Tips and Tricks for Getting the Best Family Portraits – Great Gift for Mother’s Day!

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Do you have a recent family portrait?  It’s something that we all put off doing, but treasure when we do!  We were reminded of the value recently when a family friend passed away.  It is my daughter’s best friend’s grandfather.  The family had a family portrait taken about six months before the grandfather passed away…  especially touching were the pictures of my daughter’s friend with her grandpa.  It’s something I’m sure she will treasure and appreciate having, for the rest of her life.

When an email showed up in my inbox asking me to share the news of a portrait sale at jcp portraits, I knew it was the perfect time for us to go for a family portrait session!  It really is easy.  I went to and clicked on jcp portraits.  Then “Locate a Studio Near You”.  When I got the phone number, I called and asked to schedule an appointment with the same photographer that took the family portraits for our friends.  I was able to get an appointment in two days and we were set.

Easy-peasey and affordable!  jcp portraits is having an April portrait promotion of $20 for 6 traditional portrait sheets (mix and match size and images) as well as one free $9 sitting fee.  $20!!  Yikes!

So, pick up your phone and schedule an appointment.  You will be glad you did!  Your children will never be this age again…  Family portraits make great Mother’s Day (or for grandmothers) gifts!

When we had our family portrait taken, the photographer took various combinations in addition to the shot of the whole family – me and my daughter; my daughter and my husband; my parents, each grandparent with my daughter, etc.

Here are some tips I’ve picked up from major googling about getting the best family portrait:

1.  Stand sideways.  It is amazing how much thinner you look when you angle your body, rather than presenting a flat, wide front.  If you can also position yourself just slightly behind someone, where they cover you a bit vertically, it helps!  Another way to achieve that vertical line is to color block.  Put a dark color on the outside (ie slacks and cardigan) with color on the inside (bright colored shirt).

2.  Look up and stand straight.  Does that sound like your mother?  Try this – stand up and look at the ceiling.  Then, only moving your head, look straight ahead.  Can you feel how straight your back is?  There you go!  For the picture, look up just a bit – straightens out any chin thing goin’ on.

3.  Bright light!  Did you ever notice that the television studios have very bright lights?  It’s counter-intuitive, but bright lights actually lessen wrinkles and facial lines.  Make sure the light is shining in your face and not behind you or it will just block out/darken your face.  Your jcp portrait professional will have the perfect lighting, just for you!

4.  Coordinate but don’t match clothing colors.  If everyone has different shades of the same color, or two colors, it unifies the picture.  But if everyone has the exact same color?  Too blah!  If you want to highlight one member of the family (ie a grandchild), have everyone in black and white and the child in a bright color – they will “pop” in the picture.  Don’t have too many prints – it’s dizzy!  If anything have everyone wear solid colors, or one print at most.  And remember your shoes!  Even the bottoms – they may show in the picture.

5.  Think happy, funny thoughts.  What you are thinking shows on your face!  Think about someone you love, something funny, anything that will have you looking animated and happy.  Keep faces of family members close together.  It shows the love of your family and improves the look of the portrait.  Watch the “negative space” – you don’t want some people close and others far apart.  Look at galleries of photos to get ideas of what you like and what you don’t.  Trust your photographer to create flattering portraits!

The jcp portrait Pinterest Board has some great inspirational pins!  I’ve also pinned some of my favorites on my own Inspiration with jcp portraits Pinterest board.  I love props in a picture and pinned some of my favorites.

Notice of Material Connection:  I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of jcpenney Portrait Studio. I was asked to create a Pinterest Board and pin at least five (5) pins. I give jcpenney the right to repin any or all images/original content from this board. I received a promotional item as a thanks for my participation.


  1. 1

    Good advice. I just wish we would have read it BEFORE spending $300 on portraits. Oh well, there’s always next time.



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