Unique family portraits

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Chances are you take the same family photo every year, or don't take one at all. The kids are growing up quickly and it's always later than you think. Freeze a moment in time this year with a unique family portrait that will last a lifetime.   

"In life, it's not the things we possess but the memories we make that matter most."

Photoshop is your friend

Send your favourite snaps to a savvy digital artist who can float your family in space, have you commanding the starship Enterprise, jumping mid-air or riding a massive version of your family pet. Why not put the kids on their favourite TV show, a pirate ship, into a comic book or as characters from classic films? Alternatively, dress your kids up as superheroes and digitally add superpowers. Or fireworks. The sky is the limit. Photoshop editing isn't expensive. Pitch your project to professionals online at Fiverr or use purpose-built studios such as Retouch Gem or Digital Touch.

Go outside

You've seen family portraits in the autumn leaves and summer grass but you can go one step further and shoot an activity you all enjoy: fishing at the coast, grooming horses at a stable or wearing the favourite football strip and posing for a team photo. For portraiture studios with experience you can trust, PixiFoto is the UK's biggest. They partner with leading High Street brands for top-quality, affordable work. Another option is Venture Studios. The team at Venture gets to know your family and then conveys that story through imagery.

Hire an artist

If you struggle to get the kids to sit still, an artist can create a custom image from just a few photos and some information. For personalised imagery that includes your family name, try Hillfolk.co.uk. Whether it’s the fashion, the hair, or the posing, you’ll often get a good laugh looking back at family portraits. Why not laugh at yourself in caricature form? For a family of four, Steph Sketches charges around £75 for a hilarious digital depiction. You can also add extras like frames and physical prints. Another great caricature option is Honkeydonkey.co.uk, or why not commission a classic portrait? Mike at www.mcbportraits.uk is raved about for pencil portraiture, and Scottish artist David Gilchrist is renowned for his work across multiple mediums. For a family of four, David charges £170 for a 450mm by 550mm pencil portrait; £210 for pastel; and £370 for an oil rendering. 

Time travel

Today you can even take a trip through the ages and merge family both past and present. Maybe you can't go back as far as Cromwell, but at least great-grandma can finally pose with the offspring she never met. This can make for a moving portrait as well as an important genealogical document. Start by restoring your historic photos at www.photographsforever.co.uk. You can also wrinkle time by inserting your kids into wedding photos. Pop them into thought bubbles chilling at the wedding party, or photo bombing the happy couple.

In life, it's not the things we possess but the memories we make that matter most. In an ever-changing world, imagery is a vital touchstone to the past and now you have the benefit of artistry, editing and ingenuity to create a portrait you'll cherish always.

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