Originally appeared 05/08/2007
If you belong to a loving, handsome family who cherish time spent together, chances are you have an impressive golden-hued photo over your mantle showing your smiling, sun-kissed clan huddled together in matching outfits at the beach.
For many, such an extravagance is only a dream due to the time and logistics of gathering everyone together for a laborious, expensive professional shoot that will most likely end in a family squabble.
Adobe Photoshop, the industry standard for digital photography, hopes to change that. It now offers a “Family Beach Photo” generator that will quickly and easily create a gorgeous, large format photo of your family on a virtual beach with just a couple quick clicks of the mouse. Now travel-adverse Midwesterners and heliophobes alike, who’ve never stepped foot on a sandy shore, can take part in this timeless American tradition.
Open the application and a user-friendly step-by-step generator will guide you through the composition of your portrait. It will first prompt you to open a photo of your family (digital or scanned-in, whatever you have handy) and select just the heads of your family members, one at a time, with the easy-to-use selection tool. Save the heads and designate their roles (“Dad,” “Oldest Sister,” “Baby” etc.).
Add as many members a you like. Want dearly departed Grandpa in the shot? No problem, just add his head and he’s getting his barefoot toes just as sandy as the rest of the living brood. Trying hard to forget drug-addled middle brother and his lengthy prison record? Again, no problem, just leave him out and your family’s purity is preserved.
Once you’ve finished adding heads, the real he fun begins as you start customizing your keepsake. Here’s a glance at some of the options available.
Choose sunrise or sunset at the following picturesque, sandy beaches:
- Nantucket, MA
- Spring Lake, NJ
- Easthampton, NY
- Corolla, NC
- Malibu, CA
Choose one of these beachy favorites for your family to sit upon and surround:
- Lifeguard Stand
- Rustic Rowboat
Time of Day
- Chilly autumn afternoon
Your entire family will be dressed in matching outfits for maximum cuteness and togetherness. Options include:
- Shirts: white tees, white oxfords or white golf shirts
- Pants: khakis, jeans or khaki shorts
Haven’t had time to diet or workout before the shoot? No worry, there are hundreds of body types to choose from. Look realistic or go for the idealized you. Here’s a sampling available for Dad
- Pudgy Golfer
- Slouchy CPA
- Rail-thin Marathoner
- Buff Lumberjack
Pose and Layout
Choose position and posture of each family member. If Dad and Sis haven’t spoken in years, a warm photo embrace between the two might rekindle better days and heal the rift.
- Sitting with crossed legs and clasped hands
- Lying “funny-guy” style across the front row
- Standing with hands thoughtfully placed on sibling’s shoulder
- Standing aloof (perfect for moody teen)
- Family pyramid
Don’t want that pasty family member ruining the shot with his/her unsightly pallor? Add some summertime color in a flash! The generator offers numerous sunny skin tones (making sure to match face with body). Here are a few presets:
- Crisp Irish Crimson
- Weathered Fisherman
- Guido Brown
- Slutty Bronze
The only yellow you’ll see is in the lush rays or the gentle sunlight thanks to the “Pearly Whites” filter. Choose your level of teeth whitening:
- Bright White
- Blue White
- Radioactive Regis Philbin White
Add some subtle touches to the photo to give it some extra warmth, class and character:
- Family Dog (golden retriever only)
- Seagull (clean and white, not the filthy NJ type)
- Soft Breeze (gently blowing hair)
- Wicker Picnic Basket
Bonus Engagement Photo Filter!
Get a romantic remembrance of your current (or past) relationship, suitable for local newspaper engagement announcements. All gender combinations available. Take your pick of scenarios:
- Classic hand-on-shoulder ring pose
- Seated snuggle
- Playful clinch
- Passionate make-out