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Same color but different clothing.

Featured Article

Family Portraits

A Photographer's Guide

Family portraits. Just the thought of it makes you break into a cold sweat. From figuring out what everyone will wear to getting the family jazzed about picture day.

Whether you’re doing the pictures yourself or hiring a pro, it just takes a little planning, creativity and adaptability.

The trend right now is to find a grassy field and put your boots on. But if that has no meaning to your family, it will feel forced and you’ll definitely be able to see that in your pictures.

So, our main tip is to not be afraid to incorporate things that you love to do as a family. You’re taking these images to remember your family as it is right now, so have fun with that. Go fishing, bake cookies in your kitchen, have a projector movie night in your jammies, dress up like your favorite superhero, hang out at the bookstore, explore downtown, play with your dogs in the backyard.

The point is - the more REAL your family portraits are, the more relaxed they will be, the more you will love them. And if you’re doing something that is fun for your family, everyone will want to be a part of it.

For more information on the author, Cindy Alvarez, contact Snoots Pet Photography at 918.286-2384 or

Styling Tips

  1. Don’t all wear the same thing. You’ve all seen that portrait. And if you’re like me, you probably HAVE that portrait. Coordinate your outfits, but don’t match them.
  2. Don’t be afraid to wear colors AND patterns. As long as the patterns don’t clash and at least some of your family have on solid colors, go for it!
  3. It’s ALL about comfort. If you want kids to scream and parents to stress, dress everyone in something they’re not used to. If your family is all about jeans and Converse, show that off. Be you!

Posing Tips

  1. Not every image needs to be a properly posed. Along with the well-behaved pictures, capture the candid or action shots. Use prompts to elicit responses, i.e., “Everyone squeeze Mommy as hard as you can!”
  2. Act like you like ‘em. Lean onto each other, put hands on arms, snuggle in. If you’re not a touchy-feely family, try other physical interactions like silly dancing with the kiddos.
  3. Do something! See who can jump the highest. Arm wrestle. Have a tickle fest. Breaking away from the norm usually makes the best memories and creates the best photographs.
  • Formal pose outside the home.
  • Formal pose inside the home.
  • Same color but different clothing.
  • Pose in front of the skyline.
  • Informal pose in the garden.
  • Spontaneous family fun.