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Planning for your family portrait 

We are excited about photographing your family, and we are very serious about doing the best job possible. A truly outstanding family portrait doesn't just happen. A little work and pre planning on both our parts can make a world of difference in the final results. Especially for families, we highly recommend you to schedule a consultation with us several days before your session (yes, this can be done over the phone or via email). This allows us to coordinate clothing, backgrounds, props, individual tastes and many other special considerations so you will be assured of a really spectacular portrait. We hear over and over from our clients how helpful this planning session is. Since most families seldom get together for a portrait it is so important to do it right when you do. Here are some tips to get you started. If you have not already scheduled your planning session please take the time to do so. You will be glad you did.

What to Wear?

This is so important and requires careful planning. If every family member simply wears their favorite outfit, chances are slim that they will look good together as a group. Everyone needs to dress in a manner that plays down the individuality of each member's clothing and plays up the unity of the family. Clothing that blends well focuses attention on the faces. Wearing different colors and mixing light and dark tones calls attention to the clothing and away from the faces. We suggest laying all the clothing out on the bed. Then if any one article stands out over the others try replacing it. If you are still undecided on the day of your session please bring several items. We will help you with the best selection. You should also consider where the finished portrait will be displayed and try to coordinate your clothing with the colors and style of the room’s decor.

Avoid stripes, polka dots or any type of bold pattern. Also avoid mixing light clothing with dark clothing. For instance if the whole family wears pastel colors and dad has on navy pants they will be the center of attention. If everyone wears dark tones but mom’s dress has a large white collar that will become the center of attention. Avoid short sleeves as bare arms will draw attention away from the face. Timelessness is key. High-styled clothing dates a portrait too quickly, so go for the basics-not black, but toned down subdued colors: long sleeves, little or no pattern, high necklines, simple jewelry and neckties that brighten the look yet don't direct attention away from the faces. For a casual look knit shirts and sweaters in either solid colors or muted patterns that look solid from a distance are hard to beat. A layered look works great. Oxford shirts show wrinkles very easily and do not photograph well.

Here are some color schemes we have found that look great for any family:

• Grays accented with deep reds or burgundy. Very elegant.
• Mixed jewel tones- royal blue, emerald green, maroon, etc.
• Deep rich colors are gorgeous. Don't mix with light colors.
• Solid black for a dramatic look.  Nothing else.
• Black tops and kaki pants are timeless.
• Pastels-pink, peach, light blue, mint. Light and airy. Super for young families but don't mix them with darker colors.
• Earth tones- Brown tones accented with muted green or country blue also looks great.
• All white-for a really modern and striking look. Everyone wears white from top to bottom. When photographed against a solid white background it brings all the attention to the faces.
• And of course everyone's all time favorite,  denim jeans and white shirts...hat & boots optional!  : )

Young children - Please don't precondition your children how to behave or to smile. You will be disappointed with stiff looks and fake smiles. A natural smile must come from the heart and we will do our best to capture that. Simply prepare your preschool children by saying you are going to visit a fun place and play for a while. If you can provide us with any secret information such as their special interests, pets, girlfriends etc. it may give us just what we need to get a perfect spontaneous expression at the right moment.

Glasses - To properly light every member of the family glare from eyeglasses is usually unavoidable. Those who wear glasses should either bring an old pair of frames with the glass removed or have their current lenses removed for the portrait. Eyemasters at The Parks Mall and most other eyeglass stores will do this at no charge. The extra effort will assure you of a much nicer portrait.

Thank you for selecting Kinnaird Photography for your family portrait. We realize how special your family is and how much effort it is to coordinate this event. The more planning we do the more everyone will be pleased with the final results. We hope this will get you well on your way to getting that perfect family portrait that you will cherish for a lifetime.