It’s that time of year again. When we all scramble to force our little people (and husbands) to head out for FAMILY PICTURES! I think just about everyone can agree that it family pictures bring out allll the emotions. Whether it is the stress of outfit planning, the toddler (or husband) tantrum, or even feeling a little sentimental, they are full of emotions and can be a challenge, especially with a lot of little people. Since this isn’t my first rodeo, you know I have a few tips and tricks up my sleeve to attempt to help your family pictures go a little smoother, so I thought I’d share them with you today!
Pick out your outfit first : If I could shout this one from the rooftops I would! It is so so important. Mom’s aren’t really known for dying to be in the picture with our little people. But you guys, we need to be part of the memories too! By picking your outfit first, you will guarantee that you feel confident + comfortable. When you feel good about yourself you’ll love your pictures more!! Trust me on this one.
Also, if your self-conscious about your mid-section (which I think some of us are) I’d go with a flowy dress or top so you don’t have a second thought about it. I love dresses for this reason + they are usually nicer then a top + bottom look.
- Patterns + textures : Don’t be afraid to add some pattern or different textures to some of the outfits. Adding textures help add more depth + dimension to the image rather then just everyone in a cotton tee. I love knitted cardigans, a scarf, or even a linen shirt or shorts for the boys to break it up a bit. This stripe on Hayden was the perfect kind of wild card to break things up.
- The less matchy-matchy you are the better : If I’m being honest, all of our last-minute pictures where I’ve had to throw random outfits together –that necessarily don’t match perfectly always end up the best. This year I picked my dress first and then knew I had this outfit for Harper already that I loved. From there we kind of just picked what the kids were comfortable in. I love how they turned out.
- Timing : Timing can be the difference between smooth sailing and a total melt down! Try to do a time when you know your baby or toddler will be happy. Like right after nap time, or dinner. I think this helps the mom’s stress level a million times. Also, make sure your people are all fed and not hungry because that makes a huge difference with their moods. Gosh, I even get hangry sometimes!
- Be ok with Candid : Candid photos always turn out the best and they will be the moments that are true and remembered – not the super posed one where everyone is smiling perfect. (even though we like those ones) Whether you catch your kids laughing at each other, someone picking their nose, or even a little tantrum, those are the ones you’ll love the most because they hold your little peoples real personalities.
- Get the Money Shot FIRST : If there is a shot you have in mind that you have to have, do it very first. Usually for us, it is the full family shot. Get the must haves out of the way in the first 5 minutes. You never know when someone is going to lose it!
- Bribes Work: I see absolutely nothing wrong with bribes for family pictures!! I usually have skittles or gold fish for the kids in Joe’s pocket and will pop one in the kids mouth here and there when they are listening. AND, tell your kids they can get a reward like ice cream or a night at the park if they will listen to the photographer without a fuss. It always helps and we really go and do it afterwards, because who doesn’t need ice-cream after all of this craziness!
- Don’t be too prepared : This sounds like I’m crazy, but I learned this year it is very possible. We showed up early and thought it would be great. We had lots of extra time to shoot all that we wanted. It completely back fired because our little people still lost it in the same amount of time, and it ended up being right when we had the best lighting. Mini-shoots are gold. They are 20 minutes for a reason, because we are all usually over it by then!
I hope these tips are helpful! If I can say one more thing it is this. Just go with the flow and embrace your phase of life. One day you’ll look back and the moments you were cringing will be the photos you remember and love most!
photos : aubrey taiese