If you want to get a family portrait, but don't like the popular photographic style, then consider a more "artistic" alternative. While it's become very popular to have a large family portrait done by a photographer, it's not the only choice you have. You might like one of the hand-painted portraits that were common in the years before cameras were common place. Below are three different styles you can choose from. One thing to note is that you and your family do not have to sit in front of a painter for an extended period of time. You can supply the painter with photos and they can work from them at their own leisure in their studio.
Abstract/Modernist Style Painted Portrait
If you don't want a classic, realistic style portrait, you might want to use a painter that can paint in a modern style. This could be in a cubist style, similar to a Picaso, or a something along the lines of a Pop style such as the bright colors and iconography of Warhol. This works best if you and your family like modern art. The portrait will be decorative and a great conversation piece. If you already decorate your home with modern art, then this is a great idea.
Collage Style Portraits
If you want to make something very unique, then you might want a collage style portrait. Collage is the style of using many different items to create a unified piece of art. These collages can be made of very small pieces, which are only noticeable upon very close inspection, such as in the work of Chuck Close, or with large swatches as in the material of Matisse.
What you might want to do is take something personal and important to your family (souvenir postcards from a family trip, hundreds of tiny color copies of family photographs, et) and have the collage artist use these items to compose the large collage portrait.
Realistic Oil-Based Portrait
Of course, you also have the option of a classic, realistic style oil painting. These are the classic image you think of when you hear the phrase "oil portrait." They are going to look like an elegant family portrait done by an artist and put on canvas. You have leeway in the tone and setting. You might want a dark setting, such as your family sitting in a library or den, or you might prefer the lighter colors of a portrait of your family against a sky-colored backdrop. It's up to you and the artist you choose.
For more information, contact companies like Our Day Art.