While we hate to think about it, summer is drawing to an end. To some that means different things. To some it means back to school, to some it means buying salt and winter tires, but to many it means the beginning of family portrait season. 

Now lets face it, you're beautiful and so is your family so it's hard to take a bad picture of you, but there are certain things you can do to get even better images. Here are a few tips to make this years image the best ever. 

1) Dress for Success: 
Avoid patterns as they don't show up well on camera. Wear complimenting images, not necessarily matching colors. If shopping for the shoot, buying the outfits in the same store can help simplify this. Avoid large logos or characters on children's shirts. 

2) Chose a personal theme:
If there is something the entire family is into, integrate it into your photo. If you're all into superheros, get a shot with each family member wearing a t-shirt of their favorite Hero, or wearing super hero socks. The entire shoot doesn't have to be themed, but it's cute to get a few. 

3) Preparation is key:
If you have younger kids, warn them for a few days ahead of time that the shoot is coming up so it's not a surprise. Bring snacks and water for kids to avoid grumpiness. Be patient. Any photographer worth their salt will have no problem taking a ten or fifteen minute break to let the kids run around and blow off some steam. It can also be a great time to get some candid shots. 

4) Have fun!
Many times I see people get caught up in the details and forget to just have fun! Make silly faces, jump, run. You don't have to put those images on the wall (although often people do) and it can help break the ice. 

5) Location location location:
When it comes to location, variety is key. If there is a location that is special to the family then I like to shoot there. Otherwise there are many beautiful parks and events. You can take some fun pictures at local fairs. That being said don't rule out the classic studio shoot. They are perfect when the weather doesn't participate or for the more traditional shots. As a photographer they are great to work in as the light is easier to control and more time can be spent on posing and details. 

Family portraits are a wonderful yearly tradition and can help show the family grow over time. We hope these tips can help you take them to the next level and if you're interested, we can even help you capture them.