Cheesy "Family" Portrait

Started Nov 30, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Doublehelix Senior Member • Posts: 1,026
Cheesy "Family" Portrait

My college-aged son has asked me to take a cheesy "family" portrait of him and his 2 roommates (1M and 1F) plus their dog. They want to use it for a Christmas card, but also want to make a large print of it and hang in their living room. (Kids!!! Sheesh!!!) I do think it is funny, and I told them that I would be happy to help!

Here are a couple of quick examples that I found online:

Ya know what I am talking about... the classic 70's Olan Mills type of shot!


I am going to have to travel about an hour to get to them, they are not easily able to take the trip down this way (plus, we are due a trip up to see him again anyway). This means we are probably going to be in their living room, and I am going to have to schlep my gear with me.

I have a portable expandable background, but not sure it if is big enough to fit all 3 of them plus the dog without them being too close to the bg and causing shadows. It is a white/black combo.

I don't want to drag a bunch of lights with me, and was hoping to get away with a main light a fill light, and maybe a reflector and call it a day. (Still probably more than I want to carry, but he *is* my son after all!!!).

We are going to be in their apartment, so space is going to be limited, but they do have a fairly large living room (25-35 feet long???).

The dog is a big of a spaz! (hyper)

I will most likely be masking the group out in PP, and then picking some cheesy background. My son has dark brown hair and the girl has light blonde hair, so that is going to make it difficult to choose which side of the bg to use for easy masking. I will definitely try to be picky on the hair style to help eliminate flyaway hair so it is easier to mask.


I have never really posed groups before, so help would be appreciated on:

  • Posing tips (should I bring a couple of stools?)
  • Lighting options
  • White or black bg - which is better for masking out *both* a light blonde and a dark brunette?
  • PP tips and suggestions
  • Good drugs for calming down the dog! (j/k!)

Thanks in advance for any help!

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