Monday, October 8, 2018

Six Tips For Better Family Photos

Photos by the very talented  Lindsey Wiatt Photography

Christmas card season is right around the corner!!  If you're like me, you've been thinking about (and maybe dreading) family photos.  Three kids in, we've had our fair share of family photo sessions.  Over the years I've come up with a few tips and tricks for smooth(er) family photos, so I thought I'd share!  I hope you find something here helpful, let me know if you have any other questions in a comment below :).

Tip #1: Coordinate (but don't match) outfits
My best advice when planning family outfits is to choose your own outfit first.  We are typically hardest on ourselves so find something that you feel good in and plan everyone else's outfits around that.  If you're self conscious about your arms, wear long sleeves or a little sweater.  If you're postpartum or self conscious about your weight, don't wear a super loud print or color.  Bottom line, find something that you feel good in and then choose your family members outfits around that!

Once you've chosen your outfit, find outfits for your spouse and children that coordinate with (but don't match) your outfit.  I like to pick 2-3 coordinating colors and at least one print (but not more than two prints).  Make sure the colors you choose look nice together and don't include any clashing prints.  For example, in our most recent family photos I chose navy blue, hunter green, and tan.  Sloan wore a floral dress and Briar wore a gingham shirt, but the rest of our clothing was solid colors.

Retailers who make clothing for the whole family, often have outfits that will coordinate (think Gap and Old Navy).  Once I have everyones outfits, I always lay everything on my bed so that I can see it all together.  This has saved me when things look a lot better together in my head than they do in real life.

And one last thing about outfits!  Don't forget about everyones shoes!!  Make sure all of your shoes coordinate with your outfits and that they're clean.  I promise if you forget, you won't be able to stop staring at your sons dirty tennis shoes when you get your family photos back!

Tip #2: Book the best time for your family
Timing can make or break your families photo session.  Your children should always be rested and fed before taking photos.  Don't plan a session in the middle of nap time or two hours past their bedtime.  And always feed them before you leave for photos!  Even if it isn't their normal meal time, feed them something!  Full tummies typically make for happier babies :).

Tip #3: Keep it comfortable
Make sure everyone (especially your children) are comfortable during photos.  You want your photographer to catch everyone being themselves, so you want them to feel as comfortable as possible.  If your child has a favorite lovey or blanket that they just can't part with for photos, let them keep it!  You'll look back on those photos and love how sweet your little one is with their special item.

Tip #4: Don't be above bribery
During photos, Eric always keeps mini marshmallows in his pocket.  We can pop them in the girls mouths and they don't make a mess or get on their clothing!

Tip #5: Just roll with it
This is actually a tip from my friend Lindsey of Lindsey Wiatt Photography and it's a good one!  Lindsey says to just roll with it!  You might find an amazing image or pose on Pinterest, but try to be in the moment and don't get hung up on other peoples images!  Your family, location, photographer, and lighting will be different so a lot of that will be out of your control anyways.

When you're taking photos with your children, remember to roll with it.  Chances are, they're going to be in a new environment and might not be their best selves.  Do your best to smile, hold their hand, and give them lots of kisses and tickles.  Even if it isn't perfectly posed, moments caught between you and your family will always be cherished!  Phayre is always craaaaazy when we take family photos (hashtag middle child :)).  She goes limp, refuses to stand, or starts running away from us.  When I don't get frustrated and just roll with it, we usually end up getting some really cute candid shots!

Tip #6: Pick the right photographer for your family
Before you hire a photographer, look at their website and social media channels.  Get a good feeling for their style and make sure that it aligns with your style.  If you're hoping for candid lifestyle photos, make sure that is what your photographer typically does.  If you're taking photos with your children, make sure the photographer usually works with families and children.  If they have experience working with children, they'll be more comfortable and that will most likely make your children more comfortable!

I so hope that these tips have been helpful!!  Let me know if you have any other questions!

My dress  (it is actually a maternity gown, but fit me perfectly! It comes in a ton of colors and is super flattering!)  /  Eric's shirt  (color is navy) /  Eric's pants  (color is palomino brown) /  Sloan's dress  /  Phayre's dress  /  Girl's bows c/o Zozu Baby  /  Briar's shirt  /  Briar's pants

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