We met the next morning and did a very quick family session, literally like ten minutes! We got a few beautiful images and I will seriously treasure them forever. There's nothing like a beautiful image of your family to make you go, "Wow! I am the luckiest mama EVER!" I am IN LOVE with how the images turned out and I'm so excited to be sharing a few with you guys! I also wanted to include a few tips that I've learned over the last few years for taking great family photos, I hope they help you guys too! If you click on the images, they will enlarge and look clearer.
1. How to coordinate your outfits:
We've all seen (or participated) in the family photo where everyone is wearing the exact same color shirt and jeans (or worse, the photo where everyone is wearing jean shirts :-P). How boring! When choosing family outfits, I like to coordinate 2-3 colors and some type of print. Make sure the 2-3 colors you're choosing look good together, I always lay everyones clothes on the bed to make sure they look good next to each other (for our family photos I chose cream, light pink, and navy). I like to include one (maybe two if they coordinate) prints and everyone else wears a sold (notice the girls and I are all wearing solids, but Eric's shirt is a gingham print).
One more piece of advice when choosing your families outfits: Choose your own outfit first (I'm talking to you, mama). We are hardest on ourselves so choosing our own outfit will be the biggest challenge. Choose something that you feel good in first and then choose everyone else's outfits.
Our outfit details:
Make sure everyone is comfortable, but mostly your little people! If your son is miserable in that darling little bowtie that you bought him, ditch the bowtie. When I showed Sloan her new light pink dress and told her it was a great twirl dress she was immediately on board and excited for photos. DO NOT schedule photos during nap time, schedule them either way before nap time or afterwards. FEED them before you go (even if it's not their normal meal time), they'll be much happier with a full belly. Bring snacks or treats for bribery (our go to is mini M&M's), you never know when you might need reinforcements!
3. Pick the right photographer for your family:
When looking at a photographers website, make sure to read their "about me" section if they have one. Try to get a feel for who they are and decide if they'll work for you and your family. Look at photos they've taken of other families and try to get a sense of their style (do they do more traditional/posed photos or do they have a lot of silly/candid/lifestyle photos). This will make a huge difference in the way your kids respond and act in the photos.
We went to Mexico right after Sloan turned one and I thought it would be fun to get some family photos taken on the beach. I hired the first photographer I could find and lets just say she was not a kid person. She was clearly annoyed that Sloan (the one year old) wasn't doing what she wanted her to do. It made all of us uncomfortable as she barked orders and it didn't take long before Sloan was balling her eyes out . I have worked with two local photographers who have their own small children and they have been amazing! They totally know what to expect with kids and work hard to build a rapport with Sloan so that she'll be comfortable and act like her silly self!
4. Make it short and sweet:
When you're taking photos with small children, try to find a photographer who offers mini sessions. There is no way you're going to keep a little person happy and engaged for an hour or more. Book a session that is 30 minutes or less. Like I said above, we took photos for about ten minutes and got several great shots! And now that I think about it, this may be even more beneficial for my husband than my children. Family photos aren't his favorite thing in the world :).
5. Display your photos in your home:
This seems so obvious, but people often forget to print and frame their photos. Do it right away while you're excited about your new photos. Frame a couple and display them in your home, you'll smile every time you walk past them!