Family portraits have long been a necessity of the nuclear family. How else, after all, are parents supposed to deceive friends and loved ones into thinking their households are filled with love, devoid of dysfunction, and occupied by people who actually want to spend time with each other?
But plan a family photo incorrectly, and it’s all too easy for a crack in that fairy tale façade to show up on film – effectively ruining your attempts to fool the neighbors into thinking those shouting matches they hear through the walls every night are actually, “for a family play you and the kids are rehearsing.” As such, too effectively sweep all those skeletons back into the closet, it’s important to plan ahead to ensure your trickery stands up to the unwavering eye of the camera lens.
In order to come off as a normal, wholesome family that happily exchanges gifts for the holidays (instead of punches) follow these easy steps to achieve the perfect family photo:
Wear Matching Denim Outfits
Wearing matching outfits is one of the simplest ways to portray a false sense of unity and like-mindedness among parents and their children. Of course, there are plenty of cute outfits out there that a family could choose from when planning a family portrait, but as the old saying goes, “why have hamburger when you can have steak?” Denim is just about the most wholesome, all-American fabric known to man. It is for this reason that fashion experts widely refer to denim as the “camouflage of the dysfunctional family.”
Drown each family member’s unique character traits and independent opinions behind an ocean of eye-catching denim, and all those resentments and insecurities are bound to stay hidden behind the scenes. Bonus: it’s impossible for someone wearing a long-sleeved denim shirt and jeans (a.k.a. the Jay Leno Suit) to be unhappy! As such, that kind of handsome outfit is bound to result in some of the biggest, most genuine smiles your friends and relatives have ever seen!
Use a Tree as a Prop
Trees serve as good metaphors for the modern family. For one, it allows people to make obvious references to the “family tree.” For two, trees have roots, much like a family’s grounded and long-term love for each other. For three, trees are cold and rigid, much like your mother’s snappy, judgmental comments.
As such, using a tree as a prop provides an unconscious cue to the viewer that “everything is normal.” For best results, literally hide your petty bickerings behind the tree by having each family member stand in a row behind it. Then, have family members lean out on both sides with giant smiles. Remember to arrange family members in size order. Also, as many people as possible should be hugging the tree.
Add Some Golden Retrievers Into the Mix
It’s a well-known fact that happy American families own golden retrievers. The family dog is a time-honored tradition, and if there isn’t at least one golden retriever in your family photo, then someone might start to get suspicious. As such, you’ll probably want to hire at least a couple golden retrievers to complete your portrait (though for best results, you’ll need five). Speckle these radiant pups around the central tree, and you’ll be good to go.
Of course, you’ll want the camera to capture each of these golden retrievers with the breed’s patented sappy, open-mouthed smile. To ensure such an ear-to-ear grin is plastered on the face of each pooch, don’t forget to dress them all in denim.
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