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  • Paul Good

Generational Photo Ideas

Families are dear to us all, whether we are very close-knit or not. They are our first frame of reference for the world and a reason to gather during holidays and special occasions. When we look at our ancestors and history, we understand a bit more about ourselves and can appreciate the journey of life a bit more.

Life, which is so fragile and sometimes taken for granted, is captured in little magical moments when we take photos. How incredibly special it is then, that we can take or create images that encompass all of those things. A generational photo is like a crossroads where different timelines and stories meet. Take a look at some of these ideas to help you create a powerful piece of your own.

-Frames- You can either take a photo of someone holding a frame of a photo of the older generation (frame within a frame/ infinity frames) or you can have someone physically hold a frame while the others stand in the background like they are inside of the frame. The latter can be done either with the grandparents holding the frame and the younger generations are in the background, or the reverse.

-Image overlay- You can try to achieve this look by posing everyone very close together as they all look to one side if you have everyone in the room at once. Another option is using photoshop to help arrange the faces to be perfectly linear and it will help eliminate the need to all be present for the photo, perfectly aligned, and not be blinking at the same time!

-Hands- An interesting way to photograph generations is also to just photograph their hands. Imagine the difference between a baby's hands and your grandmother's hands. There are several ways to pose the hands in the image,  they can lay on top of each other, they can grab each others' wrists, or all arranged in a circle not even touching. This is also a popular shot for wedding rings to see the different rings of generations.

-All in one photo- It is great to capture moments in our busy lives when we actually can all come together. When this can happen over the span of multiple generations it is even more special. Having a photographer scheduled to come to family gatherings or family reunions can help make this possible.

There are several cool ways to pose a generational shot. You can all center around the oldest or youngest, you can try to stand and sit all in a row, you can all hug each other, you can all peek out from behind someone in the front, etc. Get creative and have fun!

If hiring a professional is either pricey or still hard to coordinate, you can still have the photo composited. Lives get busy and not everyone's schedule can be rearranged for a reunion, or perhaps they miss the day of the photo. Technology has made it possible to add or subtract from photos allowing us to add in people who were missing or subtract people who should not be there (perhaps background photo bombers or an old boyfriend or girlfriend). Photo editing also allows to swap faces with another photo, if you take a series of shots in succession, this can help open eyes of anyone who blinked or capture a brief smile for children who are having a rough day. This kind of work is something our service provides help with ALL the time.

-Half and half faces- This idea is more for the parent to child, but you can do this with any type of image for side by side comparison. It is even more interesting if you can composite this photo over the years, to have the younger generation take their photo at the same age the older generation did. Just have half of the first portrait on one side, and the other person's face complete the other half of the portrait. Though they are different people from different generations, maybe their familial resemblance will make a convincing face as a whole!

photo from Pinterest, Kimberly Hickman Photography

-Transparent, in memoriam- When our loved ones pass on we sometimes feel they are still with us. Though we can't physically take their photo, technology can help us composite their image into a photo opportunity we feel we may have missed out on. It isn't always natural to composite images, but an interesting effect is to add the person at a lighter opacity, making them look transparent or spirit-like. In this way we can visually show a representation of that feeling of their lingering presence.

Sometimes, the best way to enjoy memories is in the moment. So, don't feel regret if you didn't remember to take out your camera or schedule a photographer. These ideas can all be created after the fact by compositing. If you need help with a photo recreation, we are experts in that (and more). Click here to get started.

For professional assistance with any photo restoration, retouching, or recreation, please visit us at

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