DIY Thanksgiving Family Portraits

25 Nov

‘Tis the season to show off

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My own DIY family portrait

Everyone wants one of those nice framed family portraits hanging above the fireplace; and what better time to get them done then Thanksgiving? For it is a time when all the family gathers. Only problem is, portrait studios are becoming few and far between, and if you do locate one it just might cost you an arm and a leg. I say to this, why not take this cherished memory yourself?

Great gifts can come in frames

This idea may be an odd thought to some folks, but I can assure you that if executed correctly these family portraits can come out great. Also, if you are still trying to come up with a Christmas present for someone dear to you then why not put together a family portrait as a gift for them? In fact, I have done this myself a few times for several folks, my own mother being one of them. When my mother received this portrait she excitedly said qoute 1Wow! This is something that I can cherish forever, and quite possibly can be passed down though the family for centuries!qoute 2
In conclusion, if you got the reactions I got it will be well worth the effort. Now sense this is going to be done on Thanksgiving I am going to show you the best way of getting great/simple family portraits, because the last thing anyone needs around this time of year is another huge project.

Professional not required

Remember simple is the key with these homemade pieces, so this means using what you have around you; so let’s go through what I mean by this shall we?

  • First, A live person — This live person, no matter how uncomfortable with a camera they are, will be able to produce more dynamic shots then a camera just sitting on tripod with a set timer. Make sure that the person takes a lot of pictures, this way you have a wide selection to choose from.
  • Second, Sunlight — It is your new best friend, let this friend help you. Sunlight, at its best times will give you the closest thing to professional lighting. If possible, I would stay away from trying to set up any kind of inside “DIY Portrait studio”. Because without proper diffusers and just lights in general, shadows and blown out spots are going to be a major struggle.
  • Third, Have fun with your shoot. The liveliness of this shoot will be the success of it. That being said don’t be shy, go crazy, make each other laugh and bring props that are fun or you feel could add something to the portrait. The best part is your photographer is a friend, or family member, not some random person you might not feel completely comfortable with.

My Last tip for this project is – plan ahead. The simple fact is we do live in Wyoming, we don’t always have perfect sunshine with 75 degree weather, not to mention that it is winter time. Play it smart, avoid the running noises and heavy winter jackets in you pictures. Check ahead find out what day is going to work best and be the warmest for you and your family.

 

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