Family pictures…if you are reading this and you actually feel nauseous just reading those words, let me help! Now I’m gonna be real with you, family pictures can be stressful, they can be hard but most of all they are important! By making them go smoother you will love your pictures even more, your kids will be happier (and by kids I mean your husband because lets be real, he definitely complains the most) and you will be so glad you took the time to prepare and capture this precious stage of life!
Here are some of my favorite tips/tricks for surviving family pictures (with kids)!
1. Find a photographer who works well with children!!
I think this is definitely the most important tip! You need to have someone who understands children, what works with them, and what doesn’t! Our photographer Monica with Monica Bartels Photography is a dream, she knows what to do to make our kids look, keep their attention and it looks genuine! She has been taking pictures for us for about 2 years now and we adore her! She will even have me & my husband walk away so that the kids aren’t interested in looking at us but giving her their full attentions which in turns equals pictures that are looking directly at the camera capturing their sweet little faces! Do your research, look at their previous photo galleries and determine who’s best for you!
2. Coordinate outfits in advance!
Please please please, save your self the headache and plan your outfits weeks in advance! Also don’t just plan them, try them on, make sure everyone looks cohesive! You don’t want matchy-matchy were everyone is in the same color, you just want that great color aesthetic that just works when everyone is together! We went with jewel tones this year and very casual! Be thoughtful of if you’ll be outside in the grass, etc because no one wants to be sitting down in a short dress in a field! #knowyourlocation
3. Make your kids (heck, even you & your husband) nap ( or rest) before!
All rested people photograph better, it’s just a fact! I made sure mine had taken a good nap, yet woke up in plenty of time to have a snack and wake up so we don’t have major sleepy eyes or a line on our face from a pillow or blanket!
Hey, you do what you gotta do! We told our kids if they were super sweet and did exactly what Monica told them to do then we would go out to eat and they could get ice cream! (ice cream is actually their official language) It worked like a charm and they really did do a great job! I mean we had our moments where I thought “this can’t be good” but hey, we all survived and actually had fun!
5. Work Efficently!
This applies to you as parents and the photographer! Yes, photographers are great at posing families and telling you what to do but please have ideas in mind of what you want to accomplish at this photo shoot! If you are set on a “girls only” picture and then one with just the boys, speak up and let the photographer know so she’s not guessing at what shots you want! PS. They are talented but not mind readers! It will help them out a lot and you will be even more in love because you got what you wanted!
6. Bring something they love!
What always makes your kids happy? Is it a blanket, their favorite toy, or fruit snacks? Just do yourself a favor and bring it! Yes you might not love the idea of a tractor in your picture but would you rather have that or a screaming child? I vote tractor any day! Of course don’t let them know you brought it, but have it in your possession if you must use it to get a few great pictures!
7. Trust the photographer!
Let them do their job! If you did your research before choosing a photographer then you obviously saw something in their work that you loved, so let them surprise you with the great images they captured! Don’t be one of those “Oh show me this, or did he look cute here” Y’all just be you, do what you do as a family, be genuine and you will love your photos!
Take a breather mama! Let your kids be kids! We had ours running around, playing hide-n-seek, and most importantly laughing!! Those are honestly some of my favorite shots, just us being us! If you’re tense and stressed out throughout the entire photoshoot hoping for that one perfect shot your face is going to show it and let me tell you your kids feed off of you!! They might start having breakdowns and we all know a tear soaked face isn’t what we’re after! So be real, be happy & just showcase your family, whether thats a hotness or not… #doyou You’ll be so thankful for all of these pictures someday!
Again, I couldn’t be more obsessed with our pictures from Monica Bartels Photography! She is truly gifted and I am so blessed that she scouted my kids for her portfolio about 2 years ago! Please go check out her website, facebook and instagram and show her some love!!
And now if you made it this far….Monica has decided to team up with Everyday With Bay to give away a FREE christmas mini session (valued at $150, includes 20 min session, 20 images & customized Christmas card template) to one of my readers!! Follow the instructions below and a winner will be chosen and contacted! (You must make travel arrangements on your own, that is not included in the giveaway!) Head to the bottom of the post to enter the rafflecopter! (winner will be chosen at random by the entry program)
My heart exploded when I saw this!