Family photo recommendations
June 9, 2012 12:27 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for family photo recommendations.

For Father's Day, I'm thinking of getting family photos done. This is a small family (two late-40s women and our dad).

I'm interested in either:
* Recommendations for photographers in the Albuquerque area.
* Tips on what to wear or what else to do so these are better photos. I think many posed photos tend to look stiff.

In case it matters:
We all tend to dress fairly simply and have short hair. My dad and I are fair-haired and fair-skinned. My sister and brown hair and is slightly darker-skinned. We wear little or no make-up. My dad and I wear glasses.
I'm told I look about 10 years younger than I am, and I think my sister looks similar. I guess my dad looks good for his age, but I don't know many people his age, so I'm unsure.
posted by maurreen to Grab Bag (5 answers total)
My uncle's family does a lot of posed family photos. I think the casual ones always-always-always look better than the more formal ones. Here are the basic differences:

-wearing "church" clothes (suits, dresses, nice blouses)
-usually has one or two people sitting in chairs with one or two people behind them with a hand on the shoulder of one of the sitters
-indoors with a backdrop (plain or "festive" (which are always so heinous))

-Everyone wears something simple similar but in their own particular style (the classic is blue jeans with crisp white shirts)
-outdoors (beach, park, somewhere sunny, usually near a body of water)
-everyone sits on the ground

In general, the less fussy you try to be, the less THIS IS A POSED PHOTO it will look. When shopping for photographers, find someone who does more of this and less of this.
posted by phunniemee at 12:45 PM on June 9, 2012

* Tips on what to wear or what else to do so these are better photos.

I recommend goofing off, if you're a goofy family. My favourite family photo is the one we took after lots of posed, smile-at-the-camera ones. Everybody was tired of doing take after take, and finally my dad slouched over in comic exhaustion, my mom rolled her eyes, and my brother and I did over-the-top grimaces. It's on the wall in all of our houses.
posted by Beardman at 2:03 PM on June 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do you have any pictures of you and your sister together when you were younger? If so, how about a picture of you both holding the older picture. The younger you are in the pictures, the more sentimental the new picture will be.

Take pictures of both of you in your work environments (extra points if you're bakers, ranchers, welders, artists, etc.). Then, combine the pictures in a double frame.

I'm a photographer based out of Los Alamos but work in Santa Fe. I'd be happy to offer my services. Email is szapien at gmail dot com.
posted by inviolable at 3:19 PM on June 9, 2012

I like black and white photos where everyone is wearing something similar against a stark background.

Have your photgrapher do a mix of color and b/w, or use Photoshop to see your color photos in b/w.

Don't be afraid to have your photgrapher touch up your photos. It's about $100 extra but for something that's going to be prominantly displayed, you'll be happy with it.

Don't wear your glasses. They'll date the photos like crazy!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:54 AM on June 10, 2012

We did this once and let a trusted photographer suggest the spot -- and his idea really was good. Since then my FiL has requested similar family pictures every couple of years, and he usually picks the spot now himself.

This year the one in the front yard was lame, but having the whole clan on/around the swingset was fun. Past years included other front lawns (always boring), and once a hillside in front of enormous sprays of bright yellow forsythia (which looked great).

If you had kept your eyes open in the past you might have picked out a spot ahead of time, but if you are pressed for time then your photographer may have a few can't-miss spots they've used before.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:16 PM on June 11, 2012

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