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Ways to Make your Family Portraits Stand Out

Author: Libby - Printique by Adorama

When you think about your family portraits this season, why not get a little creative? Thinking outside the box when it comes to selfie family portraits can become a family tradition. Printique Ambassador, Rafael Infante shows us some inspirational ideas that he incorporates into his own family photos.
Rafael Infante NYC Photography - Harry Potter Levitation Family Portrait
The family in this image hired me to take a typical stare-at-the-camera-and-smile portrait of them. But, knowing what big fans they were of the “Harry Potter” series, I decided to create something special for them, something more unique that showcased their personality. As a working photographer, I always stress the importance of family pictures. It is a great way of capturing memories that can be looked back upon and cherished for generations to come. Unfortunately, this “task” usually keeps getting pushed back on people’s to-do lists as the years go by. So, below I’ve listed some easy tips you can use for creativity when photographing your own family. You don’t need elaborate lighting setups and crazy post-production to create memorable images. In fact, the images below I took of my family when we were out on vacation using just natural light and a tripod.


Rafael Infante NYC Photography - Adorama Pix Family Portrait 01 Characteristics
During our travels, my family and I always like playing a competitive game of stone skipping whenever we encounter a lake. Instead of just standing and smiling in front of the beautiful scenery, we added some personality to the image by including an activity that says something about us.


Rafael Infante NYC Photography - Adorama Pix Family Portrait 02 Expression
During our travels, we always run into beautiful murals, sculptures, and works of art. One thing you can do for an image is to try to incorporate yourselves into those pieces. Even though you’ll have strangers around you watching and giggling, don’t be afraid to show expression. Most the time they’ll probably just be waiting for you to finish so that they can take the same image.


Rafael Infante NYC Photography - Adorama Pix Family Portrait 03 Environment
Always look around your environment to see if there’s anything you can use to make your images stand out. I remember seeing this dock and thinking it might be fun if it looked like we were jumping into the water. Using a tripod and a remote trigger, we took several images and finally managed to get one where it looked like we were all leaping off of the dock at the same time.


Rafael Infante NYC Photography - Adorama Pix Family Portrait 04 Props
Sometimes it can be difficult coming up with creative ideas. Using props can help alleviate that problem. This gives people something to do with their hands and can encourage different actions and expressions. This also helps in highlighting the varying personalities of the people in your group.


Rafael Infante NYC Photography - Adorama Pix Family Portrait 05 Silhouette
Rafael Infante NYC Photography - Adorama Pix Family Portrait 06 Silhouette
Generally, we are concerned about adjusting our camera settings so that our faces are exposed for properly. During your next sunrise or sunset shot, try setting the exposure for the background instead of the people. Doing that will allow you to get some creative silhouettes. You can move your bodies around to create some interesting action shots or some affectionate shots that show a sense of family, unity, and love.


Make time to take pictures of your family! Even if you start with images taken with an iPhone and everyone’s saying “cheese.” But then, try something different based on the tips I’ve provided. You’ll be happy to have images of everyone together when you look back at them years from now. Our family images have preserved many memories for us and have brought us a lot of laughter and happiness. I wish the same for you and your families.
Thank you, Rafael! Rafael uses Printique to print his memories and art work.