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  • Writer's pictureTania Gaylor Photography

5 Ways to Create A Family Portrait To Suit Your Home Without Feeling Like A Narcissist

It's a proven fact that your children feel more love when you fill your home with photographs of your family. And even though some of us don't care to admit it, but we would all love to have a family portrait taken and have it hanging front and center in our home...but that can feel a little narcissistic so instead we opt to hang some tulips instead.

That's safe. That's easy. But it can be meaningless making our house feel more like a gallery instead of a warm loving home. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You CAN have a beautiful portrait of your family hanging in your home and instead of feeling like an egomaniac for doing so, you can feel proud of a unique art-piece that fills your home with warmth and love.

So here are 5 ways you can create a more meaningful family portrait that will suit your home so you can feel confident about hanging it without feeling like a narcissist...

1. Know Your Vision

Where would you like your portrait to hang?

What is the vision for this space?

What is it that you want your space to convey - is it warmth and relaxation, something bright and cheerful, or will it be sophisticated and glamorous? Maybe you’re not quite sure? If so, don’t worry.

Let’s break it down…

Take 5 minutes and just sit in the room you would like to hang your portrait. Look around, how does it make you feel, what memories do you have in this room (if you have lived there for a while) OR how would you like this room to make you feel (if you are re-decorating/renovating/or have just moved in).

Then write down the qualities you like most about this space and use these qualities to create your ideal vision statement - i.e. “I want my living space to be warm, loving, and inviting.” OR “I want my living space to bright, airy and cheerful.”

TIP: You don’t want a family portrait that is over reliant on trends that quickly come and go, but your portrait should be unique to you.

Once you have your vision statement, use it to help you choose the style, colour and details of your portrait. This unifies the design process and allows you to create a portrait that compliments your home. Ultimately, your ideal vision for this portrait should reflect all the good feelings you want for this space, strengthening the bond you have with your family AND your home.

2. Meet Your Inner Needs

Going beyond your basic needs for just ‘wanting a family portrait’, think about your ‘why’ and how you can decorate your home by designing a portrait that offers a higher form of self-expression, with a desire for togetherness, combined with a sense of style. When you do this, your ‘inner needs are met’ leaving you feeling completely satisfied with the outcome. In doing so you will have the three main emotional components of satisfaction:

1. You will feel 'psychological satisfaction' because self-expression & the expression of love are met.

2. You will also feel 'social satisfaction' as you feel acceptance & togetherness within (and by) your family.

3. And of course, you will have met your 'aesthetic needs' by creating a room of beauty & pleasure every time you walk in.

If your place is lucky enough to have all of these components, then it is said to be all ‘round “emotionally satisfying”.

TIP: If you’re having trouble clarifying how to meet those needs, you can look at the way you dress. This can really inform you on how to set the style for your portrait because the way you dress is often a reflection of the way you decorate your house. For example, if you are a simple dresser but like to have a splash of colour, most likely your home is not cluttered, is stylish, mainly white with accents of colour. If this is the case then a high-key portrait with a hint of colour will work perfectly in your home.

3. Pick Favourites

Still not sure what style your portrait should be so it doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb? Try this…

Consider all the objects you have in your possession that hold special significance to you, and identify the reasons why. Think about how you can emulate those same feel-good vibes from the objects in your home, into your portrait. i.e. If an antique emerald green velvet chair holds special meaning to you, maybe you can replicate those same finishes in your portrait. By doing this, it’s more about capturing the feelings/the essence this object gives you, allowing you to think of different ways to capture warmth and comfort in your portrait with texture, colour and style.

4. Get Rid Of What’s Not Working

When bringing all the elements together for your portrait – location, clothes, colour, style – if something isn’t right, ditch that idea/element and try something else. If you’ve always wanted a family portrait photographed in a lush-green garden but your home is modern, simple and uncluttered, then a garden scene may not work…get rid of that idea! Maybe an urban setting will be better or a beach scene photographed at dawn with calm water and a clear sky. Remove any element from your portrait that won’t add meaningful value to the room you intend on hanging it.

5. Keep It Fresh

Designing a portrait that not only fits your current needs but your needs of the future too - this is just as important. Most people go to a photographer to have a photograph taken without thinking about how this portrait will look in the future. You need your portrait to withstand the test of time and it shouldn’t just reflect where you have been and where you are now but it should also reflect where you would like to go. By having a portrait that is fresh and stylish, then you will still enjoy it in 20 years time.


Portraits that have the right amount of style and stimulation exudes a freshness that gives a home energy and your heart filled with love.

So if your space is lacking energy, try creating a portrait that is meaningful to you, tells your story, combines the elements that reflects your home and is designed for now and the future, then you will see something new every time you walk by as you notice a smile creep across your face.

These are some simple ideas that will help you create a meaningful family portrait that you will enjoy in your home as a beautiful art-piece without feeling narcissistic but proud.

What did you think? Were these tips helpful? Let me know in the comments below!



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