I don’t know about you, but it seems that the older I get, the more the idea of family expands. As a family photographer, I love capturing memories of nuclear families–but I also know that there’s so much more! We’re connected to one another through the generations, and through all the wonderful additions that come to our families via birth or marriage, and those connections should be captured. While extended family photos may require a little more planning and preparation, simply due to the number of people and schedules involved, an extended family photo session is so worth it!
Below, you’ll find an example of extended family photos at the beautiful Spanish River Library here in Boca Raton, Florida, plus more information about extended family photoshoots with Melissa Arlena Photography.
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Why Are Extended Family Sessions Important?
Extended family photos are a wonderful opportunity to get together and make that time to create memories. Family schedules are busy, which makes those rare times when you can enjoy an event or activity together all the sweeter and more memorable. Make the time to truly connect with your loved ones—and to capture those connections.
When our kids are little, we tend to take lots of snapshots, capturing all the adorable milestones. But as our families grow older and more independent, we sometimes forget to keep taking pictures. Believe me, as a mom myself, I know how important it is to have pictures of your kiddos at every stage—because they change so fast! I also know that moms sometimes don’t make it into the pictures. After all, we’re usually the ones working the camera! But you deserve to be in those photos, and your kids deserve to have those memories of you to look back on. An extended family session makes it easy to get everyone in the photos, and to capture the myriad of combinations that make up your family.
Not only do you want pictures of you and your little ones together, but you want your children to have photos of their grandparents and great-grandparents. Grandma and Grandpa may not book a portrait session for themselves, but during an extended family photo session we can ensure that your children will have beautiful photos of the people who came before them.
What is Included in an Extended Family Photo Session?
When you think of extended family photos, you may think of the huge group shots you get at reunions or holiday dinners—and they may not be some of your best memories. Unplanned, last-minute group shots can be stressful! That’s one of the reasons it’s a good idea to book a professional to capture those larger group portraits.
But when you book an extended family photo session you get much more than just group shots with the entire family. Extended family photos are about highlighting relationships, and to that end we’ll create several groupings to capture different relationships within your family. You can expect:
- Overall group photos – These are wonderful for showing your whole family. Small or large, your family is unique and beautiful, and we will absolutely get some beautiful group shots of all of you together.
- Generational photos – There’s something so special about photos that focus on generations, like a portrait of grandma, mom, and baby girl. Generational photos are a beautiful way to capture a specific legacy in your family and the love that is passed down from one generation to the next.
- Sibling photos – No matter what age you are, the people you grow up with are such a huge influence in your life. I love creating sibling portraits, whether it’s you and your brothers and sisters, all grown and married, or your own kiddos running and laughing with each other.
- And more! – Couples portraits, cousin groupings, babies only—there are so many options when it comes to documenting your extended family. If you have special requests, please let me know. We can also do mini sessions for each nuclear family during your extended family session time.
Tips for Planning an Extended Family Photo Session
The more nuclear families involved in a shoot, the more schedules there are to juggle! Be sure to contact your family photographer early so you have a better chance of getting that ideal date that works for everyone.
Choose a Fun Location
The great outdoors is often the perfect place for extended family photos, since there’s lots of room and kiddos have space to play and take a break when they need it. I have lots of tried-and-true locations for family photos, so if you need advice, don’t hesitate to ask!
Pick Coordinating Clothing
Neutrals are the way to go when you have a big group to dress. Gray, white, beige, cream, and navy all go great together and most people will own some articles of clothing in those colors. Don’t worry about matching perfectly. Just pick a color scheme of three or four neutrals (or neutrals and a single accent color if you’re really feeling ambitious) and you can feel confident that everyone’s outfits will work well together.
Decide How You Want to Use Your Photos
Each nuclear family may want something a little different. You may want a big canvas for the living room, your brother’s family is looking for a collection of prints, and the two of you are planning to go in together on an album for the grandparents. Thinking ahead of time about how you want to use your photos can help ensure that you get the shots you really want.
This is your time with your extended family, so enjoy it! I have the workflow down to a science, so don’t stress. I will help you pose, make suggestions for groupings, and create a comfortable and relaxing environment for capturing your family memories. And don’t stress about getting the kiddos to cooperate—I’m not above making silly faces to make sure we get those genuine smiles, and I also love capturing the natural, organic moments that happen along the way.
What to Do with Extended Family Photos
Extended family photos make beautiful art for your home, additions to an album, or gifts for family members. These pictures can be an especially meaningful gift for grandparents, as a way to have all their precious family members near them. Be sure to add on an album as that final, special gift!
Because I know how special these family memories are, I want you to have tangible artwork you can share with the people you love most. In addition to digital copies, I also provide professional prints, custom framing, gorgeous albums, and folio and print boxes. Investing in artwork is investing in the gift of memory. You and your family will love having these heirloom photos to cherish and pass down to children and grandchildren.
Extended Family Photo Sessions – Boca Raton Family Photographer
Hi there and thank you for stopping by! I’m Melissa, owner of Melissa Arlena Photography, a family and maternity photographer specializing in young and growing families in South Florida. I hope you found my “Extended Family Photos” feature I shared today to be helpful. If you are interested in talking with me more about booking a family session, let’s connect! Not quite ready, but know you want to keep me in your back pocket? No problem! Follow me on Instagram and let’s be friends!