Photographing Large Families

One thing I hear a lot is complaints about large family portraits. I’ve heard horror stories from families who say that the last photographer they had just stood them all up and left them there for 20 minutes, only slightly rearranging things. I’m here to tell you today that large family portraits in Vermont don’t have to be boring! They don’t have to be stale! They can be fun and unique! (And I think I’ve used one too many exclamation points…)

Anyway, I had a family photo shoot for a crew that had come to VT to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of the matriarch and patriarch of the family. There were 12 people (and one ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE baby) and so this is one thing that I did. We moved around a lot, into different setups as a group and different setups separated, but this is one of my favorites of that day. I love how it focuses on the anniversary duo and still has the rest of the family in it.

And, I have to say, that some other favorite shots of mine from that day came from ideas that were tossed out by family members! They’d ask about doing something and then we’d set it up and, if it didn’t work, I’d refine it a bit until we got a great shot. So the lesson for today: the next time you hire a Vermont photographer, make sure that you tell them what you’re looking for, and that you’re not too intimidated to ask if you can try certain shots. If it’s within reason (ie the photographer isn’t asked to climb mountains to get a shot or to go into water without waterproof gear), there should be no reason why your photographer can’t give the photo that you’re thinking about a shot!


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