, and anything else anyone would like (a few personal headshots this year for Facebook profile pictures.) The whole process took less than an hour, even with a restless two-year-old try to escape everyone’s grasp.
Whether your family is one person or twenty, it’s never a bad idea to take a little time for a portrait session. Working with a good photographer, you can elevate that snapshot into something you’d be proud to hang on your wall. Once the images are captured, the options are many.
In addition to traditional framed portraits (which make great gifts for grandparents, family and friends,) I offer large canvas “gallery wraps” and fine art prints. Your session can be compiled into a custom designed album, used for custom greeting cards, or made into a slide show for DVD, iPod or YouTube. Share them on Facebook, with included web-sized digital images.
We still have a bit of beautiful weather here in upstate New York, so head over to my Contact page to inquire about your portrait session.
If you’d like to see more images from our family portrait session, I’ve posted the full set on the Julie Pecenco Photography Facebook Fan Page (become a fan to get regular updates on recent shoots and the latest offerings) or in the Portraits Set of my Flickr photostream