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The Significance of Extended Family Photography | Avila Beach, CA

Capturing Cherished Moments

Large Extended Family Portrait on Beach

There's something heartfelt about extended family portraits in a world filled with digital snapshots and fleeting moments. These timeless photographs capture the essence of your family and serve as a testament to the importance of connection and togetherness. As you gather with extended family on vacation from summer to fall, I highly recommend using this opportunity to capture your family together. As a professional family photographer, I understand the significance of these portraits and the joy they bring.

When Amanda first reached out about her family of 37 gathering in Avila Beach, I immediately thought of ways to make this seamless. Avila Beach can be tricky and crowded, so we opted for an early morning session. This is an excellent opportunity to take advantage of the diffused sunlight from the morning fog(a photographer's dream). It also makes it easy for the group to gather and have the remainder of their vacation day to do what's most important: make memories.

PRO TIP: Scheduling a morning session with large groups and small children helps with logistics and moods! Careful not to interrupt meal times or naps!

Preserving Bonds Across Generations: The Power of Extended Family Photography

Extended family portraits allow you to celebrate and honor the unique bonds across generations. From grandparents to grandchildren, these portraits represent the love, support, and wisdom that flows through your family tree.

As time passes, family dynamics evolve, and loved ones may come and go. Extended family portraits are a treasured keepsake, capturing moments that would otherwise fade away. They become a timeless legacy that can be passed down to future generations, ensuring your family's story is preserved for years.

Candid family portrait on beach

Tips for Planning an Unforgettable Extended Family Photoshoot

  1. Choosing the ideal location:

    1. Consider a meaningful backdrop: Select a location that holds sentimental value for your family, such as a favorite park, a family home, or a beach where you've spent family vacations. A familiar setting can help everyone feel at ease and contribute to authentic and relaxed photographs. I often send my clients a questionnaire to get an idea of locations that might be best, or chat over the phone about options.

    2. Consider the practicalities: Ensure that the location has adequate space to accommodate your extended family comfortably. Think about lighting conditions, accessibility, and any permits required for photography sessions in public or private spaces. I always ask about any limitations for your family and ensure the location we choose is accessible for all family members.

  2. Coordination and styling:

    1. Plan ahead: Coordinate with all family members well in advance to establish a convenient date and time for the photoshoot. This allows everyone to mark their calendars and make necessary arrangements, minimizing the chance of last-minute cancellations.

    2. Dressing for success: Encourage your family members to coordinate their outfits without matching exactly. Harmonizing colors and styles will create a cohesive look in the final portraits. Consider the location and season while choosing attire, aiming for a balance between comfort and elegance. I also send my clients a guide on what to consider or avoid.

  3. Capturing authentic moments:

    1. Encourage natural interactions: As a professional photographer, I strive to capture genuine moments that reflect the unique dynamics within your family. Encourage your family members to interact, laugh, and enjoy each other's company rather than posing stiffly. Candid shots often produce the most heartwarming and memorable images. I will prompt you along the way and work to make you feel comfortable in front of the camera.

    2. Incorporate meaningful props: If some objects or heirlooms hold significance to your family, consider including them in the session. These props can add depth and personalization to the portraits, enhancing their storytelling.

Group of girls posing for family photos on beach

Extended family portraits hold a special place in our hearts, preserving memories and connections that grow stronger with time. Remember, these portraits are not just pictures but cherished mementos that celebrate the love, laughter, and bonds shared among your extended family for generations to come.

What to Expect During an Extended Family Session

I always suggest my Deluxe package for family sessions. It typically takes an hour to run through all the combinations of family poses. I send my lead client a detailed question with specific questions like the names and ages of groups. I always start with the biggest grouping first and then work with combinations down like:

  • All Family

  • Grandparents and All Grandkids

  • Grandparents and Adult 'Original' Kids (Add Spouses)

  • Grandparents (Because this generation's last photo was their wedding!)

  • Individual Families starting with families with youngest kids first

  • Etc.

I also ask additional questions to ensure I understand your family dynamic and how I can make the most out of your session with me.

Book your extended family portraits today by inquiring with me here. I'd love to capture your family and preserve your memories for years!

Candid family photo laughing on beach

Family portrait with mom and adult kids on beach

black and white photo of two young kids playing

portrait of girl on beach

individual portrait on beach

grandpa on beach during family photos

Couple snuggling on beach for family photography

Candid photo of teen boy on beach

Family portrait on beach

candid photo on beach of married couple

group of siblings on the beach posing for photo

Teen girl portrait on beach


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