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Farage Photography discusses photographing her own family portrait

Its hard to admit but before I met my sister in law, I never took family portraits. I don’t know why the idea never occurred to me but I went decades without getting my family members together and photographing them. Now, I photograph my husbands family once a year, at least. I still don’t get my side…


I’m not entirely sure how it got started. I blame my sister in law though. She has a boyfriend that travels for work so when he’s home it a big deal. I have another sister in law who used to live across the country with her family. When they came to town it was a big deal. My father in law is terminally ill as well. When these 3 factors combine, family portrait comes to mind.


My first one of all of us is terrible. I wont deny that. As a matter of fact, to a degree none of the ones I have taken are the amazing family pictures you see on Pinterest. Our first one has us on a couch in front of some ugly winterized black berry bushes. The sky is so gray and bleak. The couch seemed like a great prop until the grandparents sunk to the back of the couch and the rest of the family surrounded it as best as unhappy children would allow. My distant sister in law decided to bathe her son as I rang the cue for everyone to gather outside. This is another reason it looks so dark outside, it was. Our dog refused to behave. We got a picture that my mother in law loved but it wasn’t anything to write home about.


Our second one was on San Juan Island. We have people wearing workout clothes, kids in the wrong arms, my father in law is in his neck brace and wheelchair for extreme dramatic effect and I had to chase down a sister in law who decided to go for a walk as we were assembling everyone. There is no creative posing. There is bad posture. We are not color coordinated. The background is great and the lighting is great but that’s it.


Our third one was in my mother in laws newly landscaped rock stairway. As I go on photographing our family, I learn from the previous disasters. This time we posed my father in law first. I found where I would go second and how I would pose daintily, not rushed. I carefully put individuals in well-posed arrangements. I didn’t care so much what our dog did. This one is better. Still, my nephew decided to go spread eagle. My husband looks quite pained, my son decided to hulk out and my daughter looks bored. This one was our best. All the others have people not looking, blinking and talking.  C’est la vie.


I have since also photographed numerous families on Whidbey Island and Seattle and those ones are great. I am learning something and the best thing working for me is families who are well prepared for this photograph to happen. Its one thing when the photographer in the family says its family portrait time and its another thing when the matriarch says its family portrait time. Two different outcomes. Both perfect representations of family. The only difference is your only going to want to hang one style in your home.