Anyone who uses photos as much as scrapbookers do, quickly gains an appreciation for how much nicer it is to work with "good" pictures instead of "bad" ones. Good photography is one of the keys to getting great photographs for scrapping, but there is also the factor of getting the people IN the photos to look their best. This is especially hard in large groups, i.e. the family picture.
I have a love/hate relationship with the family group photo. I love having a picture of the entire family together. I hate trying to figure out what to wear. I hate feeling bad about being overweight and worrying about ruining the picture. I don't like having to figure out what my hubby and kids are going to wear and worrying if it will work with what everyone else has planned. There is a lot of pressure surrounding the posed family photo. I mean it's going to go out as Christmas cards! I know I'm not alone in this. In fact, if you ever listen to someone as they look at a group picture that includes them, the first they do is start picking themselves apart. It's human nature I suppose. Sometimes you just need to give it some time.
This photo was taken in 1995. I remember just hating this photo of myself. Truthfully, it still isn't my favorite photo of any of us, but now I'm just glad to have a picture of our family from this time period in our lives. And I thought I looked so fat in this picture, but I would love to look like that now! lol!
Next weekend my Mother-in-law has kindly scheduled a group family photo shoot in her backyard with a professional photographer. I'm excited about this in many ways. Our last family photo was taken in 2004 so it has been 5 years. My twin nieces weren't even born yet so the family was incomplete. However, we will be facing the great challenge of trying to get 11 people to look their best all at the same moment. A Grandpa, a Grandma, Hubby & Me, my 15 year old son (who has autism), my 12 year old daughter, Sister-in-law & her hubby, their 6 year old son, and their 3 year old twin daughters. I bet it will be interesting. Good thing we are all so cute!
Since my Mother-in-law arranged the whole thing, I told her she should get to decide our color scheme for clothing. She picked purples, blues, greens, & khaki - sort of a jewel tone theme. I don't know if she knew this at the time, but purple seems to be all the rage this year. It's everywhere! So why can't I find anything that looks decent on me? Even my cute and skinny daughter is having a hard time finding something flattering.
Do I seem too focused on this? I assure you that I don't usually wig out about clothing so much these days, but when it comes to a family photo that hangs on everyone's walls for years, I take it pretty seriously. I also have a hard time getting both my son and my hubby to relax in photos. The last thing anyone wants is a stiff and unnatural looking picture of their family. So I've been doing some research on how to prepare for portraits and how to look good in photos in general.
Here are some great links on these topics:
- 10 ways to look good in photos
- What to wear for photos
- Does my butt look big in this? What to wear for portraits
- Premier Portrait what to wear
- How to look 10 lbs. thinner in photographs
Monica: Shut up! The camera adds 10 pounds.
Chandler: So how many cameras are actually on you????
Sorry, I couldn't resist! (hopefully there are some FRIENDS fans out there)
- If you are planning a group photo, try to coordinate the clothing through color scheme or style. You don't have to all be matchy-matchy, just cohesive as a whole.
- Avoid prints and patterns and opt for dark, solid colors whenever possible - especially for formal portraits.
- Look at the photographer's website or visit their studio and look through some of their photo examples. You will get a feel for what looks good and you may get some creative ideas. It is also a good idea to ask the photographer for their advice on clothing. As you can see from some of the links above, many photographers will include this type of info right on their website.
- No matter what happens, your photo is bound to be better than any of these. Awkward family photos - prepare to cringe!