Our Backyard Family Portrait {Youngwood, PA}

Earlier this month I made it my mission to finally take our extended family photo. We had been wanting to have a photo taken for years (since I exited the military and came home from Germany) but it just seemed impossible to get everyone’s schedules to work out, combined with another photographer’s schedule and hours. I decided to break out the remote control for my camera and go for it at our next family get together, even color coordinating everyone via text messaging a few days prior! There was no way I was going to be able to get everyone to meet at a different location for pictures, so we took them right in our backyard.

Anyone that has had family photos taken with a small child knows that they generally dictate how the photoshoot goes! With smaller groups you can always photograph around the child’s needs or wants - walking, jumping, playing, etc. It gets a little more complicated when that group reaches 5+ and you really want a nice photo of everyone in one picture.

You would think that my daughter would absolutely love the camera by now, the little model that I’ve tried to encourage in her! However, she prefers to be on my side of the camera, taking and looking at the photos instead of starring in them herself!

As soon as Adam tried to put her in the frame with everyone else, she started having a tantrum. I knew immediately that there would be no happy portrait of everyone if we were all in the frame at one time. Luckily, composite photos (putting two or more pictures together) in post-production is actually not that hard if you prepare for the possibility in advance (such as using a tripod!). Knowing how Cecelia had been reacting to photos lately, I was prepared and actually expected this to happen. The final family photo of everyone is a composite photo made up of one photo of my parents, sister, and brother-in-law, and one photo of me, my husband, and our daughter (and her horse, who finally brought out some smiles!). And let me tell you - she looks so sweet in our family picture but - my goodness! It took roughly 200 photos, complete with songs and dancing behind the camera by her Oma and Auntie to get that natural pose and a hint of a smile out of her! She is a wild one!

After the big family photo, we took a few of the immediate family. I would have loved to take more photos with my husband, our daughter, and my brother-in-law but, alas, Cecelia was “all done,” it was game day, and a television was within 100 yards so the odds were against me.

The final photo is below and some bloopers getting there along with a few others! Trust me, just because you have small kids, doesn’t mean you can’t have a nice family photo.

Want to have your own extended family photo for your wall? If you can get everyone together, we can get it done! Click here to contact me about your own family portrait!


This was our Thanksgiving get-together - I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, whenever you celebrate!

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Jamie LeonardComment