Getting a cool photo of a big family can be challenging at best, impossible at worst. I walked out of a photo shoot once, before the camera lens cap even came off. Recently inspired by a very cool photo of blogging friend Christine Young and her children, I felt up to the photo challenge. Seeing her photo made me scream “I want one too!”

But how was I going to find someone who was game enough to attempt a photo like that of my crew? Many photographer friends felt too inexperienced with that style of photography. So where does any savvy social media person go when they want help? You guessed it, Facebook. One status update and an old pal in Ottawa put me in touch with Justin Van Leeuwen. I checked in with photog friend Cherie-Lynn Buchanan and she said Justin was the guy – he had experimented with that kind of photography before and was a genius with lighting.

And so Justin and his trusty sidekick Lee made the trek to our home and after many hours with us (and many hours alone with his laptop), created our Extreme Family Photo.

When I presented the photo at Blissdom Canada in the session on Personal Branding, conference attendees responded extremely positively. They felt it was fun and captured my “Keep Calm and Carry On” attitude. Some loved it so much they wanted an Extreme Family Photo as well. Deb Lowther, whose husband is the creator of IronKids Vitamins recently had a session, hoping to capture the fun of their brand and family all in one shot. I think they succeeded:

We’ve used our Extreme Family Photo in many ways – from PR purposes to holiday cards, and now a giant version of it has been made into canvas art by the very funky company Canvas Pop.  It hangs proudly in the foyer of our home and gets a great reaction from all of our guests.

What do you look for in family photography? Do you prefer the more traditional style? Is the Extreme Family Photo over the top or something your family could have fun with?

Image Credits: Justin Van Leeuwen