Every year I take our family portrait (usually in November, so I can use them in our custom made Christmas cards). Typically in past years, I have always done an inside session with all my studio gear. We have done them with both backdrops and without. This year though, I wanted to change it up and take it outside. However, I didn’t want to drag them all out to a city park for a quick 5-minute session. Instead, we used the side of our house in Harker Heights, mostly because I wanted a solid brick background, but also because I wanted this picture to be “special”.
We just bought our first (and hopefully final home) this past April, so I thought including it (even if it was just the side of the house) would make the portrait more personalized.
Now the problem with all of this is, that in order for it to be a family portrait, I have to be in it. Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to try and direct each person on how to pose when you are not behind the camera, much less make sure everyone is in focus? My husband was simple…”here stand like this and don’t move”. Maybe it is because he is a Soldier and I gave him an order, or maybe it’s because he knew the more he complied the faster we could get this over with! My children, for the most part also complied. Notice I did say they complied, I didn’t say anything about not complaining. My oldest daughter has a tendency to turn her chin up “to hide her chin fat”, so she says despite me telling her to bring it down. I would like to note that this is not the way to do that (more about that below). Typically I can catch this when I am BEHIND the camera. Then add in everyone saying, “hurry up Mom” over and over, and 1 simple pose can become frustrating.
Needless to say, this one pose took 5 shots, and the final picture was 2 of those images combined into one because there was only 1 image where she didn’t have her chin looking up at the sky! Granted her chin is still tilted up more than what I would like, but it’s acceptable.
TIP FOR HIDING “CHIN FAT” (as my daughter likes to call it). If you are worried about having a double chin in photos, here are some tips. They are tried and true, and when I am behind the camera I can actually direct you on how to hide it. However, for all those other times, here is what to do:
Make sure the camera’s lens height is just above eye level (not right at, but above).
Make sure to hold your shoulders back.
Extend your neck straight out (trust me no one will know you are doing this, in the picture)
Keep your chin parallel to the ground.
So the next time you think that it’s only your children who will not listen during family photos, or they complain, know that you are not alone! This entire ordeal took only 5 minutes and yet my children still complained!