Modern Portrait Styles – Family

Family Portraits?   What comes to mind?  Do you think about the standard “Olan Mills style” portrait with Mom and Dad seated and the kids all standing at attention around their parents with a relaxed hand strategically placed on parents shoulders?  That describes my family portrait growing up, and I would call that a traditional style.  That portrait always served for me as a document of our ages and stages and our clothing and hair trends at the time.  Personally, I never found any “life” in that portrait because it didn’t accurately represent our family to me.

Modern family portraiture has gone outside as we all know.  Many family portraits are created in natural light (very flattering) and show a more relaxed setting which reflects our current era.  That is NOT to say that a studio portrait does not have a relevant place today.  Some studio styles highlight the faces and expressions in a way that would be lost in an outdoor setting.  My family portraiture styles, though, are mostly all taken outdoors and fall into various categories that I call “modern traditional,” “relaxed,” and “artistic.”

Many families prefer a “modern traditional” portrait style.  This usually includes a beautiful, but uncluttered background, standing or “placed” sitting poses and everyone’s face pointed to the viewer with their best expressions.  This portrait style works very well in a modern traditional or transitional home, and we try to complement the background and clothing colors with the decor.  This elevates the portrait to a piece of personal art that enhances the clients home.   Most of the time, this client is very good at coordinating colors and outfits and my job is only to let them know if something might pose a camera problem or the upset the “timeless” quality.  Here are a few examples of my “modern traditional” style portraits…

The next style of my family portraiture is “relaxed.” It is a little more for the adventurous or for clients that already have their traditional portraits that they love and they want to add something a little different.  My job in capturing these moments is to direct relaxed expressions and loving connections.  Because these portraits may not have everyone directly connecting to the camera, they require more authenticity.  Some families are just naturally more of a fit for this style.  Their houses are usually decorated in a more relaxed style with an eclectic edge.  I always recommend basic clothing for these portraits in neutral colors.  There is a lot going on in these portraits, and I don’t want to detract from that message.  Here are some examples of past “relaxed” family portraits…

Then….there is the “artistic” portrait style.  This is where we get creative with family connections, go way off-center, and try something that is unique to the family spirit.  This is also where I love to introduce digital painting!  Usually, in this style the client has an artistic vision or together we come up with a portrait that perfectly fits the perfect space in their home for a representation of who they are at that time.  This style is collaborative artwork and is highly personal.  Here are some examples of past artistic portraits that showcased some of my clients ideas…

 

These are all styles that I love!  My job is to help you decide which style is right for you and what you want to create for your home to enjoy everyday.  Of course, in a family session we can create all of these, and they can be enjoyed in different ways-as wall art, tabletop art or albums that tell the whole story of your family at that point in your history.   The most important message here is that you document someway!  Please do not leave your memories to the cloud or your phone images, etc.  “Memories are fleeting – be sure and get the hard copy!”  Call Me/text me/email me me today schedule your family portrait!

 

 

 

 

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