Ahh the family portrait! What seems so simple is actually pretty complexed. It's like walking into a room and absolutely loving the decor, but not understanding how the home owner managed to find all the unique aspects that tie the colors and theme together. Well this post will be your guide to creating the perfect family portrait. The 1st question we always ask is
"Where in your home are you hanging your portraits?"
The location of your house has great meaning to the colors and tone of your images. If you are considering hanging your portraits on a red wall then your images should have a splash of color that matches the wall color. The splash of color can come from something simple like an accessory you are wearing or an old red car in the background. Regardless of how you want the colors to work they do need to work. The type of room is a deal breaker also. If your dinning room is more formal looking then we need to match the clothing and the location to work in your dinning room. Think of buying a work of art for your house, choose your clothing style and color according to your home decor.
"How many people will be in your images?"
Asking how many people are in the images will determine the location I decide to take them to. If the client has a family of 4 or 6 we can go just about anywhere we see fit. If you are planning a family reunion and the group will consist of 20 + people, then we need a very large area to work in. I still take question 1) into consideration so you can now see why these questions are so important.
"Time of day?"
Here in New Orleans we do not have large open areas like the beaches and cliffs of California so our sunset times are very different depending on each location desired. Generally I like the last hour and a half of light for a session or very early in the morning. After 21 years of photographing people in my hometown of New Orleans I know which locations will give me the best light for each time of day. In our parks we have beautiful cascading Oak trees dripping with moss. Our downtown French Quarter area has a multitude of colors with a European urban feel unlike any other U.S. city. The Mississippi River even allows unique backgrounds depending on the time of day. Our bayous offer a unique sportsman like feel where our garden district home owners have the old uptown houses with amazing floral beauty.
"Plan correctly and enjoy your family art on your walls!"
The above images show you color tones, brightness and style of the portrait sessions. All of these sessions were designed for a place in someone's home. The next time you are thinking of your own family portraits remember these helpful steps and create some art for your walls!
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